Which Low Carb Diet Plan Is Right for You?
If you have a goal of losing weight and reducing your body fat percentage, then taking a look at a low carb diet plan is a good idea. Low carbohydrate diets have been popular for many years, and they can help you increase lean muscle mass while reducing body fat. At the same time, they are a good way to rid your body of many of the toxins and chemicals that are commonly found in processed foods, so you may see a lot of benefits as well as weight loss.
The truth is that most low carb programs are very similar in that they require you to restrict processed carbohydrates such as pasta, cereals, breads, and sugars. The amount of these carbohydrates that you are allowed often depends on which particular phase of the diet you are in, and they are usually phased in over time.
Here are a few of the basic principles that the majority of low carbohydrate plans follow.
Types of Carbohydrates
Virtually all nutritionists now agree that not all carbohydrates are created equal. A carrot is a high quality carbohydrate food that is full of nutrients and fiber, yet it is also higher in natural sugars than a lot of other vegetables. On most low carb programs (but not all), this is a safe food to eat.
On the other hand, white bread and traditional breakfast cereals tend to be the worst possible type of carbohydrates since they are extremely high in sugar and are highly processed. They will raise insulin levels very fast, giving you “sugar highs and lows” which translates to cravings for more and more flour and sugar, leading to unavoidable weight gain.
What Are Low Carbohydrate Foods?
Depending on the particular low carb diet plan that you are following, there are a number of foods that are considered to be very healthy and low carbohydrate, and in many cases you can eat them on a virtually unlimited basis. Since you will be limiting your carbohydrates, you will need to consume more protein and fat in order to make up the calories. Dairy foods, nuts and seeds are usually allowed in the later stages or for vegetarians, but very low or zero carbohydrate foods such as eggs, meat, chicken, and fish will be the staples for most people.
It goes without saying that most vegetables will help you lose weight quicker, because they contain a large amount of fiber and because they are extremely high in other nutrients. The majority of vegetables are extremely low in carbs in comparison to the quantity you can eat in any serving, and are therefore ideal for anyone limiting their carbohydrate intake.
What Foods Should You Avoid?
The foods that you should avoid eating on a low carb diet plan are pretty obvious and you probably already know what they are. These include anything that is derived from grains or flour, corn, or potatoes. Any starchy vegetable such as a potato is out of bounds, as are seemingly healthy foods such as whole wheat pasta and whole grain breads and cereals.
It is also essential that you eliminate alcohol from your diet, particularly because it is high in calories and has no nutritional value. Also, alcohol dehydrates you, which makes burning fat even more difficult. Many people find that by simply eliminating alcohol from their diet, they can start losing weight almost immediately, as long as they don’t replace the alcohol with unhealthy food.
What Other Dietary Changes Should You Make?
If you have never gone on any kind of low carb diet plan before, then it may be surprising to you to realize just how many foods with little or no nutritional value you are currently consuming. At first, you may wonder just what you are able to eat because it seems as if many of the foods on your regular diet are not allowed. This is a real eye-opening time to many people, and is one that points out to them exactly why they have put on weight in the first place.
With any dietary changes, you should obviously talk to your doctor first if you have any health issues. It’s also important to drink an adequate amount of water spread through the day, to help flush out toxins from your system.
The low carbohydrate plan that worked for me is called Unleash Your Thin. On this program you can eat as much as you want of the allowed foods including peas, beans and almost all vegetables. There are just the “forbidden nine” foods that you need to avoid.
There’s no carb counting like you get in other programs so it’s much easier to follow. You also get a lot of help with identifying your triggers and avoiding the ‘landmines’ that can throw us all off track, including support through a forum. The downside is that it’s not available at the library or in book stores, you can only get it from the official website which is here: