Table of Contents
- Carbs and Calories
- Low Carb Diet and Diabetes Type 2
- Dietary Recommendations for Weight Loss
- Other Health Benefits of a Low Carb Diet
- When a Low Carb Diet Can Be Detrimental to Your Health
- If Low Carb Diet Showed Little or No Results
- Carbs and Fruit
- High Cortisol Levels and Weight Gain
- Carbs and Glycemic Index (GI)
Have you been considering going on a low carb diet with an intention of losing weight?
If you have answered yes to this question, here’s everything you need to know about a low carb diet.
A low carb diet will reduce excessive hunger and food cravings.
It will also keep you satisfied and full for longer periods of time.
You will no longer have to reduce your food portions when having every meal or even counting the calories – which can be quite frustrating.
Another fact one should know about eating carbs whilst trying to lose weight is – each and every individual’s metabolism rate is different.
Therefore, some might gain weight from eating carbs, whilst others might not.
It also depends on your age, gender, weight, diseases and illnesses and activity levels – some might be more active than others and your weight.
Carbs and Calories
According to studies that were performed by Dr Nancy F. Krebs and her team , it has been proven that a low carb diet assists with weight loss more efficiently than a low calorie diet.
A low carb diet usually has higher amounts of food with protein. Low carb diets also assist with reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Low Carb Diet and Diabetes Type 2
Studies have proven that a low carb diet is beneficial for people that are suffering with diabetes type 2.
They had performed this study on people who had diabetes type 2 and with some form of cardiovascular disease.
The results have shown that a low carb diet not only produces an increase in unsaturated fats and protein, which manages diabetes, but it also assists with the cardiovascular diseases.
Therefore, a low carb diet is recommended over a low fat diet.
The more carbs that are consumed in a meal results in more sugar being absorbed into the bloodstream.
The increase of sugar in the bloodstream causes the blood sugar levels to rise.
People that have been suffering with diabetes type 2 have experimented with the low carb diet, they noticed a significant change in their health and weight.
These people have not only felt better but also felt more alert and did not require their medications as often as before.
Dietary Recommendations for Weight Loss
Before beginning with a low carb diet, bear in mind that all foods that contain carbohydrates are different.
Some fruits, whole grains and vegetables that contain carbohydrates also contain other beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber.
Therefore these foods should be included in your regular diet.
Carbs that should be avoided are:
- Sugary carbonated drinks and sweetened beverages
- Baked foods such as cakes, biscuits etc.
- Sweetened foods
- Starchy foods such as pastas and breads
These foods are high in calories and carbs, which then contributes to weight gain.
Carbs that you should include in your regular diet are:
- Whole grains
- Low fat dairy products
The recommended intake of carbs per day is 130 grams.
To keep the blood sugar levels balanced, it is recommended to consume foods that are high in fiber along with healthy fats.
Eating a variety of mixed meals will also assist in absorbing the carbohydrates in the bloodstream.
It is also recommended to increase your protein intake.
Foods that are rich in fiber assist with digestion and have no effect on the blood sugar levels.
Foods that are rich in fiber also provide you with energy.
Therefore, fiber rich foods should be included in your diet and they should be consumed daily.
Foods that are high in protein are:
- Lean red meats
- Fish- salmon and other fish that contain omega 3
- Foods that rich is soya such as tofu and beverages that contain soy
- Pistachio nuts
- Legumes- beans, peas, and lentils
Refined carbohydrates should also be avoided as these contribute to weight gain.
- Foods that are high in glucose
Your body requires only a minimal amount of glucose, which breaks down in the body and gives you energy.
All excess glucose within the body contributes to weight gain.
The extra glucose usually gets stored in your muscles and liver.
This then gets converted into fat.
Other Health Benefits of a Low Carb Diet
Low carbs diets are not only beneficial for losing weight fast and burning fat faster.
A low carb diet also assists with preventing as well as treating high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.
Low carb diets assist with these conditions not only because of the low carbohydrate count but also because of the replacements.
A low carb diet usually possesses healthier food choices such as unprocessed carbs and protein.
However, when choosing foods that are high in protein, avoid consuming too much of red meats as well as other meaty foods as this could potentially lead to the risk of some cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
A low carb diet is also beneficial for those who are struggling and suffering from obesity.
When a Low Carb Diet Can Be Detrimental to Your Health
Avoid cutting out carbohydrates from your regular diet all of a sudden and completely.
By cutting out carbohydrates completely and suddenly, it could lead to:
If you are suffering with any of these symptoms, consult your doctor immediately for further advice.
A complete reduction in carbohydrates can lead to gastrointestinal issues, weakening of the bones and a lack of vitamins and minerals.
A low carbohydrate count, lower than 20 grams per day can lead to Ketosis.
Ketosis is a condition when the body isn’t receiving a sufficient amount of glucose.
The symptoms of Ketosis are:
- Bad breath
- Extreme weakness and fatigue
- Mild to severe headaches
With a lack of glucose, your body cannot produce energy to keep you revived throughout the day.
If Low Carb Diet Showed Little or No Results
If you have been sticking to the low carb diet for a while and you haven’t lost any weight as yet, it could be because of these reasons:
1. Low carb snacks and treats – if you have been consuming a lot of low carb treats such as biscuits, sweets, breads and muffins. This could possibly be a cause of not shedding any fat.
2. Too much nuts – nuts are generally excellent for your health, but too much of nuts can lead to you not losing any weight. Try and limit your intake on nuts, instead of consuming them daily. Try and consume it only once or twice a week.
3. Fats – every diet requires healthy fats, however you should not overdo it. Fats such as coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil and coconut milk can also assist with weight loss. It is still recommended to limit these, cut down your portions. When you are using these oils, use them moderately.
4. Too much of fruit – it is understandable to substitute unhealthy junk foods with larger servings of fruit. However, some fruits can also contribute to weight gain instead of losing weight. Some fruits are also very rich sources of carbohydrates which leads to weight gain.
5. Overeating – watch your portions and servings. Your protein serving per meal should be the size of your palm. You should also cut out on starchy vegetables as this contributes to weight gain.
6. Slipping back into old habit’s – some people might have noticed a weight loss and then slipped back into their old eating habit’s. Maybe by drinking a fizzy sugary soda or by eating anything sweet. By doing this, it will not maintain your weight and you will slowly begin to gain more weight again.
7. Lack of sleep – insomnia and sleep deprivation results in weight gain, the reason for this is because the body slows down along with other hormones and it causes gaining more weight.
8. Stress – this is a common factor that contributes to weight gain, especially if you seek comfort in food. Severe stress results in cortisol being released. Cortisol then leads to weight gain.
9. You just started the low carb diet – it is understandable to expect results quickly and expect to notice a significant weight loss as soon as possible. However, it might take a little time for the low carb diet to produce results. Don’t give up too soon though, as each and every individual is different. It might have worked on some people faster, whilst with others it might need a little more time to produce results.
Carbs and Fruit
Some fruits are high in carbohydrates and these usually result in the insulin levels increasing in the bloodstream.
Insulin is produced by the pancreas, and it assists with controlling the blood sugar levels.
Too much insulin within the bloodstream can potentially increase the risk of certain cancers, chronic diseases and diabetes.
Therefore it is vital to monitor your fruit intake and avoid fruits that are high in carbohydrates as they increase the blood sugar levels.
With this, the pancreas then produces more insulin.
Fruits that are low in carbs and produce low insulin levels:
- Berries – blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries
These fruits are not likely to make the pancreas produce more insulin.
They are also very low in carbs. These are the perfect fruits that should be included in a low carb diet.
Fruits that are high in carbs and produce more insulin:
- Dried fruits
These fruits should be limited and eaten in small doses in order to keep the blood sugar levels balanced.
High Cortisol Levels and Weight Gain
High cortisol levels are caused by stress, which can lead to weight gain.
High cortisol levels also result in cravings for carbohydrates.
High cortisol levels also result in the stomach storing more fat.
The fat cells in the stomach are particularly more sensitive to high cortisol levels because of this, it results in significant weight gain.
If you would like to test your cortisol levels, consult your doctor.
A blood test can be performed in order to check how high the cortisol levels are.
To avoid an increase in the cortisol levels, avoid binge eating and try consuming these foods:
- Chamomile tea – this is very beneficial if you suffering with insomnia or you are deprived of sleep. It also helps you to remain calm and relaxed.
- Berries – particularly darker berries assist with lowering the cortisol levels.
- Olive oil – this reduces the cortisol levels and it assists with lowering the cholesterol levels too.
- Oats – oats release a hormone called serotonin, this is also known as the “feel good” hormone. With an increase in serotonin, it results in lowering the cortisol levels.
- Salmon – this is a must for every low carb diet not only because of its essential fatty benefits but it also successfully reduces the cortisol levels.
- Oysters – they are high in zinc, which effectively reduces high cortisol levels.
Carbs and Glycemic Index (GI)
It is vital to avoid carbohydrates with a high glycemic index as this causes the increasing of blood sugar levels.
Foods that have a high glycemic index also increase the risks of heart attacks and they are beneficial for lowering the cholesterol levels.
Foods with a low glycemic index are also extremely beneficial for weight loss.
These foods have a low glycemic index and they should be included in your regular diet.
- Cereal grains
- Skim milk