Think of it like a scale of what’s best and what’s not. At one end you have fried, processed carbs, cakes, sweets, ice cream. At the other end, very little carbs, whole foods, and no packaged goods.
Don’t think it is impossible. Just do the best you can and each step is a step closer. Every step you can take to reduce your carbohydrate consumption is fantastic.
At one end you have fried, processed carbs, cakes, sweets, ice cream. At the other end, very little carbs, whole foods, and no packaged goods. Don’t think it is impossible.
Just do the best you can and each step is a step closer. Every step you can take to reduce your carbohydrate consumption is fantastic. If you eat 3 meals a day and maybe 3 snacks, that equates to 42 opportunities (or food choices) to improve.
How about you start by just changing your snacks to begin with. Already you have improved 21 of your food choices each week. You’re halfway there.
Once you are comfortable with this, now improve your breakfast. Now you have improved 28 out of 42. Next your dinner, and then your lunch. This is sometimes the hardest as so many eat out at lunch.
Each meal you have which is a good choice, is one less bad meal. Ditch the processed carbs!
As the name says, a low-carb diet restricts the type and amount of carbohydrates you eat. Carbohydrates are a type of calorie-providing macronutrient found in many foods and beverages.
Many carbohydrates occur naturally in plant-based foods, such as grains. In natural form, carbohydrates can be thought of as complex and fibrous such as the carbohydrates found in whole grains and legumes, or they can be less complex such as those found in milk and fruit. Common sources of naturally occurring carbohydrates include:
- Legumes (beans, lentils, peas)
Food manufacturers also add refined carbohydrates to processed foods in the form of flour or sugar. These are generally known as simple carbohydrates. Examples of foods that contain simple carbohydrates are white breads and pasta, cookies, cake, candy, and sugar-sweetened sodas and drinks.
Foods to eat
Meat: Any type: Beef, pork, lamb, game, poultry, etc. Feel free to eat the fat on the meat as well as the skin on the chicken. If possible try to choose organic or grass-fed meats.
Fish and seafood: All kinds: Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines or herring are great. Avoid breading.
Eggs: All kinds: Boiled, fried, scrambled, omelets, etc. Preferably organic eggs.
Natural fat, high-fat sauces: Using butter and cream for cooking can make your food taste better and make you feel more satisfied. Try a Béarnaise or Hollandaise sauce, check the ingredients or make it yourself. Coconut fat or olive oil are also good options.
Vegetables that grow above ground: Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, kale, collards, bok choy, spinach, asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, olives, spinach, mushrooms, cucumber, lettuce, avocado, onions, peppers, tomatoes etc.
Dairy products: Always select full-fat options like real butter, cream (40% fat), sour cream, Greek/Turkish yogurt and high-fat cheeses. Be careful with regular milk, reduced fat and skim milk as they contain a lot of milk sugar. Avoid flavored, sugary and low-fat products.
Nuts: Great for a treat (in moderation) instead of popcorn, candy or chips.
Berries: Okay in moderation, if you are not super strict or sensitive. Great with whipped cream.
Benefits of a low carb diet
There are so many reasons to adopt a diet that is higher in protein and low in carbohydrates.
Protein is great for muscle building and repair, while it also provides lasting energy for the body. Atkins allows you to burn fat for energy instead of carbs, but protein will prevent any muscle loss and help to keep your metabolic rate ticking over. Put these two factors together and you’re well on your way to achieving your weight loss goals.
The combination can benefit everyone, but is particularly useful as part of a diet where the goal is long term weight control or weight loss.
Q: Can I really cut out carbs completely and still exercise at a high level, as some proponents of low-carb and paleo diets suggest?
A: Yes, you could cut out carbs and rely on fats alone for fuel—and it is completely safe. Certain nutrients in your diet are absolutely essential, including a couple different fats, a handful of amino acids, and lots of vitamins and minerals. No sugars or carbohydrates make the “must-eat” list.