So, you’ve finally decided to change the way you eat and have committed yourself to a low-carbohydrate diet to help you achieve your desired weight loss results.
Of course it’s natural to wonder if your efforts will pay off or not! Remember: whatever you do, do it with focus and dedication. That way rewards will be certain. So stick to the promises you make to your fitness!
You might have a few questions in your mind – what’s a low-carb diet, what to include and what not in this diet, how it can benefit you in your weight loss journey and so on? Don’t worry, all your questions will be answered in this article… Just sit back, relax, and read on!
What’s A Low-carb Diet?
Here is a clear-cut answer to this question! A low-carb diet involves reducing the overall intake of carbohydrates and emphasizing on foods that are high in protein and fats (1). There are many types of low-carb diets and each diet has varying amounts of total daily carbohydrate load (2).
According to a study published in StatPearls, the ideal low-carbohydrate diet has the following traits (2):
- 20-50 gm per day intake of carbohydrates is considered as a very low carbohydrate diet (<10% carbohydrate).
- Less than 130 gm per day intake of carbohydrates is considered as a low carbohydrate diet (<26% carbohydrate).
So, if you intend to start a low carbohydrate diet, try to make your diet plan in such a way that total carbohydrate intake does not exceed 130 gm per day. Read on to know some ideas for you to make meal-planning easier…
Foods To Eat In A Low-carb Diet (3)-
- Non-starchy vegetables can be the best choice if you are looking for foods low in carbohydrates and calories. You may include vegetables such as red leaf lettuce, kale, cucumbers, cabbage, mushrooms, celery, and asparagus. Just a one cup serving of these raw vegetables is known to have fewer than 5 grams of carbs and approximately 20 calories only.
- A cup of low carb fruits such as peaches, apples, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, and apricots are good to add to your low-carb diet.
- Meat and seafood typically have few carbohydrates, but they may provide high calories. Having said that, some foods have less than 100 calories and 1 gram of carbs per serving. These are tuna, chicken breast, ham with the fat removed, shrimp, pike, monkfish, crayfish, and cod, etc.
- There are also some options among nuts and seeds that contain less than 8 grams of carbs per ounce of serving. They include walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios and a tablespoon of sunflower seeds, etc.
- Egg is a good option to include in your low-carb diet. A single serving of egg may provide fewer than 100 calories and 1 gram of carbohydrates.
- Among dairy products, one cup of skim milk and plain fat-free Greek yogurt may also be included in your low-carb diet.
Foods To Avoid In A Low-carb Diet (4)-
Avoid or limit the consumption of the following foods as they don’t belong on a low carbohydrate shopping list:
- Candy, cookies, cake, frozen treats, soft drinks and most other desserts
- Fruits such as bananas and grapes
- Vegetables that grow beneath the ground such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and other root vegetables
- Baked foods and other wheat products are a big NO!
- Peas, beans, lentils and corn
- Sweet mixed drinks such as rum and coke
Choose or limit your food wisely and watch over your carbohydrate intake! Perhaps, you may notice the change in your body weight sooner than later!
But why should you opt for a low-carb diet when you want to lose weight? Here’s answering this very valid question…
Low-carb Diet For Weight Loss
You might already be aware that restricting the number of consumed calories and increasing physical activity levels may help you lose weight. Reducing your daily calories by 500-750 calories may help you shed 1-1.5 pounds a week. To reduce your calorie intake, low-carb diet may serve as a good option. (1)
But, is low-carb diet really helpful in weight loss? Stating simply, ‘YES!’ A research study published in StatPearls has shown that a low-carb diet induces a rapid induction in weight loss (2). Moreover, when compared to other dietary approaches, a low-carb diet is found to be superior in producing rapid weight loss (5).
A low-carb approach is not only beneficial for weight loss, but also proven to be helpful in managing glycemic control in type-1 and type-2 diabetes too (6). Also, this diet has been found to be effective in improving cardiovascular (heart conditions) risk factors (7). So, those searching for a diet that can help manage their blood sugar levels and healthy heart functions may also try this diet.
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Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements and/or product(s) described in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease, illness or health condition. It is advisable to consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet or dietary supplement program.
- “Low-carb diet: Can it help you lose weight?” https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/low-carb-diet/art-20045831
- Oh R, Uppaluri KR. “Low Carbohydrate Diet”. StatPearls Publishing. 2019.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537084/
- JESSICA BRUSO. “List of Low-Carb & Low-Calorie Foods”. https://www.livestrong.com/article/347693-list-of-low-carb-low-calorie-foods/
- JODI THORNTON-O’CONNELL. “The “Do Not Eat” List for Low-Carb Diets”. https://www.livestrong.com/article/427877-the-do-not-eat-list-for-low-carb-diets/
- Bueno NB1, de Melo IS, de Oliveira SL, da Rocha Ataide T. “Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials”. British Journal of Nutrition. 2013 Oct; 110:7(2013):1178-87. doi: 10.1017/S0007114513000548.
- Feinman RD1, Pogozelski WK2, Astrup A3, Bernstein RK4, Fine EJ5, Westman EC6, Accurso A7, Frassetto L8, Gower BA9, McFarlane SI10, Nielsen JV11, Krarup T12, Saslow L13, Roth KS14, Vernon MC15, Volek JS16, Wilshire GB17, Dahlqvist A18, Sundberg R19, Childers A20, Morrison K21, Manninen AH22, Dashti HM23, Wood RJ24, Wortman J25, Worm N26. “Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: critical review and evidence base”. Nutrition. 31:1(2015):1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.06.011.
- Hu, T, and L A Bazzano. “The low-carbohydrate diet and cardiovascular risk factors: evidence from epidemiologic studies.” Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases. 24:4 (2014): 337-43. doi:10.1016/j.numecd.2013.12.008