6 Beginner Low-Carb Diet Tips (& Resources)
Everywhere you look, it seems like the low-carb craze is there. But while a keto diet may not be a miracle cure-all, there’s no denying that it does have some legitimate health benefits.
Anecdotally, it does make weight loss easier for some people, too - depends on your preferences.
While some evidence suggests there may be health benefits and calorie reduction associated with this type of meal plan, there are a couple of things to keep in mind before jumping on the bandwagon.
The Keto Diet Trend
There are several degrees of how far low-carb you can take your diet.
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb eating plan that involves drastically reducing your intake of carbs and replacing them with fats. This forces your body to change its metabolic processes into ketosis, a metabolic state in which it burns fat instead of carbs for energy.
So, most keto meals are high in protein, moderate in fat, and very low in carbs to match that pattern.
We’ve all heard the exciting claims about ketosis: easier weight loss, boosted energy and better mental clarity, to name a few. These do sound enticing, but it is important to read up on how to build your meal plans to get all essential nutrients in the long run.
Choose Your Fats Wisely
Processed foods are usually high in fat, sugar, and calories. They’re also low in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Eating too much of these foods can lead to several different types of health problems over the long run. Instead of reaching for packaged high-fat options, go for the less processed, healthier choices:
- Raw fruit is a better carb source than pastry
- Vegetables are needed for fiber and vitamins
- Nuts and seeds come with a more valuable kind of fat than butter or margarine
Eating a diet rich in whole foods can help you feel focused and stay healthy. It’s also important to read food labels and avoid foods that contain added sugar, sodium, or trans fats.
Do Not Quit Exercising Regularly
Here’s another thing - low-carb diets are really not a magic bullet. The most perfect fat to protein ratio in your meals will not replace vitamins, minerals and regular exercise that we all need.
Regular exercise is essential for anyone who cares about their physical and mental health. Sport helps burn calories, boosts metabolism, and builds muscle mass. Aim to exercise at least three times a week with activities such as running, swimming, cycling, or strength training.
If you’re not used to exercising, start off slowly by going for walks or taking outdoor trips with friends or a meetup group. It works much better if you find an activity that you enjoy so that it’s easier to stick with. This way, you’ll be more likely to see results.
And don’t forget to wear appropriate clothes and shoes, high-street sneakers look great but might not protect your joints quite enough.
Only Way To Lose Weight Is Reducing Your Calorie Intake
Not everyone who goes low-carb wants to lose weight, but if you do, let’s make one thing clear: The most important part of losing weight is not the type of diet, it is creating a caloric deficit.
There is no sorcery involved here. A caloric deficit means that you consume fewer calories than your body needs in order for it to burn fat and lose weight. To do this, you have two options: Either eat less calories or increase the amount of calories you burn by adding extra exercise.
There are many free apps and websites available that can help you track your calories - MyFitnessPal is a popular one although some say its calorie counts are not always accurate.
I am among those people who prefer to develop an intuitive style of eating. To do this, you track your meals diligently for a few months and then stop once you feel like you are settled in your new regime and it has firmly become a habit.
Drink More Water When Low-Carb
Water is essential for healthy skin and body as it helps flush out toxins, keeps your body hydrated, and helps curb hunger.
The rule of thumb tells us to drink at least eight glasses of water a day and try to avoid sweetened drinks such as soda and juice. You will certainly want to skip those on a low-carb diet as sweet drinks would take your carbs over the limit.
But you can still add flavor some to your water by using mint leaves or cucumber slices. Carbonated water is a popular treat as well. Or try herbal teas such as green tea, which has plenty of antioxidants.
Get Enough Sleep & Self-Care
Getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining good health and losing weight. Studies have shown that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to consume more calories during the day, which can lead to weight gain.
Aim to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night and try to keep a consistent bedtime and wake time. Avoid looking at screens before bed, as the blue light can disrupt your circadian rhythm and make it harder to fall asleep.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about possible solutions. They may suggest trying relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga. Exercise can also help you sleep better.
By following these tips and making a few lifestyle changes, you can lose weight and improve your overall health. Keep in mind that the key to successful weight loss is consistency. Make sure to stick with your diet and exercise routine for long-term results. With the right strategy, you can reach your weight loss goals and start feeling better.
Try to be patient, as lifestyle changes can take time before their effects show. Soon you’ll be feeling more energized and healthy.
Health and wellness is not magic - with a little dedication and effort, you can’t fail to get there.