Committing to a low-carb diet is a challenge, for sure. But it can also be very effective and yield the results you’ve always been looking for. Ready to take the dive into a protein-packed existence? Keep reading for tips on how to make this venture as easy and pain-free as possible!
1Get a copy of Atkins or Protein Power, or another low carb diet book of your choice and read it cover to cover.
2If you don’t wish to buy a book, at least make sure you research the diet thoroughly on the web. Keep in mind there is a lot of biased information both supporting and discouraging the diet, neither side is necessarily right. You need decide for yourself whether this diet is for you.
3Make time to go through your cupboards and refrigerator to start the get-rid-of-the-bad-stuff foods. What to beware of: foods containing sugar or any form of sugar, such as molasses or honey; foods containing white flour; and especially avoid hydrogenated fats, also known as trans fats – they are artificial fats that damage your health. The US Government urges everyone to consume as little trans fat as possible.
4Read each label carefully. If a box is unopened, such as a box of crackers, donate it to a local homeless shelter. If it’s been opened, offer it to a neighbor or just dump it in the trash.
5Shop on the outer edges of the supermarket. Meaning buy meat, low carb dairy products (cheese, butter, cream), green vegetables and low sugar fruits such as berries.
6Make a shopping list of foods to keep on hand for your new diet plan. Write down good-for-you protein sources such as water-packed tuna fish, turkey bacon, chicken breasts, and eggs. Don’t forget to include low-carb veggies, such as lettuce, mushrooms, and cucumbers.
7Get to the grocery store, list in hand, and follow it!
8When you arrive at home, put the low-carb foods in the front of your cupboards and shelves. Congratulations, you’re on your way!
9Focus on what you can have rather than what you can’t. For example, you can now have: Greek salads, lean meats, lean sausages, steaks, roast chicken, herbed pork chops, unsweetened berry snack in whipped cream (or with zero-calorie sweeteners), sugar free flavored gelatin with whipped cream.
10Enjoy hard cheeses (not much of the soft kinds), cheesecake made with Splenda and a chopped nut crust, nuts (almonds and walnuts are lowest in carbs), Caesar salad, omelets for breakfast, egg salad, “deviled” boiled eggs (spicy), some greens, raw veggies dipped in tzatziki or guacamole. Have French-style green beans not whole. Avoid most fruits except strawberries and some tomato. Vegetables are not unlimited. It is a healthy, luxurious way of eating.
- Drink lots of water. Doing this will help to decrease your sugar cravings, avoid binges and keep your kidneys working at their best.
- If you are planning on going on a long shopping trip or getting ready to work, take low-carb snacks with you. For example, take a hard-boiled egg and a sliced cucumber (or zucchini), sprinkled with herbs, or some cheese.
- Keep low-carb foods available at all times
- If you reduce your carb intake so much you would have to exclude a high number of vegetables and fruits from your diet, make sure you take a high-quality multivitamin every day or you will suffer from nutrient deficiency. Vitamin pills can never replace the nutrients in their whole form, but they are certainly better than nothing at all.
- Nuts are a great snack for on the go or when just hungry
- Research suggest excessive amounts of animal fat and animal protein might be damaging to ones health. If this is a concern of yours, stock up on tofu, soy milk, nuts and meat substitutes, while trying to keep your meat and dairy intake to a minimum. It is a myth that a vegetarian diet cannot be low carb.
- Meat, eggs and dairy do not contain dietary fiber, so make sure you count on other sources for your 35 grams. Psyllium husk powder is an excellent fiber supplement; mix a couple tbsp in a glass of water or a protein shake.
- There is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate, anyone claiming this needs to go back to Biology 101. The body can synthesize all the necessary glucose for function via a process call gluconeogenesis. This is the body’s preferred fuel actually. The only difference between “good” carbs, and “bad” carbs is more fibre and a few nutrients you could obtain from a nice healthful salad. Veggies are good, but not because they have carbs…because they have nutrients. Commercial fruit is bred to be unnaturally sweet.
- Don’t eat the commercial low carb cakes, low carb bars, shakes and processed products often and not at all if you are trying to lose weight. They are more for emergencies, not everyday eating since they lower carbs by luffing it up with air or by reducing portion size. You want to have food as unprocessed as possible.
- Before you start on any new diet, check with your doctor or health care provider and discuss any health concerns you should beware of. Be aware many doctors are now supportive of the low carb lifestyle and realize it a healthy diet for most. However, some are dead set against it. Generally, those with kidney disease are advised against this diet. Testing yourself before you start and 3 months after will give you proof of whether this diet is right for you.
- If you decide to stick with this diet, get your blood tested to make sure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs. It’s always better to be on the safe side.
- Some research suggest low carb/high protein diets might not be the best health choice in the long run. However, a low carb diet has also now been shown to improve things like diabetes, hypoglycemia, acne, IBS and certain thyroid problems. Do some unbiased research on these issues for more information.
- Ketones are produce when fat in the body are used as main energy during Low Carb Diet. This may cause side effects such as smelling breath, nausea, fatigue and loss of appetite. Source: Low Carb Recipes