Can a low carb diet help you lose weight? If you are wondering whether a low carb diet can help you lose weight, here is a simple guide that will help you get started
What is a low carb diet?
A low carb diet is a type of diet that is comprised of limited amounts of carbohydrates found in starches, grains and some fruits and vegetables. Instead, on a low carb diet, you will mainly focus on eating foods high in protein and fats. Yes, fats are not bad for you after all, but only natural fats and it only works if you keep your sugar levels as low as possible.
So exactly how does a low carb diet help in weight loss?
Carbohydrates are largely responsible for the calorie count in your body and they can be classified into 2 categories; simple and complex. They are both further classified into simple refined and simply natural, simple complex and natural complex respectively.
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Simple complex carbohydrates are mostly found in white flour while natural complex carbs are mostly found in whole grains and beans. Simple refined carbohydrates are found in most refined sugars and beverages while simple natural carbohydrates are found in lactose products and fructose found in fruits.
It is important to note that on a low carb diet, you want to stick to the natural carbohydrates because they take longer to digest in your body. When you ingest complex carbohydrates found in starch, they are broken down into sugar which is then absorbed into the bloodstream and this results in high blood sugar levels.
High blood sugar triggers your body to produce insulin which aids the glucose to enter your body cells to provide energy. If any excess glucose is not utilized by the body, it is converted to fats. Natural carbohydrates, on the other hand, take much longer to be absorbed into the bloodstream hence they don’t have much effect on the blood sugar levels. And this is why a low carb diet helps in weight loss.
In essence, high amounts of carbohydrates may spike your blood sugar levels causing excess sugars to be converted to fats. A low carb diet, on the other hand, will have a negligible effect on the blood sugar levels and your body will utilize all the glucose, leading to weight loss.
What to include in a low carb diet
For an ideal low carb diet, here’s what you need to include in your plate
This includes but is not limited to legumes, eggs, meat (both poultry and red meat), fish and low starch vegetables and fruits.
Low carb diet of fruits and vegetables
most fruits and vegetables are off the hook on a low carb diet. So it would be completely fine to include fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, avocados, cantaloupes, berries, celery, lettuce, cucumber, broccoli, spinach and cauliflower among others
Low carb nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are high in fats which help fuel your body on a low carb diet. Include macadamia, walnuts almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds in your diet plan
What to avoid
Here are some of the foods you should avoid on a low carb diet
starches are high in complex carbohydrates and will make your body store excess sugar in the form of fats. They include bread, pasta, white rice, cereals, oatmeal and potatoes. Some whole grains such as barley and rye can also be high in starch
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refined sugar just like starches will spike your blood sugar leading to weight gain, obesity and other health complications. White flour, cakes, artificial sweeteners, sweetened beverages, processed foods such as ketchup among others belong in this category.
Some fruits and vegetables
Some fruits and vegetables contain too much sugar or carbohydrates and they include bananas, raisins and sultanas, mango, dates, corn, sweet potato and beetroot.
This simple guide will help to get started on a low carb diet. However, it is important to check with your doctor before you embark on a low carb diet or any kind of diet for that matter.
Although a low carb diet comes with many other health benefits besides weight loss, it can be a risk factor for people with diabetes and heart disease. This is why it is important to check with your doctor if a low carb diet is ideal for you.
Cheryl Aketch is a healthy living and beauty enthusiast as well as an aspiring blogger who loves to write informative pieces that inspire and educate people about living a healthy lifestyle. When she is not rummaging the internet in search of information on the latest health craze and freelance writing, she is a Procurement and Supplies practitioner at a Hospitality establishment. She also has a keen eye on fashion and art and loves watching Brad Mondo on YouTube.