Following a Low Carb Diet Doesn’t Mean You Need to Say Good-Bye

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Who doesn’t like carbs? There’s nothing like a nice, fresh slice of bread. Well, our thighs tend to disagree with this view. Over the years, carbohydrates have built a reputation for themselves in the dieting world. Carbs have been deemed the enemy, but this isn’t necessarily 100% accurate.

Low carb diets restrict the consumption of carbohydrates, generally for weight-loss. This is also seen in individuals who are suffering from diabetes (which is generally related to poor diet, for those that have type II).

What if I told you that you didn’t need to completely remove carbohydrates from your life? You can continue to lose weight, while still enjoying carbs. However, there’s a catch. You will need to rethink ‘carbs.’ I am not recommending white bread or pasta. Once you understand that the TYPE of carb is what’s essential, you’ll see that carbs are not your number one enemy.

The Low-Down on Carbohydrates

If you’re trying to lose weight, you’re probably staying away from pasta and bread. Although carbs should be limited, you need carbohydrates to provide your body with energy. When you do not consume enough carbohydrates, your energy levels and cognitive functioning begin to decline. You feel sluggish and lack concentration.

Eating pasta and bread

The key here is what type of carbohydrate you choose. Most carbohydrates that people indulge in are known as ‘refined carbs.’ This is your standard white bread, white rice, white pasta, cakes, and more. When you eat a lot of these items, you gain weight. You gain minimal nutrients and your blood sugar spikes.

This causes insulin to be released in order to combat your high blood sugar. Then, glucose (sugar) goes into your cells and out of your bloodstream. This is a normal process that is essential for your health. However, when you eat too many calories and too much sugar, your cells receive more glucose than they need. Whatever glucose isn’t used up, then accumulates as fat. This is where ‘complex carbs’ come into play.

Complex carbohydrates don’t create this blood sugar spike. These are whole grain items and starchy vegetables. They allow energy to be released more sustainably, which is not only healthier but better for weight-loss. These items have a more positive effect on insulin levels, but also provide your body with crucial vitamins and minerals.

The Dangers of a Low Carb Diet

If you are currently following a low carb diet, please be careful. As long as you include the right type and the right amount of carbs; you will not only lose weight but maintain your weight loss. If you eliminate carbs from your diet, your body reacts negatively.

If there’s a lack of glucose available, then your body starts looking for other sources of energy.[1] It will then begin using your protein sources, which are essential for building new tissue, cells, hormones, and more. You will also not burn fat effectively. Typically, energy is produced from a combination of carbs and fat. When there are no carbs available, this breakdown is incomplete.

If you stop eating carbs, you will notice a difference in the way you feel. You will lack energy, feeling more and more lethargic. This can lead to headaches, nausea, and fatigue. Weight-loss does not need to punish your body. You need to be responsible when trying to lose weight. Taking care of your body and health is so crucial.

A man at work feeling sluggish

Dieting should not leave you feeling exhausted and drained. A proper diet provides your body with everything it needs to function. If you’re consuming the right amount of carbs and other crucial foods, you will lose weight and feel great.

Tips to Help You Lose Weight While Eating a Low Carb Diet

Please remember, do not eliminate carbs from your diet. Just because you’re eating a low carb diet, does not mean that you are benefiting your health or your target weight. If someone isn’t eating carbs, this does not mean that they’re not consuming high fat, processed foods.

Make sure you eat reasonably sized portions of whole grain rice, whole grain bread, legumes, and sweet potatoes. You need these sources for energy and essential nutrients. Some other great options are oats, beans, lentils, potatoes, rye, polenta, and bananas. You need to learn how to balance your plate. No more than 25% of your intake should be carbs, as you should fill the other 75% with healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy.

The key to this diet is not solely focusing on carbs, but everything you’re consuming. You can not eliminate carbs, then eat burgers all week without the bun. This is not the solution to weight-loss or healthier life.

Make sure you’re incorporating more nuts, fish, fruits, and vegetables into your diet. You will be amazed at how easily you lose weight when you cut out ‘garbage’ food. There are so many items for sale that provide very little nutrients but are extremely high in calories, fat, and sugar. These are the foods you need to avoid.

Nuts and little fruits on the table

Closing Thoughts

So remember, you not only need to be conscious about overeating carbs but focus on the type of carb you’re consuming. If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to focus on all aspects of your lifestyle. Diet is number one, but it’s not the only factor.

Make sure you’re exercising three times a week. If you are exercising, this is even more reason to not fully eliminate carbs from your diet. You will need the energy in order to perform. Sleep is also another important factor.

Lack of sleep is directly related to hormones that tell you when you’re hungry and when you should stop eating. If you do not sleep properly, these hormones will be imbalanced. All aspects of your lifestyle are connected regarding weight-loss.

Next time you reach for a chocolate filled croissant, think about how that will affect your internal systems and your weight-loss goal. Start experimenting with healthy, nutrient-dense foods. You do not ever need to starve yourself in order to lose weight. It’s all about choosing the RIGHT food items and

Resources

[1] https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/basics/what-is-energy.html

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