Easy Methods: How To Start A Low Carbohydrate diet?

Easy Methods: How To Start A Low Carbohydrate diet?
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How To Start A Low Carbohydrate diet?

For those of you who want to lose weight, a low carb diet is a very useful method! But sorry to say, following such a diet can be very exhausting for some people, especially because they have to drastically change their daily eating habits. Do you want to follow this diet, not knowing where to start? If so, before you go on a diet, first swap simple carbohydrates and refined sugar with complex carbohydrates to smooth the progress of the transition process. You can also feel full when making smart food choices. If you plan to go on a low-carb diet for a long time, try choosing a particular diet and consult a health professional.

Read Also: 50 Foods That Are Super Healthy




Here are the ways to reduce consumptions of carbohydrates

Avoid refined sugars and simple carbohydrates

 A good start for following a low carbohydrate diet is to bound the consumption of unhealthy carbohydrates. Of course, you can do it step by step! For example, start by consuming water and sugar-free beverages rather than sugary and carbonated drinks. Here are some examples of sources of refined sugar and simple carbohydrates [1].

Foods to avoid:

sweets,
cookies, cakes, and other sweet pastries, sugary
drinks such as soft drinks,
white bread,
pasta,
white rice,
potatoes.

Consume whole grains during the transition

 Before you fully embrace a low carbohydrate diet, you may need to substitute carbohydrates with healthier carbohydrate sources such as whole grains. Start step by step by replacing 1 serving of carbohydrates that you normally eat with 1 serving of whole grains every day or every week. After 1 or 2 weeks, your carbohydrate intake will decrease, as your body will become familiar with receiving more complex carbohydrates instead of simple carbohydrates. As a result, you will feel fuller longer! Here are some examples of complex carbohydrates you might eat [2].

Whole grains to eat:

pasta and whole wheat bread,
brown rice,
Irish oatmeal,
high fiber and low sugar cereals.



Opt for sweet potatoes or similar tubers

 White potatoes are another main source of carbohydrates, so it will be supportive to replace them when you try to take a low carbohydrate diet. For example, you can use sweet potatoes or similar tubers in different recipes that require white potatoes. Here are some options to try [3] :

  • Yams or sweet potatoes cooked in the oven,
  • roasted carrots, beets, or kohlrabi,
  • turnip or rutabaga puree,
  • fries of celery root or daikon radish [4].

Try other simple options to reduce carbohydrate intake

 Once you are prepared to go on a low carbohydrate diet, you will require to make simple changes to your diet by replacing carbs with healthier options. [5]

You can try these simple options:

Replace the single rice with cauliflower: If you have a food processor or grating machine, try shredding a cauliflower head into small pieces, the size of grains of rice. Cook in the microwave for 4 to 5 minutes, then add them to your dishes as a replacement for rice.

Replace pasta with zucchini noodles or pumpkin noodles: Cut zucchini into thin strips to form noodles with a mandolin or a vegetable peeler. Or, cook a spaghetti squash after removing the seeds and scraping the flesh with a fork. Add your favorite tomato sauce and enjoy!

Take nuts or raw vegetables instead of potato chips: Sometimes you will only need a crunchy snack. Instead of taking a packet of chips (source of empty carbohydrates), take a handful of salted nuts or a few sticks of fresh carrots or celery.

Replace candies with berries: The berries are rich in nutrients, low in carbohydrates and have a taste as sweet as sweets! Try to take a handful of strawberries, raspberries or blueberries to satisfy your cravings for sugar




Now in this section, we will talk about the foods that can provide you more lasting satiety

Make protein the priority of your meals

 If you choose lean protein on a low carbohydrate diet, it may help reduce your chances of raising cholesterol levels. Here are some examples of low-fat proteins that you could try [6] :

  • skinless chicken meat,
  • ground turkey meat,
  • lean ground beef,
  • canned tuna in water,
  • egg whites,
  • low-fat cottage cheese,

Read Also: 10 Most Protein-Rich Vegetables

Eat a lot of vegetables without starchy foods

 You do not need to limit your consumption of non-starchy vegetables when you follow a low carbohydrate diet. Do not worry, these types of vegetables are satiating! Here are some examples of non-starchy vegetables [7] :

Fill your refrigerator and pantry with healthy snacks

 Whenever you are hungry, do not hesitate to nibble some low carb snacks [8]. Here are some options:

  • celery, broccoli, peppers, and other fresh vegetables cut into pieces,
  • boiled eggs,
  • dried beef,
  • almond seeds,
  • ordinary Greek yogurt.



Drink water and other unsweetened drinks

If you follow this type of diet and stay hydrated, it will help you feel full and reduce the risk of negative side effects, such as dehydration. Avoid drinking soft drinks and other beverages containing artificial sweeteners because they can increase your cravings for sugar [9]. Instead, stick to water and other unsweetened drinks. Here are some good low carb drinks:

  • unsweetened tea (hot or iced),
  • coffee (normal or low caffeine),
  • sparkling water with slices of lemon or lime.

In this section, we will talk about how you can choose an easy to follow long term plan

Try the Atkins diet 

 If you want to try a low carbohydrate diet that has been proven for some time, then the Atkins diet is a great choice. With this diet, it would be possible to lose about 7 kg in the first two weeks. Therefore, it is the ideal choice if your goal is to quickly lose a lot of pounds [10]

 Try to follow the Atkins diet

The first 2 weeks: reduce the carbohydrate intake by 20 grams per day. You must also eliminate from your diet simple and refined sugars, as well as fruits, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, broccoli, whole grains, and nuts. Over time, you can reintroduce them into your diet in small portions and gradually.

Eat protein with each meal: Make this diet more interesting by trying new sources of protein every two or three nights. For example, do not hesitate to use chicken, fish, turkey and even tofu to create healthy and tasty meals.

Follow this diet if you have health problems: The Atkins diet can be beneficial for people with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high blood pressure, or cardiovascular disease. In some cases, it can improve the patient’s health or even cure him completely.



Adopt the South Beach diet

 This diet has been developed by a cardiologist and aims to lose weight while developing healthier eating habits. Also, this diet does not limit carbohydrate consumption with the same rigor as other diets, which means you can easily follow it in the long run [11].

 Steps for the South Beach Diet

Step One: Avoid all types of carbohydrates.

Second step: consume 1 or 2 healthy carbohydrate servings a day.

Step Three: Eat All Kinds of Carbohydrates in a Reasonable Portion

Benefits: This diet helps you choose low glycemic carbohydrate sources, which helps stabilize blood sugar and control hunger. It will also encourage you to eat moderate amounts of monounsaturated fat (which is healthier for the heart), lean protein, vegetables, and fruits.



Try the ketogenic diet

If you still want to eat high-fat satiating foods, opt for this diet. Indeed, it is characterized by the consumption of 75% of lipids, 20% of proteins and 5% of carbohydrates. Thus, your body will be forced to turn fat into energy, which will help you lose weight faster.

Read Also: What Is Keto Diet? A Detailed Beginner’s Guide To Keto

  • This diet has been beneficial for people with epilepsy. Also, it is thought to be effective in preventing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, traumatic brain injury and stroke [12].
  • Some people experience negative side effects during the transition to a low carbohydrate diet, such as mental fog, fatigue, and mood swings.

Read Also: List Of Foods Allowed On Keto Diet

Read Also: 10 Keto-Friendly, Low Carb Drinks You Can Order At Starbucks

Follow the Dukan diet

 It’s one of the most structured low carb diets that some people find useful. During the first 10 days, you should only consume low-fat protein, oat bran, and water. After this period, you can start eating non-starchy vegetables, a portion of whole grains, a portion of fruit and hard cheese. You can lose 4.5 kg or more in the first two weeks, then about 1 to 2 kg afterward [13].

  • Remember that you run the risk of nutritional deficiencies if you follow a diet with too many restrictions.



Opt for the paleo diet

 With this diet, you can not eat potatoes, dairy products, whole grains or processed foods. However, you can eat as much meat, vegetables, fruits, tubers and nuts as possible. The paleo diet approach (which involves eating whole foods) is very healthy to apply. Also, you can eat a lot to be satisfied [14].

  • The Paleo diet aims to overcome various health problems that affect our modern society (such as obesity) by limiting the consumption of dairy products and grains.

How you can stay healthy and motivated? Let’s discuss this

Consult your doctor before starting any diet

Before starting dieting, be sure to always consult a doctor! This is especially important if you have a history of medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. After checking your health, the doctor will know if this type of diet is safe for you. Also, he may recommend the low-carbohydrate diet that best suits you [15].

  • If you have diabetes, it can be dangerous for you to eliminate carbohydrates from your diet. Instead, the doctor will advise you to opt for healthy sources such as whole grains and fruits.
  • If you have high cholesterol, eating foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol can make things worse. Most likely, your doctor will advise you to consume more lean protein, such as skinless poultry, low-fat cottage cheese, and egg white.



Download an app to track your carbohydrate intake

 If you want to reduce your carbohydrate intake and balance macronutrient levels in the body, try downloading a special application to make it easier. Download one that you can use on your phone or tablet. Record all your meals in the app every day to keep track of your intake of carbohydrates and other macronutrients (such as fats and proteins). You can also use such an app to plan meals, make shopping lists and save recipes [16].

  • MyFitnessPalis a nutritional tracking app that is very popular and available for free.
  • If you prefer to manually track carbohydrate consumption, try to buy a notebook and write down everything you eat each day. Check the food labels of the products you buy to know their nutritional value. To know the nutritional references in proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and fibers, you can consult a guide of nutrition or do research online.

Cook your meals for next week

 If you plan your meals for a full week and devote a few hours a day to prepare, this can make it much easier for you [17]. Choose a day where you have a few hours of free time to find low-fat recipes and suggestions. Take advantage of this time to prepare some or all of your meals for the whole week



Here are some tips to follow

Prepare the ingredients

 Chop the vegetables you will need for cooking throughout the week. Measure and portion them. Store them in small containers or plastic bags.

Prepare the proteins earlier

For example, you can boil eggs, roast chicken, baked salmon, etc.

Portion your meals

Measure them and divide them into appropriate portions. Keep them in plastic containers that you can easily take with you. You can try a 35g serving of skinless roast chicken with 1 cup (90g) steamed broccoli and 1 cup (150g) cooked zucchini.

Get in touch with others who follow the same plan

 To stay motivated, join a group of people who are also on a low carbohydrate diet. They can give you advice on how to start or stay on your diet [18]. Search the Internet for such groups. Become an active member!

  • Introduce yourself and let people know that you have just started a low carbohydrate diet.
  • Ask other group members for help whenever you encounter difficulties. For example, if you have cravings for sugars, ask them what they did to overcome them.

Tips

Always have breakfast and avoid skipping other meals during the day.

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About the Author: Usman Babar

A businessman by profession. blogger by luck. Love to write about Health and Fitness.

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