Many popular guidebooks have encompassed a low carbohydrate diet. Examples of these include Atkins, Carbohydrate Addicts Diet, Protein Power, South Beach, Sugar Busters and Zone. All of the specific diets will advise on limiting the consumption of foods that are high in carbohydrates. Whereas some diets will lead you to limit the overall amount of carbohydrates you consume, others will mainly focus on cutting down foods that are high in starch and sugar.
A popular method of the low carbohydrate diet is to eliminate white foods from mealtimes. This will include cutting out potatoes, sugars, white rice and white flour. However a low carbohydrate diet is often confused with the extremely low carb intake phases of many of these popular diets. An example would be the induction phase of the Atkins diet which requires you to completely cut carbs from your diet for a specific period of time. It is recommended that a healthy and balanced diet should include 50 to 65% of calories from carbohydrates. A low carbohydrate diet will typically be when 40% or lower of your calories come from carbohydrates.
If you are thinking of going on a low carb diet, it is important that you think ahead and plan it out properly:
Firstly it is important to read about the various low carbohydrate diets and then specifically focus on one. Perhaps an easy way of going about this would be to read one of the above-mentioned books and become familiar with the techniques and principles discussed. It is vitally important that you do not fall for any of the myths about eating a low carb diet. These can include that you should not eat any fruit or vegetables, or that your diet has to be boring and also that your diet has to be unhealthy. A low carbohydrate diet can be extremely healthy, as long as it is approached in the correct manner.
Start off by making small changes while you are learning about low carbohydrate eating and diets. It is far easier to start off by choosing one or two different things you can change, as these will eventually become habit. Many people who are looking to lose weight will start off by simply cutting bread out of their diet, and they will typically notice some amazing results within a relatively short space of time.
You next need to decide on a specific approach, as there is no one low carbohydrate diet that suits all. The majority of popular low carbohydrate plans will involve cutting out most sugars and starches. Once again, the “no white diet” can work out extremely well as a starting point. This will basically mean that you should stop eating white flour, so foods such as bread, pasta, cakes and doughnuts. You should also look to stop eating sugars, white rice and potatoes and some of these diets even include milk. You can then focus on other white foods that are low in carbohydrates and that are actually good for you. These include cauliflower, onions and tofu.
You now need to focus on what you can eat, rather than what you cannot. The majority of meats and related protein foods are more than acceptable. However you should look to avoid breaded meats such as meatloaf or meats that are served with a sauce high in carbohydrates. The majority of hams and luncheon meats will also have added sugars and should be avoided. Processed meats such as hot dogs and bacon will once again have a high level of carbohydrates. The fruits that you should be eating are the ones that are lowest in sugar levels and these include small amounts of lemon or lime, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries and rhubarb. As for vegetables you should focus on the one’s that are non-starchy and generally low in carbohydrates. These can include sprouts, greens such as lettuces and spinach, herbs, celery, radishes, cabbage and mushrooms.
If you decide to start a low carbohydrate diet it is extremely important that you are least plan out a full week’s worth of menus and snacks. There is nothing worse than getting a few days into a diet and suddenly realizing you have no idea what you should be eating or snacking on next. This can often lead to temptation and eventually you may be forced to throw it all away. The best way to ensure that you stick your low carbohydrate diet is to remove all obstacles, and temptation, from your path. A fantastic way to achieve this is to educate yourself as much as possible about carbs and then plan at least one week’s worth of meals and snacks in advance. Following a low carbohydrate diet may initially appear easy however it does require you to make a commitment and you should be wary of the difficulties that you are likely to face.