Changing your diet and losing weight can be a tricky process that requires some significant changes and patience. It is easy for dietitians and experts to tell us to eat a better diet and exercise more, but there are so many different ideas on what a healthy diet for weight loss really is that we end up confusing ourselves with latest tricks and fads and arguing over the best advice to take.
I am not switching diets for weight loss per say, although I could stand to lose a few pounds, I feel better when I eat this way. Rather than look at the new quick fix solutions, try something that has a deeper long-term impact – which for me is low carb eating.
Instead of torturing yourself by limiting calories and focusing on the amount of fat that is digested, you can actually deal with the way that the body stores fat for a more significant long term result.
Why Are Carbohydrates So Problematic?
We tend to think that to avoid a high-sugar diet, we need to get rid of all the obviously sugary food from our diets – get rid of all of those sweets, chocolates, pastries and other treats and desserts and we will be able to enjoy the sugar-free diet we need for weight loss. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Carbohydrates are full of starches and sugars and the more we eat, the more fat is stored in our bodies.
Once the sugar is absorbed into the blood, the blood glucose level rises, promoting the production of insulin. It is this insulin that is responsible for the build-up of fat. The solution for anyone struggling to lose weight is simple – cut down on both sugary food and high-carb food. By dealing with both, you can start to make a significant change.
What Foods Do You Need To Avoid When Trying Out A Low-Carb Diet?
It is all about the big three with a low carb diet: pasta, bread and potatoes. With big changes to the amount you eat of these three dangerous culprits, you should be able to make a big difference.
If you are just starting out on a low-carb diet and just want to make a reduction then it could be enough to just start with these three as they can make up such a massive part of a diet. This means no more sides of fries with a meal and foregoing sandwiches by simply enjoying the meat and salad. If you want to go even further, you can cut out beans, lentils and root vegetables and these can also be high in starch.
It also helps to cut down on your sugar from other sources and this can mean a re-think about some of the low-fat options that are out there. Some brands add extra sugar to make products such as low-fat yoghurt taste nicer.
Fruit also requires a second look here because it is also so high in natural sugars. Some fruits are fine in moderation but it could be worth substituting for berries on occasions. Alcohol and chocolate can be eaten occasionally, but try and choose dark chocolate for the cocoa content and to avoid carb-heavy beer.
A low carb eating can sound like a big ask with some big sacrifices, but there are substitutions that can be made.
The problem with this approach, the one that stops many of us from seeing this diet through, is that carbohydrate-rich foods are such a filling and staple part of our diets. Without them, it is too easy to not only end up with sugar cravings but to feel hungry too. The answer to this problem is in substitutions.
It may sound strange to suggest that you can lose more weight by focusing on high-fat food as you cut down on carbs, but this can satiate the hunger. Natural fats are not bad for us in the right amount and we can get what we need from the meat we eat as well as oily fish.
Chicken skin is a delicious source of natural fat that shouldn’t be discarded and it may be worth getting rid of low-cal margarine in favor of ordinary butter. Eggs are another great source of energy and protein that can be added to a low-carb diet, as are mushrooms, leafy vegetables and those that grow above ground, such as tomatoes and peppers.
As long as you eat your recommended daily calorie allowance without eating a high-carb diet, you can enjoy your food without having to make too many sacrifices and you will not go hungry. It can be tough to cut down on carbohydrates and sugars, especially if your favorite dishes include pasta, or you eat a lot of bread and you have a sweet tooth, but it can be done with the right substitutions and willpower!
I am not perfect and from time to time I like to have fun and grab a margarita and eat dinner out. Just remember you are only one meal (or drink) away from being back on track.