Archive for the ‘Low Carb Dieting’ Category

Low-Carb Diet, Should I or Shouldn’t I?

Friday, January 20th, 2017

woman-holding-saladIt’s no wonder that confusion reigns when it comes to the worth and reliability of low-carb diets after all the conflicting studies and confusing interpretation of the information. It seems like debates are popping up everywhere!

No matter if it’s Atkins, South Beach or some other low-carb plan, there are approximately 30 million Americans are on a low-carb diet.

Supporters contend that the large amount of carbohydrates in our diet has led to increased problems with obesity, diabetes, and other health situations. On the other hand, some attribute obesity and related health problems to over eating of calories and lack of physical activity. They also express concern that without grains, fruits, and vegetables in low-carbohydrate diets may lead to deficiencies of some key nutrients, including vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, and many minerals.

It is already known that any diet, whether high or low in carbohydrates, can produce meaningful weight loss during the early stages of the diet. Keep in mind, the key to a diet being successful is in being able to lose the weight on a permanent basis.

Let’s see if we can expose some of the mystery about low-carb diets. Following, is a listing of some related points taken from recent studies and scientific literature.

Point 1 – Some Differences Between Low-Carb Diets

FoodGreenThere are many famous diets created to lower carbohydrate consumption. Lowering total carbohydrates in the diet means that protein and fat will take up a proportionately greater amount of the total caloric intake.

Low carbohydrate diet like the Atkins Diet restrict carbohydrate to a point where the body becomes ketogenic (a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that includes normal amounts of protein). Other low-carb diets like the Zone and Life Without Bread are less confined. Some, like Sugar Busters announce only
to eliminate sugars and foods that elevate blood sugar levels excessively.

Point 2 – What We Know about Low-Carb Diets

low-carb-diet (1)+Close to all of the studies to date have been small with a diversity of research objectives.
Carbohydrate, caloric intake, diet duration and participant characteristics are wide-ranged greatly. Most of the studies to date have two things in common, none of the research studies had people in the study with a average age over 53 and none of the controlled studies lasted more than 90 days.

+The results on older adults and long-term results are scarce. Many diet studies fail to keep track of the amount of exercise, and therefore caloric use, while people in the study are dieting. This helps to explain the variances between studies.

+If you lose weight on a low-carb diet it is a function of the calorie intake and length of the diet, and not with reduced amount of carbohydrates.

+There is very little evidence on the long-range safety of low-carb diets. Even though the medical community has concerns, no short-term bad effects have been found with cholesterol, glucose, insulin and blood-pressure levels among the people in the study on the diets. Because of the short period of the studies the adverse effects may not show up. Losing weight typically leads to improvement in these levels, and this may offset an increase caused by a high fat diet. The over-all weight changes for low-carb and other types of diets are similar.

+Most low-carb diets can cause ketosis. Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and confusion are some of the potential consequences. When first starting a low-carb diet some fatigue and constipation may be met and these symptoms usually disappear quickly.

+Some report that you can have more calories when on a low-carb diet. Remember a calorie is a calorie no matter what you intake. When the study is not closely supervised variations will result by people cheating in the study on many factors of the study.

There are three important factors I would like to re-emphasize:

1.- The over-all success rate for low-carb and other types of diets are similar.

2.- Small amount of information exists on the long-term efficacy and safety of low-carb diets despite their huge popularity,

3.- Dieters usually experience boredom with a strict version of the low-carb diet and are not able to stay on diets of low carb food.

After observing the subject, a more severe and controlled study are needed on a long-range basis. The ketosis produced is abnormal and stressful metabolic state. The results may cause more problems than it solved.

By picking a reliable diet you will benefit over a lifetime of proper eating and not a weight loss quickie.
An excellent rule of thumb is look at the diet long-range and see if you can see yourself still on that diet after a couple of weeks. However, by following a diet with fat, carbohydrates, protein and other nutrients in moderation may be the best way to go and a little more exercise won’t hurt either.

Low Carb Diet Plan – When More Is Better

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

 

LCHF-mat2-ffffff-butter-lower-1600x501When most people want to lose weight the first thing they usually do is start a diet. And a diet to most people means “stop eating”.

Wrong!

A healthy diet should consist of eating less of the foods that contain calories from simple carbohydrates (sugar and processed flour) and more whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and good sources of protein. This is the basis of a good low carb diet plan.

As a matter of fact, a good diet should have you eating more instead of less! Not more food, but more often.

The body’s a wonderful mechanism. It’s geared towards one important goal. Survival. When your body feels threatened by the lack of food it automatically assumes that you’re starving.

To combat this condition the body will start breaking down muscle to use as energy and saves its fat stores for the last ditch effort to save itself from what it thinks is immanent death.

This is bad on two fronts.

Diet

First, by using muscle tissue for energy you’re losing precious lean mass which is metabolically active. This means that you need energy to support muscle which helps to keep your metabolism running at a higher pace. Higher metabolism means more calories burned even in a resting state.

Fat, on the other hand, doesn’t need any energy to support it. It’s simply “dead” weight.

Secondly, the body will start storing more fat because it’s preparing itself for the worst. Your survival is your body’s most important concern so it’ll do whatever it can to stay alive.

So what can you do if you want to eat less without starving yourself and sending your body into this defense mode?

Eat smaller meals more often throughout the day.

This works on two levels.

junkb2-f9-1200x387By eating more often you won’t get hungry as quickly and your metabolism will stay raised because you’ll be digesting food more often. Digesting food uses calories just like any other physical activity.

So here’s the plan. Eat four or five meals a day. Not what most would consider a meal (main course with two sides and dessert!), but a small portion of protein along with some fresh fruits and veggies.

This can be accomplished with a little planning and preparing in your spare time.

Cook your weeks worth of meals – skinless chicken’s an excellent source of protein and can usually be purchased in a big pack or value pack from your local grocery store – and refrigerate it in separate packages, one for each meal.

Egg whites are a very good source of protein too. By mixing three or four whites with one yolk and tossing it into the microwave for approximately 90 seconds, whipping it and tossing it back in for another 60 seconds, you can have some nice fluffy scrambled eggs practically anywhere. Without all the cholesterol!

Buy your produce and clean it, separating it too into meal size portions. All this can be done in a few hours on the weekend.

Buying some disposable storage containers can help keep things convenient and organized.

Try to eat every three hours or so to keep your metabolism and energy up. This’ll help you stay away from those snacking binges too.

Also, drink lots of water. Water will help to cleanse your body and make you feel full.

So you see, with a little planning and by adhering to a low carb diet plan sometimes eating more can be better!

Low Carb Dieting For Successful Weight Loss

Saturday, November 28th, 2015

 

Get-Started-on-a-Low-Carb-Diet-Step-9Low carb dieting has become fashionable in recent years especially with the publication of the Atkins diet. Losing weight is a goal for so many people and everybody is looking for the quick and easy way to lose weight. Some people do not need to lose weight at all but still get stressed over a couple of pounds. Others need to lose for medical reasons and may have one hundred pounds or more that they want to shed.

There are many different diets out there including low carbohydrate diets and the truth is that most of them will achieve weight loss if they are followed correctly. This does not mean always doing what the diet says every moment of every day. What is more important is how you deal with the inevitable occasion when you eat too much or feast on foods that are not on the plan. If you can write this off and return to the plan without giving yourself a hard time, you are likely to succeed. Everybody has those days – the important thing is to let them go and accept them as just another step on the road to permanent weight loss.

Roast Rib eye of British Beef with all the TrimmingsIt is also important to find a diet that you can easily follow. Low carb diets suit many people because the rules are quite simple. As the name suggests, the diet consists of avoiding or limiting foods that are high in carbohydrates. These include bread, pasta, potatoes, rice and other grains. Sugar is also a carbohydrate. Once you understand what these foods are, it is a simple matter to choose dishes that avoid them.

Most criticism of low carbohydrate dieting is based on the fact that the dieters will get most of their daily calories from meat, dairy and other high fat products. This can lead to high cholesterol and other problems related to a high intake of saturated fats. Medical advice is advised before starting this type of diet. Sometimes weight loss is good in the early stages but people cannot handle the restrictions in the longer term and start to deviate from the diet.

Low-Carb-Diet-PlansOne of the problems that many people have with low carb dieting is the elimination of bread and pasta. No more toast, spaghetti or pizza! Many of the foods that are quickest to prepare are based around carbohydrates – burgers in their buns, fries, sandwiches, pasta and sauce. Beer and other alcoholic drinks are high in carbs too. It is true that alcohol is generally restricted on any diet, because it is high in calories and very low in nutritional value, but low carb diets put particular emphasis on this.

Still there are many foods that can be enjoyed on a low carb diet. If you are fond of meat you will relish the opportunity to consume beef, chicken and other animal products. The popularity of these diets is clear from the length of time that they stay on the bestseller lists. It is just a matter of what suits you. Low carb dieting works for many people.