Low Carbohydrate Diet For Beginners – If you are used to consuming sugars, pastas and breads, a low carb diet is ideal for you. This does not mean that you will give up delicious foods, simply that these will now have healthier ingredients, such as:
- Vegetarian food
- Healthy fats
Studies have shown that these types of diets favor:
- Loss of body weight.
- Decrease in body fat.
- Improvement of health markers.
That’s why they are very popular and surely you know someone who has had successful results carrying this type of diet. Part of the benefits it has is that it is very practical, since it is not necessary to count calories or consume special products.
If you want to know more about the low carb diet, read on.
The first steps of a low carb diet
This diet is also called:
- Low carbohydrate and high fat diet (or LCHF for its acronym in English, referring to low-carb, high-fat diet).
- Ketogenic diet.
To be able to take a low carbohydrate diet correctly what you should do is:
- Decrease the amount of carbohydrates.
- Increase the amount of fats.
- Consume the right amount of protein.
The most important part of this diet is that you should minimize the consumption of sugary foods and flours. This does not mean that you are going to stop consuming delicious foods or that you are going to be hungry. On the contrary, this diet focuses on you can consume tasty foods, that you stay satiated and still lose weight and body fat.
If you are worried about consuming a lot of fat in your diet, it is important to know that there is no reason to avoid consuming it. In fact, fats help you to have a better state of health, although not all types of fats are the same:
- What you should avoid completely are trans fats.
- Avoid consuming too much saturated fat and cholesterol.
- The most healthy type of fat for your body is the unsaturated one.
Do low-carb diets really work?
There is solid scientific evidence that low-carb diets work and that if they are done correctly they are compatible with a healthy lifestyle. This is because, by avoiding the consumption of sugary foods and flours, blood sugar and insulin levels decrease, which mainly helps:
- Decrease the storage of fat in your body.
- Increase the use of fat as an energy source.
- Decrease the appetite
- Increase the feeling of satiety.
- Control blood sugar levels.
- Decrease food consumption.
- Increase weight loss and body fat.
The basics of a low carb diet
There are basic guidelines that you should follow:
- Prefer to consume:
- Healthy fats (natural fats)
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Avoid consuming:
- Sugar and food with added sugars
- Corn and derivatives
- Rice and derivatives
- Sweet potato
- Beans and other legumes
With a low carbohydrate diet it is not necessary that you spend it counting how many kilocalories you have already consumed or weighing your food. Also forget about products labeled “light”, “low fat”, “diet” and “low carb” once and for all.
The only thing you need is to consume food when you are hungry until you feel satisfied.
Carrying a low-carbohydrate diet is actually very simple, as long as you stick to the guidelines I mentioned earlier.
Why should not you take a strict low carb diet?
Most people can begin to eat a low- carbohydrate diet without major problems. However, there are situations in which it is not advisable to take this type of diet without adequate follow-up or a medical recommendation:
- You are diabetic or suffer from metabolic syndrome.
- You take medications to lower blood sugar levels.
- You have high blood pressure
- You are giving breast milk.
- You are pregnant.
- You have low weight or malnutrition.
- You are a high performance athlete.
How to start a low carb diet?
To start this diet once and for all you must first reflect:
- At what time of the day are you consuming those foods to avoid?
- What foods are they?
- How can you replace them with others low in carbohydrates?
It is important to have an action plan from the beginning to be able to consume healthier food options.
When you start a low-carb diet, focus on two-week cycles and plan ahead:
- Your meal menus to consume in those two weeks.
- The lists of foods you should buy.
These two simple steps will help you avoid setbacks and temptations at busy times of your day, when the last thing you want is to sit down and think about what you want to eat and what you should buy.
What foods should you eat on a low carb diet?
Knowing exactly what foods you can include will help you:
- Begin the diet once and for all.
- Understand that it is a really simple diet to perform.
- Create menus
- Inspire yourself with delicious dishes.
- Move towards the results you expect.
A correct diet should cover all food groups, including cereals and fruits. And the low carb diet is no exception. However, there are food groups that you should prefer in your diet and eat more:
- Foods of animal origin, in particular:
- Dairy products
- Fish and seafood
- Fats, especially:
- Raw vegetable fats such as:
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Animal fats such as:
- Raw vegetable fats such as:
Since the amount of carbohydrates provided by these foods is very low, you can consume them freely until you are satisfied.
One point to emphasize is that although fiber is a type of carbohydrate, it can not be digested or absorbed by your body, which means that fiber does not count as a carbohydrate and you can consume as much as you want.
All the foods listed above provide your body with less than 5% carbohydrates in a 100-gram serving. If you stick to these foods, which provide you with less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day, you’ll see that eating a low-carbohydrate diet is relatively easy.
What foods should you avoid?
There are foods that you must reduce or eliminate completely from your diet since they are loaded with sugars and flours. Some examples of these foods are:
- Non-integral cereals
- White rice
- Oatmeal without shell
- Sweet potato
- Sugary drinks
- Processed juices
- Fresh waters sweetened with sugars
- Alcoholic drinks
- Flavored alcohol ( coolers )
- Low fiber fruits
- Orange juice
- Bakery or pastry products
- White bread
- Suggested processed products
- Chocolate bars
- Energy bars
- Fruits, nuts and seeds
- Fruits, nuts and seeds covered in chocolate
What drinks can you consume?
The drinks considered ideal for a low carbohydrate diet are:
You must consume them without adding any type of sugar, although you can add:
- Estevia in a freeway.
- Sweeteners in moderate amounts.
- Milk and cream in moderate amounts.
Keep in mind that drinks based on coffee or tea, such as latte coffee or chai tea frappe, may contain added sugars, so better avoid their consumption.
Occasionally you can also enjoy a glass of wine without any problem.
Other alcoholic beverages that you can also enjoy, as long as they are not accompanied by sugars or sugary drinks, are:
Examples of low carb dishes
There is an infinity of low carbohydrate dishes that you can consume and imagination is your limit. Here are some examples of the most popular:
- Crispy rye bread with bacon, basil and tomato.
- Cabbage salad with mayonnaise, cheese and beef.
- Egg whipped muffin with ham and spinach.
- Cabbage rolls with sardines, tomato sauce, parsley and lemon.
- Sandwich of cloud bread with ham, turkey, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and onion .
- Avocado salad with cucumber and shrimp.
- Chicken wings with traditional buffalo dressing.
- Cream of cheddar cheese with spinach and onion.
- Chicken consommé with vegetables.
- Pizza with base of cauliflower puree and parmesan cheese (with the previous ingredients you want).
An explanation of the low carb diet for beginners
Necessary for the functioning of your body, so it is necessary to consume them in certain quantities. Therefore, in this type of diet, you simply reduce the number of carbohydrates you eat. This is achieved by restricting the consumption of certain foods that are high in carbohydrates such as sugars, foods with added sugars and some types of fruit.To begin, focus primarily on short-term goals. Make it your goal to finish the first two weeks, and so little by little, you will see the results and increase your motivation to move forward. Once you start to see yourself and feel different you will not want to leave this diet anymore.
Despite its great benefits, some people can not carry it out. This is due to certain health conditions, so it is advisable that you consult with your doctor before starting this diet.
Possible benefits of a low carb diet
If you are wondering what are the benefits of eating such a diet, then you are reading the right article.The most outstanding benefits of this type of diet are:
- Better control of blood sugar levels.
- Decrease in abdominal discomfort.
- Less craving for sweet foods
Most people start a low-carbohydrate diet because they want to lose weight. This is a benefit that has been known for many years. However, remember that the weight in your body is composed of several elements:
- Organs and tissues
- Glycogen – carbohydrates stored in your liver and muscles.
At the beginning of a low carb diet you will notice an abrupt decrease in your weight, but this will be mainly due to:
- You are using glycogen reserves in your body.
- Losing some water
If you are interested in reducing body fat it is recommended that:
- Combine the low carb diet with training routines.
- Consumes adequate amounts of proteins of high biological value.
Control of blood sugar levels
The low carbohydrate diet can help you control your blood sugar levels, to improve the control and treatment of:
- Diabetes type 1
- Type 2 diabetes
- Insulin resistance
- Metabolic syndrome
Decreased abdominal discomfort
The low carb diet can help you decrease:
- Stomach ache
- Gas production (meteorism)
- Postprandial cramps and pains (cramping and pain after eating)
In fact, some people take this diet solely for these benefits and it usually takes them from one to two days of diet to reduce abdominal discomfort.
Fewer cravings for sweet foods
If it’s hard for you to stay away from sweet foods because you can not stop thinking about them, this diet can be a tool for you. Contrary to what might seem, by consuming less sweet foods your body stops asking you to consume more. This is due to the glucose curves in your blood and the cycle works as follows:
- When you consume sugary foods, the sugar in your blood increases abruptly.
- Your body registers this increase in sugar and immediately acts to decrease it quickly from your blood.
- Next step: your blood sugar levels are low, so you start needing more sugary foods.
The four benefits mentioned above are the most common, but they are not the only ones you can get from a low carb diet. Other benefits that can help you change your life are:
- Decreased blood pressure.
- Acne reduction.
- Greater and better control of migraine attacks.
- Greater and better control of epilepsy attacks.
Low carb diet for beginners: tips and recommendations
To make your diet low in carbohydrates seem simple and you enjoy it completely, you need to acquire new knowledge and skills such as:
- Cook dishes that you enjoy.
- Choose low carb foods correctly.
- Add healthy fats to your food to have a delicious flavor.
- Know what to do when you have to eat or dine out of the house.
If you want to get information about these and other topics, then continue reading.
Starting your day with a breakfast low in carbohydrates can be delicious. Some examples are:
- Eggs with bacon.
- Egg omelet with mushrooms and cheese.
- Chocolate powder protein shake with strawberries.
- Greek yogurt with nuts and seeds.
- Cloud bread with peanut butter.
If in the morning you do not feel like eating something heavy, you can simply have a cup of coffee and accompany it with a snack of seeds.
It is not necessary to prepare food at the moment, you can do it the night before or even a few days in advance. This will save you a lot of time and make it easier for you to continue with the diet.
Meals and dinners
Neither do you need to sacrifice the taste and pleasure of enjoying delicious meals and dinners, since there are different food alternatives that you can include.
The most popular dishes are those prepared with beef, fish or chicken accompanied by vegetables, oils, sauces and spices, such as:
- Eggplant lasagna with ground beef, tomato sauce and cheese.
- Chicken or beef meatballs with peppers and pumpkin spaghetti.
- Beef steak accompanied with mushrooms stuffed with cream cheese and basil.
- Roasted chicken breast with pickled red onion, tomato, avocado and lemon.
- Entominated fish fillet served with cauliflower, parsley and other spices.
Potatoes, pasta and rice
There are many alternative foods that you can include in your diet to replace potatoes, pasta and rice, such as:
- Pizza base of cauliflower with parmesan cheese.
- Cauliflower rice.
- Mashed Cauliflower.
- Col fried in butter.
- Pumpkins in fried strips.
- Baked pumpkin stuffed with cheese and bacon.
Remember that eating a low carb diet can also be delicious and fun.
Going out with your friends, family, co-workers or some other social gathering can be a big challenge, especially if you have no idea what to do to be able to stick to your low carb diet.The basic idea to cope with food is to avoid foods with flours such as:
To keep yourself more satiated it is preferable that instead, you consume sources of natural fats such as:
- Olive oil
- Peanut butter
It is also important that you avoid consuming:
- Non-greasy dressings, such as ketchup or barbecue sauce.
- Beverages that may contain sugars: juices, sodas and fresh water.
- Beer, cocktails and sweetened alcohol.
- Desserts such as cakes, puddings, cookies, pudding, candy, chocolate bars, and so on.
To choose the best drink for you, just follow the recommendations mentioned in the previous sections.
If you want to consume some dessert you can eat:
- Cheeseboard with spices
- Herbal tea or coffee
- You can add cream to increase satiety after taking it.
You may not need to eat snacks between meals because the low carb diet can make you feel more satisfied. However, if you want to eat something between meals you can always count on practical low carb snacks such as:
- Cold meats
If it is hard for you to stay completely away from the bread, there are some options for you. Although as in everything in this life, there are bad and good options when it comes to low carb bread. As a general rule, stay away in the supermarket from the loaves labeled “light”, “low in fat”, “low in flours” and “low in carbohydrates”.
Instead it prefers the consumption of products made only or mainly with:
- Coconut flour
- Rye flour
- Wheat bran
- Egg – such as bread cloud.
Consuming fats will help you feel more full, as well as improve the flavor of your food. However, sometimes you may feel overwhelmed trying to:
- Calculate how much fat you really should consume.
- Include fat in your food.
The key to this is to eat as much fat as necessary until you feel satisfied and not hungry. To achieve this you only need to modify some aspects of your diet such as:
- Choose fatty dishes, preferably raw fats.
- Cook with coconut oil.
- Add fats to your sauces and dressings.
- Eat fatty desserts low in carbohydrates.
“Light”, “low carb” and “low fat” products
A common mistake is to believe that the commercial products whose marketing is focused on weight loss are the best. But on many occasions they do deceptive advertising campaigns to increase their sales.
The new social trend of health care has forced food companies to produce “light”, “diet”, “low fat” and “low carb” products such as:
- French fries, among others.
However, the products “light”, “diet” and “low fat” often contain more sugars and carbohydrates. And the products “low in carbohydrates” seldom favor satiety and its cost can be very high for the benefits you get.
To take a low carbohydrate diet that is healthy you should focus on consuming real foods.
How to reduce the costs of a low carb diet?
This diet does not have to be expensive or unattainable. All you need is to plan a little and prepare your food to save large amounts of money. In fact, preparing your food at home, buying seasonal foods, avoiding expensive and unnecessary products for your diet can save up to $ 8 a day.
Possible adverse effects
When you stop consuming sugary foods and flours it is very possible that you will experience some side effects that are a consequence of your body adapting to the new diet.
For many people, these side effects may start as a mild headache for a few days. Although the most common effect of the low carb diet is the so-called flu-like flu, also known as “keto flu”.
The good news is that there are ways to minimize these side effects from the beginning such as:
- Stay hydrated
- Consume electrolytes.
- Sleep 8 continuous hours a day.
- Slightly increase the consumption of carbohydrates in your diet.
When you start your diet you will see how your body rapidly decreases in weight, but this will be mainly water and glycogen, although that does not stop being an excellent motivation to continue.
The best way to start a low carb diet is to do it once and for all and experiment with your body and your food.
Influenza, or “keto flu,” is the most common side effect in people who eat the low-carb diet. Commonly lasts 2 to 3 days while your body adapts to the change of diet.The symptoms that occur with the flu induced are:
- Body cut
- Difficult to focus
- Low blood pressure
- Less physical performance
These side effects disappear quickly by adapting your body to use more fat as a source of energy instead of carbohydrates. These symptoms should not last more than a week to disappear, otherwise it is advisable to consult your doctor.
Loss of fluids in your body
The reason why you lose fluids when eating a low carb diet is that the latter favor fluid retention.
That is why when you decrease the amount of carbohydrates you consume, part of the water stored in your body also decreases, which causes dehydration and loss of electrolytes, which causes the symptoms of the induced flu. To reduce the symptoms you should only increase the consumption of fluids and electrolytes, such as salt.
A good option is to take broth or broth twice a day. Another alternative is to simply drink more water and add more salt to your food.
With these simple changes the flu-induced symptoms will diminish until they disappear completely.
Myths about the low carb diet
Beyond the transient and minor side effects that may occur to you, there are hundreds of myths and fears about the low carb diet.Some examples are:
- Your brain only works with carbohydrates.
- You can suffer:
- Diseases of the thyroid
- Renal disease
- Alteration of intestinal flora
- By taking a low carb diet your physical performance decreases.
Most of these so-called “diseases” of the low-carb diet are caused by:
- Do not take a correct diet.
- Do not hydrate or consume electrolytes.
And others have nothing to do with the low carb diet, such as:
- Diseases of:
- Ketoacidosis – is a confusion with the other name that receives the low carbohydrate diet, ketogenic diet, but has no relationship with ketoacidosis.
- Ketoacidosis: is a rare very dangerous medical condition that occurs in people with type 1 diabetes because the corresponding dose of insulin is not given.
- Ketosis: is a safe and completely natural metabolic state in which your body enters when fasting and eating a diet low in carbohydrates.
All these myths and fears are really misunderstandings that have been maintained for many years.