Low Carb Diet Overview
Consuming a diet high in lean protein and low in carbohydrates can be a beneficial way to shrink your waist size and keep you energized all day long. This style of eating provides a reasonable amount of healthy carbs such as whole grains and vegetables as well as healthy, unsaturated fats such as nuts and seeds. The diet is based around eating lean protein such as eggs and poultry and swapping vegetables and whole grains instead of simple carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta.
Furthermore, foods high in protein keep us satisfied for longer, however, be sure to reach for lean cuts of meat and watch your saturated-fat intake. All vegetables and fruits are full of nutritious vitamins and minerals, yet be sure to identify low carb versus higher carb vegetables; low carb veggies consist of all leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, celery, and cucumbers.
3 Steps To Succeed In A Low Carb Diet
Make a list of foods that want to include in your diet which are high in protein and low in carbs. For instance, lean sources of protein include tofu, lean poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, beans, low-fat dairy, bison, nuts, and seeds while healthy low carbohydrate sources include whole grains and non-starchy fruits and vegetables such as leafy greens and melon. Manage your day by scheduling three meals and two snacks, each filled with lean protein and nonstarchy vegetables.
For instance, breakfast may be eggs tossed with ricotta cheese, pine nuts and spinach. Almond butter and apples make a great snack option; trail mix is a convenient portable go-to snack and a Greek yogurt parfait with nuts and fresh fruit is a delectable way to enjoy a guiltless dessert.
Lunch may consist of a tuna salad in a whole grain pita stuffed with roasted non-starchy vegetables such as zucchini, tomatoes, and kale with a side of melon and walnuts. Broiled salmon fillets with broccoli and cauliflower, drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil make a delectable and satisfying low-carb dinner. For an additional protein kick, top your dish with a dollop of Greek yogurt or a sprinkle of toasted nuts and seeds.
Read the labels of all products and identify the important ingredients; be sure ‘whole grain’ is listed at the top. Aside from fish, eggs, poultry and tofu, foods high in protein consist of beans, legumes, oatmeal, buckwheat, popcorn, brown rice, and whole wheat flour. These foods contain healthy complex carbohydrates, unlike white, processed simple carbs lurking on the supermarket shelves in fancy packaging.
Beware of these white foods as they have been stripped of their healthy fiber and are not as close to their natural source nor as healthy as saying a meal of ground bison burgers and steamed asparagus. Know that not all carbs are created equal; a carb from a piece of white bread will not supply you with the fiber, vitamins, and minerals as a piece of whole-grain toast. Moreover, try to incorporate protein sources with other foods rich in vitamins, minerals and complex carbs, which will yield a healthy lifestyle for you and your family.
Try new protein-rich grains and non-starchy, low carb vegetables; get creative in your kitchen and experiment with your options. Whip up a hearty quinoa salad with chickpeas, avocado, cabbage, asparagus, and Brazil nuts; drizzle with balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of fresh basil and sea salt. Sweet potatoes in moderation, make a great alternative to starchy white potatoes, which do not have the nutritional benefits of their sweet spud family members.
Toss your salads with dandelion greens, endives, mushrooms, spinach, squash, tomatoes, and onions to jazz up the flavor. Ricotta cheese and Greek yogurt work wonders in lieu of sour cream; substitute these protein-rich alternatives in your morning oats, evening parfait dessert or lunchtime smoothie.
Tips and Warnings
- Be sure to eat enough fiber in your diet when cutting out starchy foods such as bread and pasta. Fill your plate with nonstarchy vegetables and whole grains to reap the nutrients and fiber benefits. Carbohydrates are good for our brain and daily bodily functions as they are a key nutrient that helps to keep us energized, therefore a lack of healthy carbs may lead to fatigue and tiredness. Be sure to reach for lean sources of protein and keep an eye on the cholesterol you consume in protein-rich foods such as red meat, whole dairy, and other high-fat foods. Before starting any diet, be sure to talk to your doctor to determine if the low carb, high protein approach is right for you.
- High protein diets may cause problems with mood changes, which may result in cravings for carb-rich foods. High protein diets may lead to a loss of calcium in bones, which in turn may cause osteoporosis. Consuming too much protein may put a strain on the kidneys.
Things You’ll Need
RIGHT Whole Grains Beans and legumes Lean Protein such as poultry, bison, tempeh, tofu, seitan, eggs, cheese, fish, shellfish Vegetables Nuts, Seeds Nut Butter WRONG White Bread, white pasta, white flour, white potatoes Processed, refined foods (simple carbs) Starchy vegetables
5 Ways to Avoid Overeating on a Low Carb Diet
1. Avoid Overeating by Going Low Carb
Atkins, keto diet, low carb diet, Protein Power. What it all boils down to is a low carb diet or if you want to look at it from another vantage point, a high protein diet. To some degree, all these diets severely limit the amount of refined carbohydrates like bagels and white bread that you consume. Many dieters experience strong cravings with the removal of certain foods and eat everything in sight to make up for it. However, researchers at the Temple University School of Medicine say limiting carbohydrates is not to blame. In studying people on the Atkins diet, they found that carbohydrates stimulated the appetite, not the absence of them. Test subjects in a controlled environment automatically decreased their calorie intake when carbohydrates were limited to 20 grams a day. Although many dieters don’t have the luxury of dieting in a controlled environment, the study demonstrates that it’s possible to control overeating with a low carb diet.
2. Increase Satiety to Limit Overeating
Harvard researchers say that the key to successful dieting is satiety or achieving a feeling of satisfaction from food. Low fat diets, which are often high in carbohydrates, don’t offer satiety, which is why people often overeat when on a low fat diet. Protein offers satiety, as do foods with more fiber or bulk. Choose lean protein from both plant and animal sources. If you’re choosing between an apple and apple juice, go with the apple that will make you feel far fuller than the juice. Beware of processed food labeled low carbohydrate. Often these foods contain sugar alcohols.
3. Keep Blood Sugar, Insulin Levels Stable
Refined carbohydrates play havoc with your blood sugar and insulin levels. Foods like white bread, white rice, white pasta, pastries, sodas and sweets cause your blood sugar and your insulin levels to shoot up. Higher insulin levels cause increased hunger. Grab a copy of the glycemic index (GI) from the Internet or a book, and you’ll see that the top foods are foods that often lead to fat. Alternatively, the lower GI foods provide a more stable blood sugar that keep you from overeating. Get your carbs from whole grains, vegetables and fruits. If you still notice that overeating is a problem, look at your fruit choices. Higher GI fruits like melons and bananas may cause blood sugar spikes as well.
4. Handling Holiday Munchies
Eating is often a significant part of many celebrations, from birthdays to Christmas. Whether you succumb to temptation or abstain, you can leave feeling miserable. Fill up on healthy alternatives like lean meats and vegetables. Then allow yourself one small serving of one high carb food to feed your guilty pleasure. You answer your craving without overeating.
5. Conquer Feelings of Deprivation
The main problem with diets is the feelings of deprivation that accompany them. With low carb diets, it’s often starchy processed carbs that you miss. Drink plenty of water to fill you up, and find ways to distract yourself from focusing on food. If the refrigerator keeps calling your name, take a walk. Allow yourself as much variety in your diet as possible. When it comes time to celebrate your weight loss, reward yourself, but not with food.