The Ins and Outs of a Low Carb Diet

The low carb diet... What's the truth?

Have you noticed how much larger people seem to be nowadays? Hey, I’m sure it’s not lost on you! There's been a huge rise in obesity, diabetes and heart disease. It’s all over the news! It’s all around us!  And, I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but from my perspective, it doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon.

Sadly, many of us are caught up in the swell of this epidemic, and we’re wondering where the solution lies. Actually, some of us are freaking out a little bit too!  And now here you are on this website reading this article so, I’m betting you’re a part of my tribe!  Welcome aboard!  There’s so much information and misinformation out there. How the heck are we supposed to be managing our weight and our health?

What’s the solution? I can almost hear you say: “Please, once and for all give me a simple answer!!” 

The simple answer is two words… Low Carb.  Chances are you’ve heard of it.  But do you REALLY know about it? 

My goal here is to take you on a short, informative jaunt around the block to give you a snapshot of what low carb is all about. Put on your seat belt, we’re going for a ride!

What's a low carb diet?

Let’s get into it.  Eating low carb is simply a way of eating that reduces how many carbohydrates you eat each day. You avoid sugary treats, grains, and starchy vegetables. Instead, you focus on eating some meat for protein, non-starchy veggies, some berries, cheese, and healthy fats. Yes, there are healthy fats.  And relax, you’re not eliminating carbs altogether; you’re just eating the right carbs.

Here's a link to learn more more about Low Carb Diet Foods.

I'm often asked, “Are Low Carb Diets Healthy?”

The simple answer is: “Yes! Yes! Yes!”  Let me make it clear. The answer is yes. There’s nothing about a low carb diet that is detrimental to your health. As a matter of fact, it’s ideal for weight loss, managing diabetes, improving heart health, lowering blood pressure… I could go on.

Of course, you should chat with your family doctor before you decide to follow this way of eating because you may need to have your medications adjusted. Especially if you take diabetes or blood pressure meds. I know people, me included, who have had to reduce or eliminate meds after following a low carb diet.  But I’m not a doctor so it’s best to check with your doc before changing meds. Just sayin’.

Do Low Carb Diets Work? Isn’t It Just a Fad?

Nope, not a fad. Yup, low carbing works. Even if all you did was lower your carbs and you didn’t exercise, you’d probably lose body fat. Of course, making overall lifestyle changes is better for you but you don’t need to do that to get started and see results. And don’t forget, this also helps with other health factors. It’s not just weight loss.

What's the Best Low Carb Diet?

The best low carb diet is the one you can stick with. I’m not being flip here. If you can’t stick to a diet, it’s not going to work. If you can’t stick to a low carb diet, it’s either because you’ve picked one that is way too restrictive, or not restrictive enough.  Or… maybe you’ve developed a food addiction.  If so, that’s a topic for another discussion.  

So, diets vary. There’s the keto diet, which is very restrictive. The Atkins diet which has a restrictive phase but also has other liberal phases as you make progress. And if you like to track every detail and you enjoy getting into the minutia of a diet, then The South Beach diet could work for you. Oh, and there’s the carnivore diet which has virtually no carbs. But don’t worry, I’ll help you sort all that out.

What About a Low Carb Mediterranean Diet?

Lots of folks ask me about the Mediterranean Diet.  The good news is you can easily control your carbs while following a Mediterranean diet, no problem! Lots of leafy veggies, olives, some meats and cheeses and healthy oils. Bring it on!!! You just won’t be stuffing yourself with bread and pasta.

A Low Calorie Low Carbohydrate Diet

When someone asks about a low calorie low carb diet that usually means they want to lose weight right now!  But it’s a strategy that won’t work in the long run because you will get hungry, and you won’t be able to sustain it.

When you follow a low carb diet you rarely get hungry.  And you never have to worry about calories because you end up eating less anyway. The reason this happens is that what you eat is so nutritious, your body is satiated, and you end up not being hungry. But if you want to lower your calories and your carbs give it a shot. I don’t recommend it though.

If you want to read further you will find more details on the Low Calorie Low Carbohydrate Diet page.

What About a Low Carb Vegetarian Diet?

Yes, a low carbohydrate diet can work for vegetarians. Happy dance!!! Make sure to keep eggs and cheese on hand and choose leafy greens over the starchy ones. Use higher protein grains like quinoa and enjoy avocados to round things out.  Go visit my Low Carb Vegetarian Diet page for all of the details.

How To Start If You're A Newbie

A low carb diet for beginners can be approached in different ways.  If you’re an “all or nothing” type personality, then you’d start by eating up to 20g of carbs a day. That’s pretty strict… like jumping into the deep end of the pool when learning to swim.

If you’re a more conservative type, then cutting back your carbs slowly would be a better approach. An example could be cutting out sugary drinks in the first week. You could keep that up and then the second week start to eliminate junk food too. You would keep building your low carb “muscle” that way, week by week.  That’s just two examples but I know you can find a way that works for you and your lifestyle.

You’ll definitely feel a huge change in energy when you start out. And to be honest, it’s not all that pleasant. But that’s only at first. I can pretty much guarantee you will feel tired, headachy, and probably grumpy too. But that’s temporary, I swear!!  Take a look at my Top 10 Low Carb Diet Side Effects here.

It’s your body transitioning to using your body fat for fuel instead of using the carbs you were eating all day long. With your fuel switching over from carbs to fat you’ll pee more, and your body is going to lose some electrolytes and salt. You’ll feel better if you drink water, add more salt to your food and take it easy for the first few days. I recommend my clients start the diet on a Friday, that way they can chillax all weekend.

But… once you’re fat-adapted, watch your energy skyrocket! Oh, and no more foggy brain! Woo hoo!

Are All Carbs Bad?

Not at all! That's a question I'm asked a lot. Just ditch the processed carbs but chow down on the natural, complex ones.

A low carb diet doesn't call for abandoning fruits and vegetables! Fruits and veggies come with some vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just about fat and meat! You can also have nuts, yogurt, olives, avocados and other delicious foods.  That way you get all the benefits of a low carb diet!  Here's a link to learn more more about Low Carb Diet Foods.

And if you're concerned about not getting enough fiber, rest assured there's plenty in a properly balanced low carb menu. Follow this link to learn more.

Knowledge is Your Superpower!

With the help of a coach or by reading the content on this website you can become informed.  You will learn to decode nutrition labels, track what you’re munching on and decide what works and doesn’t work for you. The more you know, the better equipped you will be at making good choices.

If you'd like some one-on-one coaching, I'm here to help. Here's a link to my services page.

To Summarize...

Let me remind you of this.  The goal of a low-carb diet isn't just about fat loss. I see this diet as the glue that makes a strong bond between overall good health, ideal body composition, and mental wellbeing. You can’t get that from the Standard American Diet (SAD). You just can’t.  And that’s SAD in many ways.

In a nutshell, a properly balanced low-carb diet is a powerful tool for your wellness goals. Yes, you’ll need some determination, and a solid plan for your goals.  And you’ll also need to know your “why”. (Write it down or get it tattooed!}  You may also benefit from being in the company of others on a low carb journey or spending some time working with a coach.

No matter what your situation is, if you want to turn your health around, I truly believe that restricting processed carbs and kicking sugar to the curb is the key. 

So, what’s stopping you?  You’ve GOT this!

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More Info About a Low Carb Diet...

  • Low Carb Diet Foods

    This Low Carb Diet Foods list will help you make the best choices to support your low carb diet. Also learn what foods to avoid to stay on track.

  • Low Calorie Low Carbohydrate Diet

    Is a low calorie low carbohydrate diet right for you? Can you get lasting success with it? Review these facts before you decide.

  • Low Carb Diet Side Effects

    Interested in Low Carb Diet Side Effects? My clients are. Here’s what I tell them. There may be a few surprises and there are important things you should know.

  • Low Carb Vegetarian Diet

    How would a Low Carb Vegetarian Diet work? Is it possible to combine the two? Would it be nutritious? Get your answers here.

  • Low Carb High Fiber Diet

    Does a Low Carb High Fiber Diet work? Can you have both low carb and high fibre? What are the implications for weight and health?

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