The Easy Low Carb Diet
I’ve got a secret to tell you – if you want to lose weight, a low carb diet is one of the best ways to do it. Low carb diets limit your intake of high carbohydrate foods like glutinous grains, starchy vegetables, sweets and sugars. You still get to eat lots of great-tasting food but by cutting carbs you:
- automatically lower your calorie intake
- prime your body for fat burning by controlling your insulin and blood sugar levels
Some low carb diets are very prescriptive and limit the number of grams of carbs you can eat per day – say to 100 grams or below. While you CAN do this if you like, I find all that weighing and measuring a bit of a drag!
Instead, I think you can enjoy all the benefits of a low carb diet by simply eating more low carb foods, making some delicious low carb recipes, and avoiding high carb foods whenever you can.
Is a low carb diet right for you?
Low carb diets are very good for most people. Carbs are a great source of energy but, the problem is, most of us are almost always sedentary. As a result, the carbs we eat are often unused and then converted to fat. If you have an office job or otherwise spend most of your day sat down, a low carb diet is ideal for you.
Also, if you are overweight, your body is probably insulin resistant. This means that it is not very good at using carbs. Limiting your carb intake by eating more low carb foods will help you lose weight and as a result you will become better at coping with carbs in the future.
If, however, you are very active – either because of exercise or because you have a demanding job such as construction – you may well find that too few carbs leave you feeling tired and weak. That doesn’t mean you need lots of carbs but a moderate carb intake might be better than going too low and definitely make the switch to healthier carbs.
Why a low carb diet?
Unlike many diets, the low carb diet is actually very healthy. It can help lower your blood glucose and reduce your risk of developing diabetes and is also good for your heart, brain and immune system. Because you end up eating fewer “empty” calories and less sugar with a low carb diet and more non-starchy vegetables, you end up getting more vitamins, minerals and fiber than you would on a regular diet. Also, eating fewer refined grains means less gluten which can also be beneficial if you have a gluten-intolerance issue.
Also, just losing weight is good for you too. Too much body fat places a lot of stress on your body and is the leading cause of avoidable illness. Losing weight through a low carb diet will help you look better and feel better – guaranteed!
For more information on the benefits of low carb dieting, please see my article “Why should I try a low carb diet”
What should I eat?
Low carb diets couldn’t be simpler – eat less high carb foods and more low carb foods in their place. Not sure what this means? Don’t worry, I’ve explained the difference in this article called “Good carbs versus bad carbs for weight loss".
In simple terms, to lower your carb intake, you need to cut back on foods like:
- Breakfast cereals
And eat more:
- Healthy proteins such as fish, chicken, lean beef, eggs, and turkey
- Unrefined grains such as quinoa and buckwheat
You don’t have to eat less food – just the right foods. In many cases, you will find you actually get to eat more of the low carb food than the high carb food and still end up with fewer calories. For example, you might eat four cookies totaling 240 calories or two apples totaling 120 calories. The apples will be more filling despite containing half the number of calories and way fewer grams of carbs! That’s the beauty of the easy low carb diet – you don’t have to go hungry to lose weight.
Still not sure what to eat? Remember to check out my, tried-and tested low carb recipes!
Low Carb Breakfast Recipes
What should I drink?
Many people forget that some drinks contain carbs too and some contain a LOT! Eating right is only half the battle; you need to drink right too.
If you are serious about trying the easy low carb diet, it’s important you pay attention not only to what you eat but what you drink too. Drinks to avoid include:
- Blended coffee drinks
- Fruit juice made from concentrate
- Most sports drinks
- Many energy drinks
- Most milkshakes and smoothies
Instead, you’ll need to drink more:
- Tea and coffee – no sugar is possible
- Fresh fruit juices in moderation
- Lite and/or low/no-carb beer
- Non-sugar sports drinks
- Berry-based smoothies
Many dieters forget that drinks contain carbs and calories too; don’t be one of them! Make sure you switch from high carb drinks to low carb drinks to avoid sabotaging your progress!
Many popular snacks are high in carbs but this doesn’t mean you have to give up snacks if you want to follow the easy carb diet and lose weight. In fact, snacks are important in any diet but you need to choose the right snacks to avoid derailing your diet plan.
Snacks help with weight loss by preventing hunger and stopping cravings. They also give you something nice to look forward to between meals. Good low/no carb snacks include:
- Celery sticks and almond butter
- Cooked chicken or turkey
- Beef jerky
- Vegetable crudités and hummus dip
- Low-carb protein bars, my selection here
I’ve got more low carb meal options for you in my low carb recipes.
Low Carb Snacks Recipes
Low carb meals
Now, you might be thinking that you are going to have to give up many of your favorite meals to follow the easy low carb diet; not true. All you have to do is make some tactical substitutions and replace high carb ingredients with lower carb ones. In most cases, the meal tastes almost the same but you slash the number of carbs and calories you end up eating. The result? Easy weight loss!
I’ve got recipes galore for you here but here are a few examples and ideas to get you started:
- Instead of pasta, use thinly sliced zucchini
- Instead of rice, try lightly cooked, steamed cauliflower florets
- Instead of potato chips, try thinly sliced and rutabaga chips
- Instead of sugar, use stevia
- Instead of breakfast cereals, try oatmeal or quinoa which are healthier carbs
- Instead of fruit juice, drink water with freshly squeezed lemon
Low Carb Meals Recipes
Of course, even the best diet will only work if you start and then stick to it. Make sure you read all my guide "What Are Carbs ? A Beginner’s Carbs Guide" then give it a go yourself. I’ve really enjoyed discovering more about low carb dieting and have been amazed at just how easy and effective it can be. Don’t just take my word for it though; give it a try for yourself – I know you’ll love it too!