A Successful Low Carb Diet Plan

April 28, 2011

Dieting, Low Carb

The low carb diet plan is for those who can’t afford to go onto an expensive weight loss program such as the Medifast Diet but want the same results. I will start the series with a brief overview of what is involved with the diet and then follow it up with a 7 day diet plan so you won’t get sick of eating the same thing, day in, day out. With this knowledge you will also be able to pick out your own foods straight off the supermarket shelf for an almost unlimited amount of dinners and lunches.

The low carb diet plan is a weight loss solution that employs limited carbohydrate consumption.

Carbohydrates are compounds made up carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. There are three different types of carbohydrates, namely, starches, sugars and fiber. These three types are all used as an energy source for the body. Carbohydrates work with other body nutrients to help the body function properly. However, not all forms of carbohydrates are good for our health or beneficial to the body.

Drastic increases in blood sugar is often caused by bad carbohydrates. High blood sugar levels in the body can cause possible complications if not given any immediate attention. Weakening of the immune system, blindness, kidney failure, and cardiovascular diseases are among the many serious complications high blood sugar can cause. Aside from these complications, it is also believed that high levels of carbohydrates consumption are among the top causes of unmanageable weight problems.

People experiencing complications from uncontrolled carbohydrates consumption are advised to change into low carb diet. The low carb diet is not only an essential remedy or prevention of these health conditions; it can also contradict the weight gain effects of carbohydrates efficiently.

Weight loss during a low carb diet is not only for beauty purposes but for health purposes too. During the diet program the dieter’s body processes are tampered to trigger a stored fat burning phase inside the body. This is when the body’s weight loss process is at its peak. Once the target weight is already achieved dieters may gradually return to their normal eating habits with reduced weight gain possibilities.

Though the low carb diet plan is considered an effective weight loss program, the safety of this program is still scrutinized by many. According to the anti-low carb diet plan, the diet imposes many risks and vulnerabilities to be considered as a weight loss solution option.

The low carb diet plan exhausts good glycogen reserves found in the liver and muscles. Adequate amounts of carbohydrates are essential to glycogen formation in muscles and livers. Reduced amounts of glycogen due to a low carb diet can dehydrate the body and cause muscle loss. Given these results, it is inevitable to lose weight during the first phase of the low carb diet; however, the reason is not as it is not actually due to fat loss.

Low carb diet plan users display low energy symptoms and limited physical exercise endurance. Due to the minimal amount of glycogen in the muscles, low carb diet users often experience muscle fatigue even on minimal exercise routines. This limitation is a huge disadvantage on dieters since exercise contributes a significant amount of success on weight loss.

The low carb diet may have many disadvantages but dieters must understand that this is part of many diet programs. The important thing is to properly weigh the good with the bad in the diet.

High levels of bad carbohydrate consumption can cause damage to the pancreas, heart, and even cause diabetes. These complications are only a few the many problems commonly caused by bad carbs. By employing a low carb diet plan these risks are reduced and can even improve the body’s functions.

Since the bad effects of the diet have already been discussed, the next step is to look into the good effects or benefits of the low carb diet.

The low carb diet is a chemical free diet. It employs natural body reactions to encourage weight loss. The low carb diet is often paired with a high protein diet. The reason for this is proteins compensate for the body’s carbohydrate deficiency. A high protein diet reduces the eating appetite of dieters which causes calorie deficiency. The deficiency will force the body to look for an energy source such as stored fat. This is when the weight loss process takes place in low carb diet.

To enjoy the weight loss benefits of this program dieters are recommended to consume at least 20 to 70 grams of carbohydrates depending on their build, age and regular physical activities. The source of the dieters’ carbohydrate intake can be from the many available types of low carb foods.

The most common combinations of the low carb diet are “low carb high protein”, “low carb high fat diet”, and the “low carb vegetable diet”. These types of diets are highly acceptable and are proven to be effective ways to lose weight. Dieter’s with existing medical conditions and currently taking medication are advised to consult with their doctor before starting this diet.

Fruits, vegetables, meat, and seafood are among the major groups of allowable food in a low carb diet plan. Aside from some certain restrictions, these foods would do well. These foods should be more than enough to provide dieters with generous food options.

Berries are a fruit that are great for a low carb diet plan and so is lemon and lime juice. Don’t restrict your fruit intake too much and if you do make sure you take a good multivitamin to help replenish the nutrients.  If you want to ease yourself into the routine then maybe use the low carb option in conjuction with aMedifast program.

In case you want accurate data on your daily carbohydrate intake you may consider keeping a copy of the carbohydrate contents table reference as your guide.

The low carb diet plan has its own pros and cons. Without the right understanding and idea on how this diet works, dieters may only cause harm to themselves. Taking time to research and analyze the diet program before jumping in should provide dieters with the advantage to successfully utilize the weight loss processes of the program.

What Foods Are Eaten On A Low Carbohydrate Diet?

Most low carb diets will start off with a 2 week induction phase where carbohydrates are cut down to around 20g net carbohydrate per day. Most foods contain some carbohydrate, so this means either counting carbs using an online diet journal at a site like Fitday.com, or following rules about how much of each food group you can eat.

For example the induction phase of the Atkins diet allows unlimited meat, fish, eggs, butter and vegetable oils; 2 cups of salad veggies and 1 cup of other vegetables per day (excluding starchy vegetables); and a maximum 4 oz of cheese. Heavy cream is also allowed, but limited.

Milk, nuts, beans, fruit, alcohol, potatoes, bread, grains, pasta, corn etc are all banned during those first two weeks. Milk, nuts, beans and most fruit, plus some alcoholic drinks, are added back in limited quantities in phase 2. Whole grains and their products such as whole grain bread, along with corn and potatoes, are allowed when you are close to your goal weight.

Most low carb diets recommend that you never again eat large quantities of foods that contain refined flour and sugar. Even when you reach your goal weight, if you go back to old eating habits, you will gain weight again.

What Else Is In The Plan?

At the same time that you follow the eating plan, you must drink at least 8 x 12 oz glasses of water spread through the day, do a little exercise every day and take a good multi vitamin and mineral supplement. These points are just as important as the food rules, and they apply to all phases of the low carbohydrate diet.

Are There Any Risks?

There have still not been enough studies to be sure about risks. Low carb diets go against the ‘received wisdom’ that says that we should eat less fat to lose weight. On a low carbohydrate diet you can eat more fat, but still lose weight.

Opponents of the low carbohydrate diet point to research that shows that a higher intake of red meat and saturated fats can lead to increased risk of heart disease. You should speak to your medical adviser before starting a low carb diet plan, to check whether this might be a risk for you.

Supporters of the low carbohydrate diet refer to other studies which show cholesterol levels dropping. They point out that the people who were studied in that type of research were almost never on low carb diets. They were eating large amounts of red meat and saturated fats, plus large amounts of carbohydrates.

So it could be the combination of high fat and high carbohydrate that is unhealthy. This seems to make a lot of sense, and if it is true it would mean that a low carbohydrate diet can be healthy as well as being effective for weight loss.


This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!
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