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There are so many different diets out there, how do you know which one to choose? I’ve started a blog series on different diets and today we will look at the low carb diet.
While most of us think carbohydrates are necessary for us to have and make energy for our bodies to use, we often consume WAY too many carbs. Most of us think of carbohydrates when we think of bread, pasta, baked goods and cereal. Sugars also create excess carbs which are found in sodas, pastries and LOTS of packaged foods!
Basic Principles of a Low Carb Diet
Low carb diets work off of the basic thought that if you cut back on the number of carbs you eat your body will have to look elsewhere for a fuel source. It will switch to burning fat instead thus helping you lose weight.
Unlike some diets, this has a fair amount of scientific backing – your body can use all sorts of things as fuel including fat. However, based on your current food choices, it might just happen to use carbs the most. If it doesn’t have many carbs to use, it will end up using your fat.
Low Carb Options
There are several different variations of low carb diets, and each one may work better or worse for you depending on a few things. The variations come in the range of carbs you are allowed to eat daily. These range from 150 carbs to under 20 carbs max per day.
The first kind of low carb diet is what I call a moderate carb version, in which you can allow yourself between 100 and 150 carbs per day. This version is good for both beginners who are new to the idea of cutting back on carbs as well as very active people who need those carbs to help fuel their workouts.
Under 100 carbs per day is generally considered low carb, and this is one of the most common variations that you’ll see. It’s low enough that most people will be able to use the carbs they’ve consumed during the day but not so low that you’ll be short on energy.
Once you get to under 20 carbs per day, you’re in what’s known as ketosis, or keto diet. Ketosis is the name of the actual process in your body in which your cells switch from using carbs to fats for fuel sources.
While ketosis will likely occur within all of the low carb diets, the keto diet goes so low that it makes you rely on ketosis WAY more for energy. Ketosis is not particularly recommended for beginners, because it can be extremely difficult to consume less than 20 carbs per day unless you’re fairly experienced and have a good sense of what you eat daily.
If you are a beginner, it would be more beneficial to start at either the moderate or low carb diet and stick with it for a while. Once you’ve gotten acclimated to the low carb life, you can slowly get closer to ketosis by cutting down in increments. So perhaps you cut 25 carbs from your diet from the prior week and see how you feel.
Benefits of a Lower Carb Diet
I read several articles and books about Low Carb Diets (See my Book Review Here) and here are my favorite benefits of a low carb diet:
- You don’t feel hungry all the time like you do with some diets.
- Studies have shown they help improve blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar issues.
- You can typically lose more weight quicker with the keto diet, which may be encouraging if you want quick results.
- Reduces acne problems
You should always check with your doctor prior to starting a diet. In addition, you may want to check out my guide to vitamins and supplements if you feel like you won’t get all your necessary nutrition following this diet. There’s also a twist on low carb keto diets called Dirty Keto. You can learn more about it here.
Youngevity also has a better health challenge. The cool thing about this is you can choose a plan. One of those plans is a keto diet. Another is a low-calorie diet and another is really for a healthy lifestyle (if you don’t need/want to lose weight or only need to lose a little). It provides eating plans and is based on using Youngevity nutrition.
Low Carb diets also involve making sure you aren’t eating a lot of sugar. If you are one that really loves dessert, you’ll want to read about this awesome snack as well as these indulgent healthy desserts!
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