Low carb eating has been a fixture today for several years and, for many people it creates a vision of deprivation and potential ill health. After all, some apparently essential foods are’cut out’ by anyone who follows this diet and this, in itself, appears less than healthy. Actually, this is quite far from the truth. Low carb diets, personified by the Atkins Diet, the South Beach diet, the Protein Power diet and the Sugar Busters diet, do actually contain some carbohydrates, or carbohydrates for short, particularly in the maintenance stages.
What is a low carb diet?
The best way I can describe this is to look at the Atkins diet, a diet that’s approached in 4 stages.
Before explaining what occurs in each of the four stages, I will detail what foods can be consumed in the diet. Actually, there’s quite a great deal of alternatives, the main restriction being the quantity of carbs that are consumed.
All fish, fowl, shellfish, eggs and meat are allowed but no cured meat such as ham is allowed. Anyone following the diet should prevent any meat with additives in it such as meatloaf and breaded food. Oysters and mussels are also high in carbohydrate so only 4 oz of them are allowed daily.
Four ounces of These cheeses are allowed daily: cheddar, Cow, goat and sheep cheese, cream cheese, gouda, mozzarella, roquefort and other blue cheeses, swiss cheese
These vegetables are the only ones allowed in the first 2 weeks:
Daikon, mushrooms, arugula, endive, parsley, bok choy, escarole, peppers, celery, fennel, radicchio, chicory, jicama, radishes, chives, lettuce, cucumber, mache, sorrel
Other vegetables are high in carbohydrates but may be used, following the first two weeks, to include variety:
Alcachofa, Calabaza, Ruibarbo, Espárragos, Chard, Sauerkraut, Bambú shoots, Collard greens, Scallions, Diente de león, Snow peas, Bean sprouts, Dandelion leaves, Beet leaves, Berenjena, Espinacas, Brócoli, String or wax beans, Kale, Summer squash, Tomate, Leeks, Turnips, Repollo, Horse chestnuts, Coliflor, Cebolla, Calabacín
The Atkins diet, in each stage, should be tailored to your individual preferences and a lot of the foods should include whole foods. You should:
- Avoid any trigger foods like bread and sweet things
- eat either 3 regular meals or 4 to 5 smaller meals
- Have liberal quantities of protein and fat
- Have no more than 12-15 grams of carbohydrates in the form of the allowed vegetables
- Don’t have any fruit, pasta, grains, starchy vegetables or dairy products except for cheese, cream or butter
- Have no seeds or nuts in the first 2 weeks; chickpeas, kidney beans and other legumes are also not allowed in phase one
- not eat anything not on the acceptable foods list
- Adjust the quantity to your desire
- not assume anything is low carb – always read the labels
- use sucralose or saccharin as a sweetener
- Drink at least ten 8 oz glasses of water
- Take a good multivitamin with minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium but not iron
The induction stage, or phase one, kick starts the body shifting its metabolism to one which primarily burns fat for energy rather than burning carbs. It:
- Stabilizes blood glucose
- Curbs cravings as it breaks the dependence to sugar, wheat/corn derivatives, alcohol, caffeine, grain or some other food
- Allows you to experience the metabolic benefit of the diet
- Shows just how much fat your body can burn off
- The induction phase isn’t a lifetime plan. It does, however, allow for snacks if a craving arise between meals. Snacks may be cheese sticks, nuts, low carb instant soup, crisp breads, low carb soy chips and celery sticks stuffed with cream cheese or peanut butter.
It is about continuing weight loss. It:
- Has expanded food choices
- Allows 25 g of carbohydrates per day
- Gives the option of mixing and matching to match the individual
- Gradually raises the daily carb tally in 5 gram increments until the weight loss slows
- Still has counting carbohydrates as the key to successful management
- Ensures a person remains with stage 2 until just 10 pounds is left to Shed
It is a continuation of stage 2. More grams of carbohydrates are added until you’re losing less than 1 pound weekly. Continue with this stage until target weight is reached and you maintain this burden for a single month.
Once this happens, you’re on the lifetime maintenance period. You will need to concentrate on the ACE (Atkins Carbohydrate Equilibrium) and always try to remain within 5 pounds of your target weight.
The Atkins diet, and other low carb diets, guarantee weight loss and there are testimonials to this effect. The diet isn’t difficult but, in the start it can be prohibitive. At the conclusion, after target weight is reached and maintained, some fruit could be eaten as part of the diet.