Having success in losing weight can be a difficult task, but it need not be as complicated as today’s diet gurus do. Have you ever thought that the most effective simple diet to lose weight of fat loss could be … the simplest, too?
One of the best ways to lose weight is by reducing the amount of carbohydrates in the diet. It is that this choice leads to reduce appetite and causes an automatic weight loss without the need to count calories or control portions. This means that you can eat it to the satiety, feel satisfied and, even so, lose weight.
During the last decades, health authorities have recommended diets restricted in calories and low in fat.
The problem is that this diet does not work. Even when people manage to maintain it, they do not see good results.
And an alternative that has been available for many years is the low carbohydrate diet, which restricts the consumption of foods such as sugars and starches (bread and pasta, for example) and replaces them with protein and fats.
Studies have shown that these low carbohydrate diets reduce appetite and push lower calorie intake. You lose weight with very little effort, as long as you always keep low carbohydrate intake.
In studies where low-carbohydrate diets are compared to low-fat diets, the researchers needed to actively reduce calories in groups that consumed little fat to make the results comparable. Even so, the group that ate a few carbohydrates had better results.
Low-carbohydrate diets also have benefits that go beyond weight loss. Lower blood sugar, blood pressure and triglycerides. They raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol and improve LDL (“bad”) patterns. Thus, the status of effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets are, at this point, a scientific fact.
How to determine the need for carbohydrates
There is no exact definition of what constitutes a diet low in carbohydrates. What is “low” for some people may not be for others.
The optimal consumption of carbohydrates for an individual depending on age, sex, body composition, activity levels, personal preferences, food culture and metabolic health.
Physically active people who have more muscle mass can tolerate more carbohydrates than sedentary individuals. This applies particularly to those who perform high-intensity aerobic exercises, such as speeding or lifting weights.
Metabolic health is also a very important factor. In people with metabolic syndrome who develop obesity or type 2 diabetes, the rules change.
Individuals who fall into this category cannot tolerate the same amount of carbohydrates as healthy people. Many scientists even refer to these problems as “carbohydrate intolerance”.
Guides that work 90% of the time
If you simply eliminate the sources of less healthy carbohydrates from your diet, wheat and added sugars, you are already on a good path to wellness.
However, to enjoy all the metabolic benefits of a low carb diet, it will be necessary to also restrict other sources.
Even without specific scientific studies that explain exactly how to adjust carbohydrate intake to individual needs, these instructions can be very effective:
- 100-150 grams per day. This intake of carbohydrates can be considered as “moderate”. It is very appropriate for thin, active people, who only seek to maintain weight and good health. It is possible to lose weight by consuming this amount, but it may require counting calories and controlling portions. Carbohydrates that can be consumed: All imaginable vegetables. Several servings of fruit a day. Something (not too much) of healthy starches like potatoes, sweet potatoes and cereals like rice and oats.
- 50-100 grams per day. This range is ideal for losing weight effortlessly while allowing some carbohydrates in the diet. It also serves for people sensitive to carbohydrates. Carbohydrates that can be consumed: Many vegetables. Maybe two to three servings of fruit a day. Minimum amount of carbohydrates rich in starch.
- 20-50 grams a day: This is when the metabolic benefits really start to make themselves felt. This is the perfect range for those who need to lose weight fast, have metabolism problems, obesity or diabetes. When you consume less than 50 grams a day, the body goes into ketosis, providing energy to the brain through ketone bodies. This usually kills the appetite and makes you lose weight automatically. Carbohydrates that can be consumed: Many vegetables low in carbohydrates. Some berries, perhaps with whipped cream. Avocados, nuts and seeds.
A diet low in carbohydrates never completely eliminates them. There is room for vegetables low in carbohydrates.
It is important to experiment. We are all unique individuals and what works for one person may not work for another. It is important to experiment with oneself and find out what is good for us.
If you have a medical condition, you have to talk to a doctor before making any changes because this diet can drastically reduce the need for some medications.
Good carbohydrates, bad carbohydrates
A diet low in carbohydrates is not just about losing weight. It is also supposed to improve health. For this reason, it should be based on real, unprocessed foods.
Low-carbohydrate junk foods are a bad choice. If you are looking for better health, it is better to choose meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, healthy fats and whole milk products.
It is also good to incorporate sources of carbohydrates that include fiber. If moderate carbohydrate intake is preferred, sources of unrefined starches should be chosen, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, oats, rice and other gluten-free cereals.
The sugar added and wheat are always bad choices and should be avoided except on special occasions.
You will become a fat burning machine
Low carbohydrate diets greatly reduce the levels of insulin in the blood. This hormone is the one that takes the glucose derived from the carbohydrates to the cells.
Another function of insulin is to store fats. Many experts believe that the reason why low-carbohydrate diets work so well is because they reduce levels of this hormone.
And another function of insulin is to tell the kidneys to accumulate sodium. Therefore, high-carbohydrate diets can cause excessive fluid retention. When carbohydrates are eliminated, insulin is reduced and the kidneys begin to eliminate excess water.
It is common, thus, that people lose a lot of weight in water in the first days of a low carbohydrate diet. The weight loss will be less accelerated after the first week, but this time the fat deposits will begin to burn.
A study that compared low-carbohydrate diets with low-fat diets and use DEXA meters (highly successful) to measure body composition. Those who consumed low-carbohydrate diets lost a significant amount of body fat and gained muscle at the same time.
Studies also showed that low-carbohydrate diets are particularly effective in reducing accumulated fat in the abdominal cavity, associated with several diseases.
If you are just starting a low-carbohydrate diet, you probably need to go through an adaptation stage while your body gets used to burning fat instead of carbohydrates.
This is often called “low carb flu” and usually lasts a few days. After this initial phase, many people say they have more energy than before, without relapses during the afternoon, common in diets high in carbohydrates. Adding a little more fat and sodium to the diet can help at this point.