Those of you who have used our body wraps understand that although they are a terrific way to lose inches quickly, a long term weight loss diet is critical if your goals are to shed a significant amount of body weight.
So, if you are looking to lose weight and drop fat you might think that you should go on a low fat diet. Less fat in means less fat on your body, right?
There have been numerous studies in the past decade on low carbohydrate versus low fat diets. By and large the low carb diet plans had more fat loss than the low fat plans. In addition, low carb diets lowered total cholesterol as much or more than low fat diet plans. They also increased HDL levels (which is the healthy cholesterol) and lowered triglycerides by much more. (Triglycerides are fat in the blood).
If this isn’t enough to sell you on the benefits of eating low carb they also increased muscle mass relative to low fat diets. Everyone knows muscle burns more calories than fat which further increases your fat loss!
If you are looking to start a diet plan, opt for a low carb diet. Try eating low carb for 1-4 days a week. When you have days that incorporate more carbohydrates opt for healthy carbs like low starch vegetables. By eating a diet lower in carbohydrates on some days and with healthy carbs on others you will be able to drop the pounds without putting going on an “Atkins” style diet.
How low do I have to go?
Remember, the goal is not to completely eliminate carbohydrates, it’s to reduce your intake to levels that will allow the body to burn fat efficiently throughout the day. Aim at consuming no more than about 100 grams of any type of carbohydrate daily. This means that you will have to consume more protein / fat in order to make up for these lost calories.
Vegetables that are low in starch such as brocolli, cauliflower and spinach are the ‘safest’ sources. Try to avoid sugary fruits such as melon, and eliminate grains entirely if possible – since they contain huge amounts of carbohydrates.
Eliminating grains and drastically reducing your fruit intake is not as hard as it may seem. Here is a list of some fantastic foods that are healthy, and are very low in carbohydrates:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Broccoli / cauliflower
- ‘Clean’ grass-fed sources of meat, and eggs from free-run chickens
- Nuts and seeds (almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts)
- Berries – strawberries and rasberries are high in antioxidants, and are relatively low in sugar compared to most other fruits (under 6 grams per cup).
Of course there are plenty of other low carbohydrate options, but the ones listed above or some of the best available.
Is a low carbohydrate diet right for me?
Assuming that you do not have diabetes or any other metabolic problems, low carbohydrate diets are safe, ‘real’, and work extremely well for anyone trying to lose weight. Simply put, they allow your body the opportunity to constantly burn fat as your primary source of energy. If you have never tried cutting back on the carbs, I highly recommend that you give it a shot!