There was a time when the word “diet” only meant regulating the food you ate or not eating at all. Nowadays, it means so many different things depending on the kind of diet you are having.
One type of diet that is becoming very famous today is the low carb diet. Taken from its name, its technique is to lessen the number of carbs you consume and replace it with other food rich in protein and fat.
This is often linked to weight loss. But before you jump into this diet, here are 4 things you should know.
1. It’s not for everyone
The low carb diet might sound appealing, but it isn’t recommended for everyone. Sure, it’s a great way to lose weight in a short amount of time, but it’s a “crash course”.
Doctors will not recommend it for those who are taking medication and for those who are diabetic. But if you still want to try the low carb diet, you should consult a doctor for the go signal.
2. You will still eat carbs
It wouldn’t be called “low carb diet” if you will eliminate your carb consumption totally. Instead, a low carb diet entails a minimum amount of carbs every day.
It restricts you from eating food rich in sugar and starch like rice, pasta, pastries, and bread. However, there are naturally-occurring carbs found in fruits, vegetables, and meat. So, you will never do away with carbohydrates.
3. Weight loss isn’t the only benefit
Weight loss is the main health benefit you will get if you switch to a low carb diet. But there are other advantages to this. For one thing, it helps regulate blood pressure.
Because you are consuming less sugar, your sugar levels will often go down to normal. The low carb diet also helps in preventing cardiovascular diseases 1.
4. You shouldn’t eliminate carbs right away
When you’re starting out in the low carb diet, you should always remember to not stop eating carbohydrates on your first week.
Some people would tell you to cut down on your carbs on the first few days, but there can be a lot of risks when you do this.
A big drop in your carb intake can result in headaches, acid refluxes, fatigue, weakness, and even constipation.
To avoid this, pace yourself when you reduce the number of carbohydrates you consume. You can start by reducing a fourth of your usual intake and so on. This will help your body adjust to your changing food behaviour.
5. It doesn’t work well when you work out
Glucose is the main source of energy when you work out or do any physical activity. So, if you do a lot of sports or you exercise a lot, it isn’t wise to start doing a low carb diet.
If you’re worried about gaining weight, just modify your exercises in order to burn more calories. Usually, high intensity workouts are great for weight loss and a boost in your metabolism.
There are many kinds of low carb diets. Before you jump into a change in your eating habits, make sure that you check with a doctor and ask for their recommendation.
1. Thomas L Halton 1, Walter C Willett, Simin Liu, JoAnn E Manson, Christine M Albert, Kathryn Rexrode, Frank B Hu, Low-carbohydrate-diet score and the risk of coronary heart disease in women, N Engl J Med. 2006 Nov 9;355(19):1991-2002. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa055317
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