Cutting carbs is becoming more common than many realize. Not only does eating less glucose-filled foods have serious health benefits, but it can also cut back on heart disease, diabetes, and many other health issues. It’s more than just going on a “low carb” diet, however. Some dieters are choosing to go on the keto diet, and according to the Body Reboot book, this is the way to go. Why is that? The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carb diet that can curb appetite, increase energy, and help people lose weight, fat. If you think there’s a catch there isn’t. Eating healthy fats has many benefits, and losing weight is just one of them. Here are 5 secrets to cutting carbs without going crazy.
1. Say no to dessert and sugary snacks
First thing’s first is you must cut out the sweets. At first, this may seem challenging, but as Style Caster reminds us, sugar isn’t that great for you. Besides, if you’re going to go on the keto diet, cutting out sugar is essential. After you eat less sugar, not only will you crave it less (or not at all), you’ll get rewarded with some incredible health benefits.
Not that we all don’t indulge now and again, but the fact remains that sugar is really, really bad for us. In order to do an effective carb cleanse, abstaining from desserts and sugary snacks is key. If you’re looking for something sweet after dinner, try a hot cup of tea or a glass of iced green tea with a splash of almond milk—it’ll quell any cravings.
Ben Greenfield Fitness discusses how vital it is to say no to harmful and artificial ingredients that in no way are going to benefit your weight loss goals. Make sure you’re checking labels and buying whole foods that have fewer ingredients and are much healthier for you to eat.
I mentioned this in my last article that typical “low carbohydrate” meal replacement bars and shakes, ice creams or ice cream sandwiches, and other low carb or sugar-free snacks often contain potentially unhealthy ingredients like maltitol, and are chock full of preservatives and highly processed ingredients. If your low carbohydrate diet involves boxed, wrapped and packaged food, it probably falls into this category.
Get this through your head – whether a food is low carbohydrate or not, if it is something you see advertised on TV, magazines, or newspapers you probably shouldn’t eat it. If it’s something you can easily recognize and identify where it grew and how it got to your plate, it probably is OK to eat.
This means that avocados are cool.
2. Eating more fat
VeryWell Fit tells us that eating more fat is the key when you’re on the keto diet. Eating more fat has a satiating effect where it makes you feel full for a longer time. When you’re on a high carb diet, you may find you get hungrier faster. When you’re filling up on healthy fats, you can expect to lose weight because you’ll naturally eat less!
Shying away from fat is as detrimental as over-consuming it. Healthy fats are a crucial component of a balanced diet. Despite the fact that the “low-fat” fad has been widely discredited and healthy fats have been shown to improve everything from high cholesterol to brain health, we still get many negative messages about fat in our diet.
When paired with the desire to lose weight fast, these misconceptions may convince you to attempt a low-fat version of a low-carb diet.
In the beginning, you might see results if you are using up a lot of your own fat (as opposed to eating it). However, fat loss inevitably slows down.
You may become more hungry if you don't add some fat to your diet—and nothing will sabotage a diet faster than hunger.
3. Say goodbye to bread
Yes, unfortunately, you’ll need to cut out bread. It doesn’t have to be as depressing as it sounds, however, as Style Caster discusses. There are many other food swaps you can do, such as eating your favorite meals on lettuce or dressing it up with yummy dressing such as ranch, butter, mayo, and more.
Obvious, but incredibly effective when it comes to losing weight. Bread—even most mass-market whole wheat varieties—are packed with carbohydrates and refined sugars, so if you’re looking to slim down by cutting carbs, commit to cutting it out. This means abstaining from the bread basket at restaurants, foregoing sandwiches at breakfast and lunch, and not snacking on things like crackers.
The good news is that with a few simple swaps, you’ll notice that eliminating bread will keep you fuller longer. If you eat a turkey and cheese sandwich on a crusty roll every day for lunch, try putting the protein over a bed of kale, lettuce, spinach, or any other green veggie you like instead. From there, add a splash of olive oil and some fresh pepper for flavor.
Breakfast can be a little more difficult, so try to pre-plan as best you can by making protein-heavy foods like hard-boiled eggs the night before, low-carb shakes, or, in a pinch, grabbing a Fage 0% yogurt, which has a somewhat inoffensive 7 carbs per container).
4. Understand that experiencing discomfort is normal
Any diet is going to be uncomfortable, so Healthline warns us that it’s not always going to be easy. However, the keto diet is easier than most diets because the food you’re eating is yummy, and you naturally feel full! Stick to it, and you’ll receive some incredible results.
No matter what type of diet you get into you will be a bit grumpy. During the first one or two weeks into a low carb diet, you’ll feel less energy or with a change of mood. That’s because you’re burning fatty acids for fuel. Expect it to subside and for your body to normalize within a week or two.
One of the best low carb diet tips is to be mentally prepared and keep moving forward. Feeling a bit down is inevitable, but it’s up to you to decide whether to give up or keep going! To stay motivated, I like looking at before and after results to inspire me, or I keep myself distracted from food by taking a walk or picking up on hobbies to keep my hands busy, like writing!
5. Plan, plan, plan
Planning can go a long way as VeryWell Fit puts well below. Plan out an eating schedule and have an idea as to what you’ll eat when you go out to eat. If you have a plan in place, you’ll be less likely to fail!
When you first start a new way of eating, you'll undoubtedly run into old habits that need to be changed to new healthier ones, like mindlessly hitting a vending machine or drive-thru.
With meals, it's especially important to plan ahead for a while until your new habits come naturally. Nothing will sabotage your goals more quickly than realizing you're hungry but you don't know what to eat, your pantry and fridge are empty, and you don't have time to cook.
Meal-planning before you grocery shop, as well as batch-cooking (pick one day to make a bunch of meals that you can eat throughout the week), can be excellent tools to ensure you always have food at the ready.
Keeping low-carb snacks on hand is also a good idea along with quick, non-perishable, snacks in your bag, car, and office.
Low Carb Yum recommends spacing out your meals and sticking to a routine for the best results. Some experts recommend eating carbs before and after your exercise, but experiment and see what works for you and your body. Some keto dieters are just fine without eating carbs before a workout, especially if they want to lose weight. However, always go with a fresh approach to keep your energy up and healthy habits in place.
The reason why you’re craving or always hungry is probably because you don’t space out your meals well. It’s best to have three meals and two snacks a day every three to four hours, especially if you’re active. It’s best to stick to a routine rather than snacking all day long without any plan, as you may end up taking in more calories than you should.
Time your carbohydrates and make sure that if exercising, you eat at least 500 calories of carbs per day before, during, or after your workouts. I also recommend that you workout but to avoid going too hard during the first few weeks of a low carb diet. I like focusing more on strength exercises as well, as this fares better in keeping me lean and muscular, even if it does burn less calories than cardio.
Check it out: We’re providing a bonus list of some quick tips you can try that’ll hopefully help you stick to your diet. You’ve got this!
There is no secret formula on how to stick to a low-carb diet.
It largely depends on your own dedication and willpower, but here are a few tips that could reduce your risk of failure:
Know which foods are low-carb. Confidence when grocery shopping is essential.
Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry and always bring a shopping list to follow. It will reduce the risk of impulse buying.
Make a meal plan. Be prepared and know what you are going to eat beforehand.
Stock up on low-carb foods you enjoy eating.
Make sure to always keep low-carb snack options close at hand.
Do some research on low-carb recipes you would like to try. Variety is important in the long run.
Tell your friends and family about your diet and ask for their support. You could even invite them for a low-carb dinner at some point.
A low-carb diet is not totally carb-free. Make sure to include plenty of whole non-starch plant foods in your diet.
Now that you know some secrets to stick to the keto diet, it’s your turn to apply what you’ve learned and gone on a diet that’s bound to help you reach your weight loss goals and transform your health. Get the scoop on the ketogenic diet by checking out the Body Reboot book. Help us cover shipping, and you’ll get the book for free!
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