There are more and more people who are opting to try a low-carbohydrate diet in order to reduce their daily caloric intake and, thus, make the body go to stored fat reserves and be able to lose weight naturally. However, we must be very careful with this issue because these foods are the ones that provide us with a large amount of energy that is vital for our body to function at peak performance and our organs to be strong and healthy.
Opting for low carbohydrate guidelines does not mean in any way that these foods should disappear completely, simply, they will stop being so present in our habits. In this article, we are going to show you how to follow a low-carbohydrate diet so that you take into account the guidelines that you must follow and, thus, not compromise your state of health.
Carbohydrates and our diet
There are many diets to lose weight that are committed to reducing the presence of carbohydrates in our diet because they consider that this group of foods is responsible for us gaining weight or not being able to lose weight. In fact, many plans have appeared that are based on this conception, such as the Dukan diet or the current Paleo diet, a form of a diet based on the diet that our ancestors followed during the Paleolithic.
Nutritionists consider that, at present, we follow dietary guidelines with a much higher presence of carbohydrates than what our body needs. We must not forget that these foods provide us with a great source of energy to allow our body to function perfectly both internally and externally, for this reason, we should never completely suppress them from our habits, but we must control them.
Eating excessive carbohydrates means that our body does not finish consuming the great source of energy that they provide us and, therefore, ends up transforming the energy into fat so that we can use it in the future. For this reason, if we follow a diet rich in these foods, we will tend to gain weight, especially if we lead a sedentary life with little physical exercise.
Why a low carb diet helps you lose weight
When we think of carbohydrates, the first thing that comes to mind is rice, pasta, bread, etc., but we forget that we also find them among our daily foods: fruits are rich in carbohydrates, as are some vegetables, legumes, fruits dried, and even milk. So, we should not think that to eat this food group we can only choose to prepare a sandwich or eat a plate of pasta.
As in many of the foods we eat daily we already include an interesting contribution of hydrates, if we later add a pure source of them (a plate of rice, for example) we provide even more energy (calories) to the body that, surely, you will not be able to consume. We say “surely” because if you are an athlete then you will convert them into energy and, therefore, they will not accumulate in your body.
But, in the event that you lead a sedentary life or that you exercise moderately (3 days a week, for example), eating a diet rich in carbohydrates can make you gain weight since your body will not use those calories and will end up storing them. as a reserve of saturated fat.
For this reason, if we start to follow a low-carbohydrate diet, we will be able to avoid the accumulation of fat, we will give our body the energy it needs (we will never exceed it) and, therefore, if we follow a healthy, low-fat diet, we will be able to go losing weight naturally
The types of carbohydrates that exist
We have already indicated that this group of foods gives us the necessary energy to be able to function properly and feel vital and energetic; however, we must emphasize that when we talk about carbohydrates we always refer to complex ones, that is, foods that have a high nutritional quality and, therefore, are beneficial for our body.
At this point, we must specify that there are two types of carbohydrates and that we will detail them below:
They are sugary, refined products that are quickly digested by our body and that destabilize blood sugar, producing a sudden big spike. These foods are sweet such as cakes, biscuits, cookies, etc we give you a comprehensive list of simple carbohydrates.
These are the ones that we must eliminate from our diet or take only occasionally because they hardly provide us with interesting nutrients for the body and, nevertheless, they are very rich in fats, calories, and sugars that are not easy for our metabolism to digest.
These are the ones that provide us with interesting nutrients and are essential sources of energy for the proper functioning of the body. They are the ones that are slowly digested before being transformed into fat and, therefore, for more hours our body will be able to resort to this energy to burn and consume it. They provide fiber, minerals, and vitamins that are very important for our health.
These are the carbohydrates that we should NOT completely eliminate from the diet but, if we want to lose weight, we must take more prudently and, above all, always accompany them with healthy foods; for example, a dish of spaghetti with bolognese is much more caloric than a recipe with sauteed vegetables.
Foods for a low-carb diet
As we have already said, we should not completely eliminate carbohydrates from our diet because, in the long run, it can be harmful to our health by lowering the energy intake that these foods give us. But, if you want to lose weight, it is true that you will have to carry out a series of changes in your diet to opt for less caloric, healthy, and nutritious practices.
So, to design a low-carbohydrate diet, it will be essential that you fill your fridge with healthy products such as fruits, vegetables, and low-fat proteins (meat, fish, dairy products, etc.); but, also, we must have bread, rice, and whole wheat pasta in the pantry because, at least once a week, it is recommended that we eat a pure carbohydrate dish, yes, it is better that you eat it the day you are going to have more activity and, always, during breakfast or lunch, never at dinner time.
If we look at the food pyramid we see that carbohydrates have a special and important place and that is that every day we must introduce this food to be energetic and prepared for the day today. But the most recommended thing is that you take it during breakfast and, for example, prepare a whole wheat toast with olive oil or a cup of whole grain or oatmeal cereals.
Next, we are going to give you some guidelines so that you know the foods that you can take in your diet:
Hearty breakfast in which you include proteins, fruits, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. If we start with a strong breakfast we will reduce hunger for the rest of the day as well as start with energy and vitality.
Include vegetables in your main meals. Starting to eat a large plate of salad or vegetable cream is a perfect idea to fill your body with nutrients and satisfy your appetite (because of the fiber content).
Take the fruits between meals to benefit from their nutrients and, also, satisfy the appetite that may be during the day. A good idea is to prepare a fruit and vegetable smoothie to take mid-morning or during a snack and, thus, ensure that your body is nourished and without excess fat or calories.
Healthy fats should also be in your diet. They are essential for the optimal functioning of our body and, therefore, even in diets to lose weight, it is recommended to take 2 tablespoons of olive oil a day.
At dinner time, always bet on low-fat proteins and cooked vegetables as they are the best foods for this time of day that will satisfy your appetite, provide you with nutrients, and contain hardly any calories. At OneHowTo we tell you how to make light dinners.
Sample menu on a low-carb diet
So that you can see an example of how you can follow this diet, we are going to give you an example of a menu divided into 2 days of the week and that will allow you to see what we mean by this type of diet:
- Breakfast: 1 coffee with skimmed milk + 2 whole wheat toast with turkey + 1 piece of fruit
- Mid-morning: 1 natural fruit juice
- Lunch: Green salad + Lemon chicken + Tea or digestive infusion
- Snack: Yogurt 0% with pieces of natural fruit
- Dinner: Cream of vegetables + Grilled sole
- Breakfast: 1 natural orange juice + 1 cup of whole grains + 1 infusion
- Mid-morning: 1 yogurt 0%
- Lunch: Gazpacho (or tomato soup) + Salad with 50 grams of lentils
- Snack: Fruit of the time
- Dinner: Boiled spinach + 1 omelet with 2 eggs