What is a “Low-Carb” Diet?

A low-carb (carbohydrate) diet is one of the fastest ways to lose weight. Plain and simple, your body does not get enough nutrients and metabolizes fat cells to make energy. This is an extreme diet and requires dedication and will power. The first week is the hardest, but after that the strict routine becomes more natural. I do not recommend using this diet for longer than three months, as losing weight this quickly can cause health problems.

What Will Be Covered

Doctor Approval Before Dieting

How the Low-Carb Diet Works

Getting Ready

Preparing Your Pantry

Tip: When Do You Eat?

What to Drink? Water!

What to Eat? Say No to Carbs!

What to Avoid

Exercise

Some Final Thoughts

This Is an Extreme Diet!

Check with your doctor before beginning.

Doctor Approval Before Dieting

Before starting this or any diet, check with your doctor. Whether this diet is right for you is up to you and your physician. Severely limiting calories can lead to some minor health issues, including fatigue, constipation, nausea, and diarrhea. More severe health problems resulting from very low-calorie diets include gallstones, irregular heartbeat, and an imbalance of electrolytes.

I recommend this diet for those special occasions when you will see people you haven’t seen in a long time, like a reunion or a party where you’re going to see your ex, and you really want to look fantastic. Two to three months is the maximum with this diet. Any longer is not healthy. In addition, too long on this diet will lead to lots of extra loose skin!

How a Low-Carb Diet Works

When on a diet, your body generally attacks your muscles before it burns fat cells. There is a way to divert this process, however, and trick your body into directly attacking your fat cells for energy. You will shed pounds daily and watch the weight fall off.

The secret is simple: calorie deficiency. Most women between the ages of 19 and 30 should take in about 2,400 calories a day just to maintain their weight. Even without eating and keeping up a moderate amount of activity, you burn calories. But the Low-Carb diet will have you shooting for only 1,000 calories, with no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates, per day. This diet keeps you at a steady 1,400-calorie deficit daily.

There are 3,500 calories in 1 pound of fat, so you have to burn 3,500 calories to lose a pound of fat. At a deficit of 1,400 per day, you will lose a pound of fat in 2.5 days. That’s 2.5 pounds per week. If you work out or get any exercise, you will lose even more. Thirty minutes of moderately intense exercise burns about 250 calories.

Getting Ready

The first step before starting this diet is to pick a day to begin. Tell yourself that you are going to start on the selected date and DO NOT move the date further back. By doing so, you will subconsciously tell your body that you are not ready for such an extreme diet and you will fail. Trust me on this!

Stock Up on Vegetables

Go through your pantry, kitchen, and secret stash and dump all of the tempting carb-heavy foods in the house. Head to the store and stock up on fresh vegetables so you can train your body to choose healthy foods over junk.
Go through your pantry, kitchen, and secret stash and dump all of the tempting carb-heavy foods in the house. Head to the store and stock up on fresh vegetables so you can train your body to choose healthy foods over junk. | Source

Preparing Your Pantry

The next step is to go through your pantry, kitchen, fridge, and secret snack or sweets stash and get rid of all the crackers, pasta, and other snack foods. Don’t take “one last bite”—just toss it or give it to a food pantry. This exercise will train your mind to believe that eating junk food is not an option. There will be no unhealthy, carbohydrate-loaded choices lying around the house, so you will have no choice but to eat the healthier stuff or nothing at all.

If you can keep your house carb-free for two weeks, and avoid all junk food, you will program your body and your mind not to go back to the old way of eating. You will set yourself up to make healthy choices when you are done with this strict diet. Trust me: you really won’t miss those Funions or Lays potato chips you used to love so much.

But I won’t sugarcoat it. This diet is hard!

Tip: When Do You Eat?

The best way that I have found to eat less is to look at why and when I eat. Am I really hungry every time I eat? Am I eating out of boredom or for emotional reasons?

Once you have answered these questions, you will get to the root of why you eat the way you do. If it is out of boredom, find something else to keep your mind busy. I for one get sucked into my job so easily that one hour turns into 10-12 and I haven’t eaten at all. When I go home, it is time for dinner and then bed.

What to Drink? Water!

I cannot stress enough that this is not the safest diet around. If you adventurous enough to partake in such a diet, then you must drink water, CONSTANTLY.

Drinking COLD water is important for three main reasons: It cools your body down, which burns even more calories because your body will have to work to keep your body temperature at a normal rate. It also keeps you feeling full. In addition, water helps clear the toxins out of your body. If you get sick of the taste, add lime juice. This improves the taste, boosts weight loss, and helps you feel more energized.

What to Eat

The idea behind this diet is to limit calorie and carbohydrate intake. These changes will shrink your stomach because your portions will be smaller.

A simple rule of thumb: Eat nothing but low-carb foods. When studying labels, don’t look at anything but the carbs. Read labels carefully: foods that claim to be low-calorie can be high in carbs. However, if you lower your carb intake, you will also lower your true calorie and well as sugar intake. Ultimately you are fighting three sources of fat, not just one.

Keep your carbs to between 10 and 20 grams a day. The hardest part is the first few days.

Foods to Eat

Egg whites are highly nutritious sources of protein. Prepare them into an omelette or scramble, but avoid the yolks.
Egg whites are highly nutritious sources of protein. Prepare them into an omelette or scramble, but avoid the yolks. | Source
Chicken in any form—roasted, baked, poached, or grilled—is a highly nutritious way to get fuel without carbohydrates.
Chicken in any form—roasted, baked, poached, or grilled—is a highly nutritious way to get fuel without carbohydrates. | Source

Low-Carb Diet Foods List

What to Eat
What to Avoid
Tips to Make it Delicious!
Lean steak or chicken
No dark meat or deli lunch meats.
Cook in lemon juice!
Fish, all types
No batter
Chicken or turkey, all forms
No glazes or sauces
Shell fish
No sauces
Turkey bacon
Limit use of regular bacon.
Egg whites
Salsa
Instead of dressing or sauce.
Cheese
Keep cheese sticks on hand for quick energy.
Salads
Make sure dressing is low-carb and low-calorie.
Milk
Don’t overdo it!
Skim, low-fat, coconut, soy, or almond milks only.
Protein powder
Choose one that builds muscle and helps lose weight.
Mix with milk or water. Can be used three times a day as a meal replacement.

What to Avoid

Stay Away From
Anything with more than 5 to 10 carbs.
Any form of bread or pastry.
Sauces made with milk or creme.
Fried foods.
Foods with high fat content.
Fast foods.
Sugar, including soda, candy, or processed foods.

Excercise

Any amount of movement or exercise will only increase the number of calories you burn. Whether you run a mile at a decent rate, lift a couple weights throughout the day, move heavy objects, or simply get up to take the copies out of the printer at work—any effort on your body’s part will burn calories.

A good rule of thumb is that 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise, including walking, burns 250 calories.

When you are on a diet, you are taking in substantially less fuel. Exercise with caution. If you feel like you are going to be sick or feint, stop and eat. Be sure to continue exercising after finishing this low-carb diet. At that point, regular exercise will help keep the fat off.

Some Final Thoughts

I cannot stress enough how hard this diet is. Restricting your calorie and carb intake is harsh. Your body needs both of these things to perform, which is why the diet works so well. Your body will burn your fat cells to create fuel. Just remember to drink water and be safe!

 

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