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Low Carb Diet – Is It Suitable For You?

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The Low Carb Diet has been steadily growing in popularity over recent years. There have been claims by many that reduced levels of carbohydrates in the diet of a person can assist with weight loss as well as help to improve other aspects of the body’s health.

Today there are a multitude of carbohydrate reduction programs available in the market. Some of these programs are based around promoting meal replacement products, which is an industry in itself these days. Other programs involve the participant completing an initial detox followed then with a diet that produces a great reduction in carbohydrate intake.

When deciding which program to follow, it is well worth taking the time to compare your options as methods in each program will suit some people and not others. Books and magazines containing reduced carbohydrate recipes can be found in abundance these days. Check with your local book shop and also online if you would like to purchase your own.

When it comes to selecting foods for your Low Carb Diet there is a category of foods that are often referred to as ‘super foods’. What are these super foods? Dark leafy greens are number one. These are rich in vitamins and minerals so it is advised to try to consume some of these in each of your meal portions throughout the day. Next is salmon.

This super food is renowned for its high levels of nutrients as well as the highly publicized omega-3 fatty acid content. Flax seeds may be completely new to some people. These are also super foods and are high in fiber, contain omega-3 fatty acids and are also rich in nutrients. When devising your eating plan, try to mix in as many of these as you can.

So the big question is, is a Low Carb Diet suitable for everyone? Absolutely not. People suffering eating disorders such as anorexia which may have already left them underweight should steer clear of any diet that reduces carbohydrate intake. Pregnant women should also avoid this type of diet. The only exception to this is if they have been specifically instructed by their doctor or a health professional to follow such a regime.

Diet alone is not the answer when it comes to weight loss. Moderate exercise should become a part of your weekly diet plan. Reducing carbohydrate intake can produce a great reduction in weight and body fat. The key to achieving these results is consistency.

This type of diet is also a great way to shed those extra couple of pounds that can sometimes be put on quickly. If you are considering a Low Carb Diet or any other type of diet, it is recommended that you consult a doctor or nutritionist.

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Low Carb Diet Foods – How to Identify Them So You Can Lose Weight Fast

Losing weight and sticking with a diet is all about not giving up. You give up when it gets too challenging – thus the easiest way to diet is by… making it easy on yourself! This can be as simple as making smarter food choices during the day, and substituting one thing for another in ways you’ll hardly even notice.

Lets talk about low carb diet foods and how to incorporate them to melt fat off you immediately.

The number one carbohydrate you need to avoid is sugar. Sugar will send your body into fat storage mode by spiking insulin immediately. That seems simple – stay away from soda, right? Unfortunately even the foods you believe are the healthiest are loaded with sugar.

This is the reason so many people are confused when they diet. Low fat yogurt sounds like a diet staple, right? Would you be surprised to hear that one small low fat yogurt has nearly the amount of super-fattening refined sugar as a can of Pepsi? Check the label.

Read labels, and pick only the items and sauces that have less sugar. Even easier than this is by adjusting what you drink. Fruit juices are loaded with sugar and can be subbed out for teas you can sweeten with Splenda. Obviously, soda should be switched for diet soda.

Even replacing sugary beverages alone will allow you to cut between 200-800 calories per day. Less sugar will also keep your metabolism boosted, allowing you to burn more calories as the day progresses. Green tea will also turbo-charge your metabolism and reduce your appetite.

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Are Low Carb Diets for Everyone?

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When I hear low carb to me it means, “low sugar,” or “less processed foods.” If we’d all make an effort to avoid chips, cookies, cakes, high corn syrup drinks, and candy, then we’d be reducing our overall carbs and eating more healthfully at the same time.

There is also no need to avoid foods that are grown and served as close to their natural state as possible such as fresh fruits and vegetables, nor must you avoid brown rice or even pasta.

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It’s not pasta that makes us fat, it’s the creamy sauces and the loaves of bread, desserts, and drinks we have along with our spaghetti. It’s the combination and quantity of food, not just one food or category of nutrients. When I hear someone say they eat bacon non-stop but they refuse to eat a baked potato or fresh peeled orange it makes me want to scream. I’m not a nutrition expert (even the experts can’t agree at this point), but it does not take a genius to know that bacon is not a better choice over an apple. It just makes sense to eat the foods that grow in our soil first and to avoid the processed versions (think apples versus Apple Jack’s cereal).

For a good basic diet overall, eat as much as you like of wholesome, clean foods. Include healthy grains, rice, beans, salads, vegetables, fruits, nuts (in moderation). Use nut and vegetable oils for cooking. Cook at home once in awhile. Stop super sizing. Buy fresh produce when it’s available from your local farmers. Buy as close to home as possible, and walk to the store, if you can! What a concept.

Check the Serving Size on Processed Foods

If you want something pre-packaged read the label. How many servings does the label state? If more than one, multiply the numbers if you know you’ll eat the whole thing, or if you and your spouse will eat it all, then multiply by servings and divide by two. I’ve seen candy bars that say they serve 2.8 people! When’s the last time you split a candy bar?

I teach people to incorporate healthier eating into their lifestyles, not go on food plans dictated by some book or program which say what you can and cannot eat. Even those who can stay on the plan and do lose substantial amounts of weight, eventually eat something “off plan,” which leads to something else and finally to the mental shift, “Well, I’m off that plan. Better eat up!” What did that experience do for that person? Nothing, but probably they’ll end up a bit heavier than when they started.

Far better to learn how to eat within your usual lifestyle and create new habits that you then can live with, so even though Sunday is the big family party and you may (probably will) overeat, it won’t matter because Monday you’ll be back to your usual habits and patterns. That’s how people without a weight problem eat whatever they want — they just usually eat reasonably with the occasional deviation into unhealthy foods and quantities, rather usually eating an unhealthy diet and occasionally dieting like crazy to lose weight before a big event.

If you want a treat, have a treat, and no, it’s not a treat if you eat it every day. That’s a habit.

Start by Cutting Back Only 500 Calories

Get a reasonable idea of how many calories it requires to maintain your weight, i.e. if you are basically sedentary (get little or no movement regularly) then multiply your body weight by 12. Example, 200 X 12 = 2400. That would mean that if you did nothing but sit in a chair all day, you’d still need 2400 calories just to maintain your body weight!

Start by cutting back the calories required to maintain your weight by 500, so our 200 pound fellow would be perfectly fine eating 1900 calories a day. I eat around 2200 calories on average every day (weekends I eat more than weekdays but it averages out to around 2200). I’m active, and I maintain my weight at around 135 pounds which on my 5’7″ frame is fine for me.

No matter where you begin, start by cutting back by just 500 calories, instead of trying so valiantly to stick to 1200 calorie eating plans that aren’t suitable for a 10-year old child. Remember, your activity increases your calorie requirements, so if you do get out of bed, you’ll likely need more calories than your base. Whether you prefer low carb, low fat, low calorie or any combination thereof, just start to reduce what you’re eating now, make substitutions where possible and create a healthier diet that fits, then add more daily exercise and you’ll reach your goal in no time. Stand up in your chair, sit down. Stand up, sit down. That’s exercise. It can be that simple.

So yes, the low carb approach can be right for everyone. We can all adopt the low carb approach when it means eating less processed foods and adding more fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Low Carbs Diet Guide

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So there has been a lot of talk about low carb diets and how remarkable they are. In this article we’ll get down to business on exactly what low carbs diets means so you’ll have a enhanced grasp on the how and why.

Let’s get this out of the way first: It’s not NO carbs, but it’s LOW carbs. You body is fueled by what you eat, and your body can’t operate properly without carbs. It is a essential energy source that supports all bodily systems, specially your muscles and brain.

carbs
What we don’t need is the quantity of carbs the average person consumes and particularly the types of carbs that are thrown in front of your face on every corner, magazine page and menu.

Let’s get down to the fundamentals which is being healthy, right? What better way to be healthy than to eat foods in their whole unprocessed state right? The closer the food can stay to it’s natural state, the better. Eating foods in this state will give you the most fiber and nutrients possible.

So you want a simple way to create a low carbs diet? Following these tips will really help out:

  1. Go for fruits! – These are sweets in their most natural form.
  2. Green means go! – Green vegetables are plentiful with chlorophyll and nutrients
  3. Say NO to refined sugars! – Watch out for hidden sugars in breads, lunch meats, dressing, soda, candy and cookies.
  4. Legume you say? – It’s not as strange as it sounds. These are foods rich in fiber like beans, peas and peanuts.
  5. Whole gains only! – When eating carbs, stick to products that contain only 100% whole non-refined grains. These have a much better stabilizing effect on your blood sugar.
  6. What’s all this talk about soy? — The miraculous bean has been used to substitute just about every food know to man. It’s a super food high in fiber and has also been known to diminish your risk of certain cancers and heart disease.

Here is a simple rule of thumb to go along with those quick tips: Permit yourself 5 servings of complex carbohydrates a day. A single piece of toast, serving of oatmeal, crackers, rice or a small potato.

I know everyone has different serving sizes, but for simplicity, half the size of your fist or it’s about a ¼ cup uncooked, ½ cup cooked. For a real thrust in slimming down, make your last serving no later than 6pm when your body is slowing down and has not a lot demand for these calorie dense foods.

Now let’s talk about a bit of the technical information on why so many have been so successful with a low carbs diet. First off most calorie dense foods come in the form of simple sugars and refined wheat products. When, not if, you get rid of these types of food from your diet, you will be cutting out a ton of calories. This also includes regular sodas and coffee drinks with added flavorings.

The first two weeks of a restricted carb diet, you body starts to break down glucose from your muscles and liver. The make up of glucose is a substantial amount of water, which is why you frequently hear the term “water weight.” For this reason during the first two weeks or so, many people can see impressive results which regrettably will taper off. This weight loss is predominantly water, but weight none the less.

If you keep up a diet with less than fifty grams of carbohydrates a day for more than fourteen days, that is when your body will start burning fat for energy! The name of this is called ketosis. A derivative of the breakdown of fat is called a ketone which is released in the blood stream and filtered through the kidney. Because of this increase in ketones in the blood, it is essential to drink more than the recommended eight cups of water a day while on this type of diet.

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Are You Fooling or Fueling Your Body?

Year in and year out, people promise themselves that this is the year they will start exercising and losing weight. However, that journey is much more complex that many people think. Losing weight and taking care of your health also includes nutrition.

If you go to the gym and do cardio, lift weights or even group exercise classes you will not see a change in your overall physique if you don’t provide your body with the necessary fuel to make that change happen. The marriage between nutrition and exercise could make the difference in making this year the year that your life changes.

fuel

During Anaerobic exercise (resistance training) your body uses up muscle glycogen (a carbohydrate) in order to find energy sources of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). In high intensity exercises the body’s glycogen can be depleted quite quickly due to the small amount found in the muscle. Due to this decline, blood sugars drop leaving you at risk of a poor workout and it can even influence your next one. Therefore, post workout, your body needs to replenish these glycogen stores in order to prepare your body for your next workout.

Think about what are you eating now? Do you know if you are supporting a change in your physique or hindering it by neglecting to add the right things into your diet? Are you incorporating healthy fats, carbohydrates and lean protein in your diet? Your body needs macronutrients to provide it with calories and energy for functioning. Macronutrients are classified as carbohydrates, fats, and protein. All of these macronutrients are essential and provide you with various amounts of energy in calories.

Carbohydrates provide the body with 4 calories per gram, Protein 4 calories per gram, fats 9 calories per gram and ethanol-in alcoholic beverage form-delivers 7 calories per gram. Adding the right macronutrients into your body-along with a smart exercise/training program-can help you lose FAT weight and hold onto or even gain lean muscle.

However, neglecting to add these macronutrients in the right amounts-or NOT engaging in an exercise training program-could lead to fat loss and muscle loss, which is a less than desirable result.

Many of you know the importance of eating macronutrient rich foods to support your exercise but what about supplemental forms of them? Food should always be your first resort however there are certain situations when supplements can benefit your workout and maximize your results more efficiently.

Protein shakes are a common supplement used at the gym post workout. One of the main reasons for having a protein shake at the end of your workout is to replenish the body and support the rebuilding of muscles that have been broken down during resistance/weight or endurance training.

Another reason to have protein in the form of a shake after a workout is because it is a lot faster to make and consume than eating a meal (unless maybe you have a meal already prepared and can quickly swallow large chunks of food!). However, protein drinks should not be the only element of your post-workout drink.

When your body becomes efficient at creating and using energy for fuel, you begin to burn fat as well for energy. You do not exhaust all of your muscle fat during exercise and therefore you do not need to replace fat after a workout, especially if you are doing resistance training or short duration (less than several hours) endurance training or racing. However, it is important to maintain a diet with a modest amount of healthy fats.

Another great supplement that can be incorporated into your workout is a patented, sugar-free carbohydrate called Vitargo. Vitargo is a research based “supercarb”-an extract of starch-which has been studied in prestigious university laboratories. The subjects who took the Vitargo increased their work output by up to 23% just 2 hours after completing exhaustive exercise, compared to when they took a maltodextrin and sugars drink, or calorie-free placebo.

Vitargo also doesn’t cause the common bloating that occurs after ingesting other carbohydrates because it has been shown to move through the stomach and into the intestines 2.3x faster than a combo of maltodextrin and sugars (over 90% maltodextrin).That means you will get the necessary fuel you need for your muscles without experiencing that “heaviness”, when taken pre-, during (“intra-“), or post-workout. Vitargo also has been researched to show that it replenishes glycogen stores 1.7 times faster than a maltodextrin plus sugars combo-again 2 hours after exhaustive exercise.

Glycogen is the body’s way of storing carbohydrates, like plants and grains store starch. It does this in muscles, and the liver and brain. This means you will be able to provide your body with the necessary fuel/energy replenishments needed for your next workout. In addition to all of these bonuses, Vitargo also increases the rate of blood sugar rise 2 times quicker compared to Maltodextrin and sugars.

So, what does all this mean? In order to get maximum results from your workout you need to be eating adequate amounts of macronutrients like carbohydrates, fats, and proteins every 3-4 hours in order to provide your body with the necessary energy and rebuilding components. You also, however, need to make sure that you are also giving your body the right supplements pre and post workout.

Because of the unique nature of Vitargo, you can drink it pre-workout to provide your muscles and your brain with the necessary fuel you need to make it through an intense workout. You can also mix it with your protein powder post workout to replenish your glycogen stores, support muscle repair, and promote faster recovery before the next time you dive into an intense workout.

Providing your body with the necessary fuel pre and post workout, can not only bring yourself one step closer to your fitness goals but also fuel your workouts, not “fool” them! Next time I’ll write about why many find it hard to train/work out while on a low carb or “keto” diet and how to use pulsed fueling tactics to have better workouts… and better results!