It is officially spring! This brings the reality of warm weather, sun, shorts and flip flops even closer! And if you are like most people, this also means trying to loose a few pounds! You start looking up all these ‘healthy diets,’ but there are just so many. Instead, you go into your pantry throw out all the junk food and decide your going on a low carb diet.
Many people cut back (or even cut out) carbs when dieting. Carbs play a major role in an energy source, when cutting them out, your body turns to burning fat and protein. Yes, in a sense we want to burn the EXTRA fat, but fat is also needed in order to allow the body to run properly, and if your body begins breaking down protein for energy, you are burning away muscle.
Have you ever cut carbs from your diet and found yourself to be extremely lethargic? Or have you felt “foggy,” almost like you could not think clearly? This occurs when you cut out carbohydrates and fats.
The goal of losing weight is to reduce fat storage while preserving and sometimes even adding lean tissue (muscle).
Carbs are an important source of fuel for our muscles during the day,exercising, and they are the only source of energy for our brain and red blood cells.
Fats are equally as important! Fat plays a major role in protecting our organs and brain function. Try consuming more monosaturdated fats, which are found in your nut butters and avocados!
Protein has the most metabolic benefits for weight loss (this does not mean cut protein). This increases satiety, stimulates energy expenditure, and preserves muscle. Try buying lean protein to heap the extra benefits! However, even at local grocery stores lean meat can cost a pretty penny. Try buying a meat with some more fat in it, place it in a skillet on low heat to allow the fat to burn off, and drain it out.
When you make changes to your diet, try switching out simple carbs for complex carbs. Complex carbs are found in vegetables, whole grains and sweet potatoes (just to name a few).
Yes, you can reduce your intake but never cut out carbs completely. It is recommended that adults intake at least 130 grams per day. This is the minimum your body needs to fuel an adult’s brain, red blood cells, and central nervous system.
Let’s say you do loose 10 pounds with a low/no carb diet. Terrific, now the trick is to maintain your new weight. Want to know how? By staying on this low carb diet. This is why yo-yo dieting occurs in so many people. You deplete something from your diet for a while and than bang, you start eating pasta again. All of a sudden you step on a scale and your gaining weight.
This why it is so important to keep carbs, fats, and protein in your diet but just limit how much you intake. Also, if you eat clean (limiting processed foods, extra sugar, etc.) you will loose weight, yet still get to eat the things you like! This causes slow and steady weight loss with all the nutrition you need, which in turn allows you to keep the weight off!