The American dietetic association, as well as other governmental and medical agencies, suggests combining exercise with sensible eating for a healthy weight loss program.
In the end, all that matters is your decision to become healthy and to stay motivated in carrying out that decision.
So what is this diet plan all about and should it be a part of your new fat loss, muscle building mission? A low carbohydrate, high fat diet (LCHF) could be considered to be any ratio of calories less than the current FSA (Food Standards Agency) guidelines.
They also recommend a maximum of 35% of your calories should come from fat, a variety of sources are recommended such as animal products, oils, nuts and seeds.
A minimum of 9-12% of your calories should come from protein, sources include meat, fish, dairy, eggs, soy foods and some plant food combinations for vegetarians. You have the Ketogenic Diet, otherwise known as a very low carbohydrate diet, similar to The Aktins or South Beach diet, where you could consume as little as 8% of calories from carbohydrate and up to 70% of calories from fat. On the more conservative end your carbohydrate intake would be reduced in correlation to your activity level (move more, eat more carbs, move less, eat less carbs). If it's a very low carbohydrate diet your carbs will be restricted to vegetables only (excluding potatoes), most other low carb high fat diets recommend small portions of unrefined carbohydrates. Saturated Fat has been accused of being a heart killer, but new evidence may suggest otherwise. You need adequate amounts of saturated fat to have an effective immune system, to protect the liver from alcohol and toxins, and to fight bad bacteria in the gut. Monounsaturated fats are also recommended, these have lots of health promoting properties in the body and also help keep arteries free from plaque. There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to new diet fads and if you're looking to take up this kind of diet it is recommended to seek professional advice. Benefits such as improved blood sugar, cholesterol and weight loss have been shown in clinical trials when using this type of diet, but you will only reap these benefits if you can stick to it.
When severely reducing any food group away from the recommended guidelines you open yourself up to risks of malnutrition, leaving you lacking in energy and open to illness. That being said, not everybody's needs are the same and some people do not tolerate a high carbohydrate diet well.
Regardless of genetics, food allergies or intolerances, personal preference and your other unique circumstances, it would be a bad idea to start this diet without seeking advice. If you have any underlying health conditions please ask your GP before starting, you could put yourself at risk of hyperglycaemia (low blood sugar levels) or nutrient deficiencies. Protein helps repair muscle tissue after training, so it's essential to consume adequate amounts if you go to the gym. How much protein depends on your activity level, the type of activity you do, and your body size.
When using a LCHF diet and training intensely you could be at risk of dizziness and nausea. The overriding factor if you're training for fat loss would be if you are in a calorie deficit.
To make a diet sustainable you must choose one that creates a healthy relationship between you and the food, one that takes into account all your individual needs, makes you feel good and doesn't make you feel bad if you slip off the rails a little. Can you honestly see yourself never eating bread, pasta, rice, cake or chocolate ever again?
And most important of all, seek professional advice before dramatically changing your diet.
The theory behind this eating and weight loss plan is that the human race was made up of nothing more than hunter-gatherers for thousands of years. Between five and ten thousand years ago, agriculture became a thing and starchy foods (such as breads, pastas, etc.) were introduced to us. A century or two ago the industrial revolution began to boom, and that’s when refined sugar and white flour made their way into the world.
It wasn’t until people started following this eating philosophy that obesity and diabetes really started to affect people. So, your insulin production spikes, you end up feeling hungry again shortly after (usually within a couple of hours), and so you eat again.
On the other hand, if you eat less carbs and instead fill your body with protein rich foods and wonderful saturated fats, you end up not only feeling fuller longer, but you also having the energy to do whatever it is you like to do. Because the foods you’re eating are actually good for you, the LCHF is more focused on fueling your body with good things. One of the great things about this eating plan is that you won’t need to count calories or weigh your food at all – You simply get to listen to your body and when it’s full, you stop eating. When you’re first starting on the LCHF Diet, the less carbs that you eat, the better (it’s recommended that you quit cold turkey). Since you’re able to eat as much as you’d like of the above foods, you can clearly see that you’ll be a far cry from starving when you’re following this eating plan.
Alcohol (dry wine, brandy, vodka, whisky, etc.) and dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) are okay to consume once in a while, but you shouldn’t make a daily habit out of it. That said, if you’re someone that’s been consuming a ton of carbs your entire life, this diet won’t come without side effects.
If you’ve got diabetes and you rely on insulin to keep your blood sugar stable, you’re definitely going to want to keep a close eye on it – You likely won’t need to rely on it as much (if at all) to keep your blood sugar levels stable, and the last thing you want is to deal with hypoglycemia. Again, I see no reason that it wouldn’t (barring a severe lack of willpower because real food tastes so good of course).
Please remember that although I can give you the ins and outs of various diets, I can’t actually determine whether or not any one of them is right for you or your situation. Remember to pin this article so that you can easily find it whenever you’re planning to start out your new eating plan. This article contains affiliate links to products, services and other items we recommend and are relevant to the discussed topic. Please click on the form graphic, above, to download and print your own healthy and trim, low-carb Grocery Shopping List!
Angela, if you click on the very large graphic of the shopping list - at the top of the blog post - it will take you to a new page that shows the shopping list again, but much smaller (on the top right hand side of the page).
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You won't want to miss my FREE Trim Healthy Mama low carb-style recipes, tutorials, giveaways, and deals - get them delivered fresh to your inbox! The reduced risk profiles were based on the considerably lower levels of cholesterol and triglyceride derived from the low carbohydrate diets. Because the glucose in the blood becomes relatively lower, the problem of diabetics with controlling this becomes less. There may not be any weight loss achieved but the corresponding health gains make the diet plan worth investing in.
There are also myths that say it is not healthy or that it is not effective. These are all opinions mostly from people who are not motivated enough to stick to the low carb plan or have gone from one diet to another and still remain fat.
Everything else is so simple, just follow the low carb diet as it is laid out and you will become healthier, more energetic, and slimmer in no time. It would not matter if you're training whilst on a LCHF diet or on a conventional diet, if you are not in a calorie deficit the result will be the same.
If you do not create this environment it is impossible for your body to change no matter what the ratios of your carbohydrate, fat and protein. Adherence is everything and if you cut out those foods for a period of time and then start eating them again you will be able to watch the weight climb up the scale. Adjust your carbohydrate intake in correlation to your activity level, body size and goal as a means of manipulating overall energy balance.
These types of diets might work for a short period of time, but most of the time you’re left feeling hungry, irritable, and deprived of things that you love (because really, who wants to give up butter and instead slather their morning toast – probably the only carb you get to eat all day long – with tasteless, disgusting, horrible for you margarine?). Fat is actually our quite good for you friend, provided that you’re fueling your body with the real kind (quality fats from natural, whole foods as opposed to useless trans fats). If you wanted to eat on any given night, you had to go out and get whatever was available to you at the time.
That might seem like quite some time, but it’s not really been long enough for our genes to adapt to it on a whole (obviously some people can eat it with no issues, but not everyone can.
These are pure carbohydrates with zero nutritional value that we’re able to digest super quickly, but if we still haven’t completely adapted to whole grains in ten thousand years, what makes you think that 200 years is enough? Faulty science convinced everyone that fat was the enemy and if they wanted to be healthy they needed to stick to low fat foods. Digestible carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars in your intestines and then absorbed by your blood. Once you’re happy with your results though, you can slowly reintroduce carbs in your life and see how it goes (although you might find that your body doesn’t want to tolerate them anymore once you do). That said, mix some up with some full fat whipped cream and you’ve got yourself something to satisfy that sweet tooth of yours. Just remember to listen to your body closely – Just because something tastes great, doesn’t mean you’re not full. Preferably avoid sweeteners as well (it doesn’t mention whether or not stevia is okay, but if you absolutely need sweetness, I’d say that it’s probably your best bet). Not only does it focus on natural, clean eating, but it also advises you to eat grass fed, organic, and wild foods whenever you can.
We receive a small commission from purchases made from these links, which helps us cover the costs associated with running and maintaining this website. CardsTrim Healthy Mama Visual Shopping ListPlanning a Frugal Family Trip to Washington, D.C. The lower glucose level is the result of lower carbohydrate intake which maintains the production of sugar that can be converted into body fat. It has been shown in some studies that having an ideal body weight leads to a healthier lifestyle and lesser health related problems.
But, we hope you’ve got a handle on basic math, because it requires some number-crunching at first.
In fact, studies have shown that instead of causing heart disease as previously thought, good fats can actually lower your risk for heart disease as well as a whole host of other ailments.
This diet focuses on eating high quality fat from various sources and limiting your consumption of carbs and processed sugars. You certainly didn’t head out to the local grocery store and buy whatever, much less something that had been processed to death and had virtually zero nutritional value left to it. And to be fair, I can sit down and eat an entire plate of brownies in one sitting, but that certainly doesn’t mean that they’re good for me, does it?).
But here’s the thing – If you eat less fat, you end up needing to eat more carbs in order to feel full.
This causes your blood glucose levels to spike, which in turn increases your body’s production of insulin, our fat storing hormone.
It might sound like it’s a lot more complicated than that (and truthfully if you’re lacking in the willpower department it probably will be), but since fats tend to make you feel fuller and quality foods give your body what it needs, it’s actually quite easy if you know how to get in tune with your body. When it comes to shopping, you’re going to want to read the labels on packaged foods carefully – A good rule of thumb is that if it contains less than 5% carbohydrates, you’re good to go! Anyone that’s been following us knows that this will get you big points with me – I think that an all-around healthy lifestyle will trump any fad diet anytime.
Just remember that eating is really only half the battle; a healthy lifestyle also requires you to be physically active. This is especially true if you’re a diabetic and planning to get rid of carbs – Your insulin helps keep your levels stable according to the diet you currently eat. We’d love to hear about your personal experience on a high fat, low carb diet, so let us know all about it in the comments section below!
If you decide to buy anything from our affiliate links, we are most grateful for your support! I also used to believe in this myth before consulting the expert dietician on online USA doctors.A lot of vegetables are very low in carbohydrates and they are essential to our diet for the vitamins and minerals they contain. That’s more than we can say for the low-fat craze, which turns out is causing more obesity and other health issues than it’s solving. In this article we’ll talk about what the diet is, how it works, and whether or not I think it’s worth its weight (no pun intended) in the weight loss world. Reintroduction of root vegetables later on are okay, but if you’re starting out super strict you should avoid them in the beginning stages. Omitting (or even limiting) carbs means that your insulin dosage will very likely have to be adjusted, if not gotten rid of altogether.
That same train of thought goes for those that are on medication for their cholesterol levels – Once you get rid of trans fats and you’re filling your body with good saturated fats, you might need your medication lowered (or best case scenario, you won’t have to take it at all anymore!). Many have the same information and ground rules, although each site will tweak the concept for what works for THEM. You are not obligated to use these links when you make a purchase, but when you do so it helps to support this site, so thank you!
The basic principles are to combine a restricted calorie diet, aiming for weight (fat) loss, with a high protein diet, to maintain and build muscle mass. This ensures that your body is always kept guessing and optimises your fat burning and muscle building. This was because it works with my training much better than a random cycle, because I like to train on the same days each week. I know that it is the only way you can truly lose weight extremely fast and get to the holy grail of 4% body fat, but I am not a bodybuilder and within my current lifestyle I often don’t have time to fit in any more exercise than my lifting splits above.
They take priority.However, what this does mean is that this whole experiment will be a true test of the effect that diet alone has on your body shape. I may also alter my training days to coincide with a 3 or 4 day cycle for the same reasons, such is the beauty of the diet plan.Personal Daily LimitsIn terms of where I have set my personal carbohydrate and protein limits for each type of day, it is all relevant to my starting weight and basal metabolic rate (BMR).
I then utilised the Harris Benedict Formula to determine my true daily BMR based on how much exercise I do a week. Some encourage more carbs, some encourage less protein and the calorie total is simply based on the fact that we do need a percentage reduction from my BMR in order to lose weight and expend more calories overall than we are consuming.All these figures are subject to change based on how the diet is going and my body is responding.
As Maximuscle are sponsoring the project, they are providing us with the right supplements in order to help achieve our goals. Fast acting whey protein, BCAAs and a whole host of other ingredients should help ensure I keep as much muscle mass as possible. They are packed full of high quality carbohydrates and calories, so they are strictly for use on high carb days, but also contain 22g of protein per bar AND a healthy dose of CLAs and creatine. The casein ensures the nutrients within the shake are released slowly over time, almost like drip feeding your muscles consistently. As you can imagine, this is great during the night when your body grows the most and you are in starvation mode. I wanted to try Thermobol as I have always heard good reviews about it from magazines, friends and the like. I am not expecting miracles, but I am hoping the blend will help increase my fat burning potential and I will even be able use them just before training as a type of pre-workout pill (due to it containing caffeine amongst other things). The only days where I felt I could eat more food were the no carb days, and generally my work kept me busy enough that it was a non-issue. That is one way that a cycling program such as this can help you stick to the diet.On low (200g of carbs) and high (300-350g of carbs) I actually felt full most of the time. I’ve been training 4 years but the diet has always let me down so hopefully this will change that!Could you list a few other foods you ate a lot of during the program which are not listed in the article if there were any please?
Great article.I’ve calculated both my protein and varying carb levels based on my bodyweight in pounds but how do I work out my daily fat allowance?Also, on low and no carb days, should I be increasing my Protein and fat intake to compensate for the lack of carbs and always hit my recommended calories ?
Just had a question around your level of carbs – in the article you have low days as no more than 95g. However given that I am a dad of two boys, busy at work, frequent traveler and married to a Greek who loves food, how do you see life post-diet? Given my personal circumstances I would probably find it difficult maintaining the regime as my lifestyle. I’m following your diet and work out routin, but I can’t see any where your abs exersice! My chest and arms are much better now, but still I’m suffering with my mid section, so can you please advise what should I do?
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