low-carb way to lose the winter excess
Carbs provide us with quick easy and convenient meal options…who could imagine life without a sandwich, or breakfast cereal but for some the balance of protein vs carb can be a bit out of whack!
If you have indulged a little more than you are comfortable with over the winter, now is the time to take matters into your own hands and a high protein/low carb diet can be a great option
It is recommended that you aim for at least 20-25% of your daily calories from protein. For a 2,000-calorie diet, this would be about 400-500 calories from protein (100-125 g) per day. Make sure to choose lean protein such as chicken, fish, beans, lentils, nuts, or non-fat milk. By choosing lean protein, you decrease the amount of fat you consume, which typically is the cause of high cholesterol and heart disease.
There is no benefit in any ‘fad’ diets, but increasing your protein and reducing your carbohydrate load can be an effective way to trim off some of the winter excess
Many low carb diets are dangerous, restrictive and quite unhealthy, so like everything balance and moderation are vital, but the right low carb diet can create less blood sugar swings, an increased sense of satisfaction and fullness that leads to less late-night snacking, eating simple and healthy foods, and keeping processed foods and junk out of your body.
The key to doing it right is following some crucial steps you’ll find here. Oh, and if you’re worried about eating a low carb diet, or unsure about it, these tips also cover some of the basic ideas most people worry about.
1 PORTION SIZE
When you switch to a low carb/high protein diet be careful that you don’t go overboard on your portion sizes
Aim for around 20 grams of protein per meal, and always include lots of veggies with the recommended amount of healthy fats. Eat a good serving size and give yourself 20 minutes to let the fullness set in.
2 KEEP IT BALANCED
A healthy low carb diet does not mean the crazy restrictive fad diet of living off meats and fat to be healthy or thin. You need to slowly drop the carbs that cause a rise in your glycemic index:
sugar, refined sugars, added sugars from agave, honey, maple syrup and molasses
flour & grains (you can add these back later)
Beyond that, don’t worry so much about the carbs in other veggies. You will need to limit fruit if you’re just starting out since it can mess with your blood sugar too, with the exception of berries, green apples and grapefruit.
3 LOTS OF LIQUID
Often we ‘snack’ not out of hunger but habit or boredom. When you feel like you might need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up try herbal teas like fruit flavored green tea, peppermint tea, chamomile tea This is an excellent for offering taste that you want to enjoy without adding calories. Plus, this is a great way to increase your water intake, which you need plenty of on a low carb diet. Not consuming enough liquids can make you moody and dehydrated. Herbal teas are also full of antioxidants that nourish your heart, brain, digestive tract and skin.
4 PROTEIN AT THE HEART OF EVERY MEAL
Protein is the key to enjoying a low carb diet. It spikes your metabolism, fills you up, stabilizes your blood sugar and prevents a bad mood. The key is to keep your protein healthy. Choose foods like organic grass-fed poultry when you can, wild fish, unsweetened organic yogurt, organic or local eggs, egg whites, quality protein powder, and if you’re vegan or vegetarian, use quinoa, tofu, vegan protein powder and limit the beans and legumes you eat since they are higher in starchy carbs. Though quinoa is technically higher in carbs, it is actually a seed, not a grain, and is a good source of protein.
5 GET YOUR VEGES
Eat tons of veggies like broccoli, spinach, celery, salad greens, artichokes, green beans, leafy greens, asparagus, red bell peppers, onions, garlic, cucumbers, zucchini squash, etc. You need veggies in your diet for nutrition and to prevent constipation that many extreme low carb diets can bring.
6. YOU NEED ‘GOOD’ FATS
Eating a low carb diet does not mean sacrificing taste and you can add flavor and good oils with chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, almonds, avocado, coconut oil, coconut butter, If you like eggs trying just using one yolk with the rest of your whites for the healthy fats in eggs. These foods actually do not raise your cholesterol and have been proven to lower the bad cholesterol, while raising the good cholesterol in your body. Moderate amounts of fat are important for nutrient absorption, your metabolism, and satisfying you for longer periods of time.
7 ADD A LITTLE EXTRA FLAVOUR
Avoid mayos, ketchups and salad dressings, which almost always have added sugar…try using balsamic vinegar, ponzu soy or mustard has an alternative. A little apple cider vinegar and mustard mixed with some black pepper is a great salad dressing topper. Utilize herbs and spices to avoid MSG in pre-made seasonings which can make you crave more food and cause headaches. Apple cider vinegar is especially helpful in lowering your glycemic index as well. A safe choice at restaurants is to ask for plain oil and vinegar for your salads
Low carb diets can be a great way to get ahold of your sugar cravings, keep off the weight, and are actually very easy to do. Feel free to enjoy beverages like black coffee, unsweetened almond milk, plain green tea, lots of water and herbal teas. If you need a sweetener, stay with stevia, which has zero effect on your blood sugar and is not artificial. Just avoid the juices and sweetened foods and drinks and you’ll be good to go.