A Low-Carb Diet Plan for Successful Weight Loss

Updated on May 26, 2018
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David is an army-trained biomedical scientific officer, writer, and lifelong health and fitness enthusiast.

lose weight with a low carb diet
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A Diet Plan That Works

If you are looking to lose some weight there are a great many different approaches you could take to help you achieve that goal. But it’s an unfortunate fact that most of them will turn out to be nothing more than short term fixes. You’ll probably lose some weight at first, but it will all go back on again when you come off your ‘diet’. Many people are all too familiar with this type of ‘yo-yo dieting. But if you follow a low carb diet plan in the right way you’ll find you really can achieve your goal of successful and permanent weight loss.

Why Is it You are Overweight?

Your body weight (or more specifically body fat) is influenced by two main factors. These are:

  1. Your calorie intake in relation to your calorie expenditure
  2. Your hormonal balance

So if you are overweight it means you are consuming more calories than you need, and your hormonal response is causing these excess calories to be stored as fat.

But by following a low carb diet plan, you’ll be addressing both of these issues.

The main hormone that causes calories to be stored as fat is insulin, and eating carbohydrates causes you to secrete more insulin. So if you reduce your carb consumption you’ll also reduce your insulin levels. And if you have lower insulin levels it will be easier to lose weight.

Furthermore, foods that are high in carbohydrates (especially sugary foods) also tend to be calorie dense. And apart from this they cause cravings for even more carbs. Because of this you usually end up eating a lot more than you had intended to. So if you reduce your carb intake, you'll not only cut out a lot of calorie dense foods, you'll also reduce your cravings. The end result of this is that you’ll find you are eating fewer calories without even trying.

A low carb diet is about the most effective way of losing weight there is; but if you follow a very low carb diet for too long it will eventually become much less effective. This is because your metabolism will gradually slow down, and you will start to lose muscle tissue as well as fat. You may also find your energy levels start to drop off – even though at first this way of eating may have given you more energy.

So if you want a low carb diet plan that will continue to work well over the long term, you need a slightly modified approach.

A Low-Carb Diet Plan for Long Term Success

The way to keep a low carb diet working well long term is to have an occasional day when you eat a higher amount of carbs, i.e. a re-feed day. This will give your metabolism a boost, so that you will burn fat much more effectively when you return to eating low carb.

A good way to do this is to eat low carb for six days each week, and have one day when you eat a higher amount of carbs. Occasionally however you could have two or three days in a row of eating higher carbs to give your metabolism an additional boost.

This is a great way to do it because, although eating a low carb diet is usually very satisfying, you will still look forward to your high carb days, and this will give you the motivation to stick to eating low carb the rest of the time.

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What to Eat on a Low-Carb Diet

On a standard low carb diet (20 - 50g of carbohydrates per day) you should eat mostly protein foods (meat, fish, eggs and cheese) and vegetables. But you can also have a small amount of fruit, nuts, seeds and beans, so you will be getting some carbs from these (as well as from the vegetables).

You also need to get a reasonable amount of healthy fats, as fats are your main energy source when on a low carb diet. These are obtained from such foods as oily fish, nuts and seeds, avocados and extra virgin olive oil, as well as from butter and coconut oil.

However, if you want to go on a very low carb (ketogenic) diet, you will only eat protein, vegetables that grow above the ground, healthy fats, and perhaps a few nuts and berries in order to take your carbohydrate consumption down to below 20g per day.

Then, when you have your re-feed day, reduce your fat consumption and add in some starchy carbs, e.g. brown rice, oats and other whole grains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash and quinoa. A little junk food is permissible too, but don’t overdo this.

And, as with any weight loss plan, it's important to drink plenty of water in order to ensure you stay properly hydrated, as well as to flush away all the toxins that will be released as your fat cells are broken down.

A low carb diet plan is the easiest, healthiest and most effective way to lose weight there is. And if you do it in the way described here it will be even more effective - and enjoyable too. But best of all you’ll finally be able to reduce your weight to the level you desire – and keep it there.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 David

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