One of the easiest and most effective ways to lose weight is to go on a low carbohydrate diet. A low carbohydrate diet is a diet plan that limits the amount of carbohydrates you can consume, usually to below 20% of the caloric intake per day. In order to compensate for the low carbohydrates, the amount of fat and protein in the diet is increased.
Throughout the years, there have been many low carbohydrate diet programs that have been created, such as the Stillman Diet, the Air Force Diet, the Stone Age Diet and the Scarsdale Diet, to name a few. There are also low carbohydrate diet plans used for certain medical conditions. However, of all the low carbohydrate diets invented, the Atkins Diet remains to be the most popular.
All these different diets have one thing in common: the restricted intake of carbohydrates. This is based on the principle that increased glucose consumption results in increased levels of insulin in the body, which allows excess energy to be stored in the body as fat. When there is a low amount of carbohydrates in the diet, this prevents the production of insulin, resulting in a process known as ketosis, where fat stores are used as a source of energy. Thus, when you go on a low carb diet, you tend to burn more body fat to use as energy.
Majority of these diets recommend decreased intake or elimination of breads, potatoes, pasta, rice, starch, and sweet foods and desserts from the diet. However, the exact kind of foods you can eat and the specific amount of carbohydrates that you can take depend on the kind of low carbohydrate diet you choose. In general, low carbohydrate diets recommend minimizing the intake of carbohydrates to as low as 20 grams every day, usually in the early phase of dieting. Also, most low carbohydrate diets discourage the use of processed sugar and processed grains, such as white rice and white bread, and advise the intake of whole foods. Some diet programs have a restrictive phase where the kind of food you can eat is limited; however, these phases usually have a short duration.
Going on a low carb diet will not only make you lose weight, but also offers a number of other benefits. It can reduce the levels of glucose in the body, making it important in the management of diabetes. It has also been associated with a decrease in triglyceride and cholesterol levels, while at the same time increasing the body’s good cholesterol. It can also lower the blood pressure levels, making it a useful adjunct in the management of hypertension and heart disease.
Contrary to popular belief, low carbohydrate diets do promote a balanced consumption of healthy foods, such as vegetables and fruits. In order to produce more successful results, it is important to combine your diet with regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle.