Confused by all of the weight-loss plans out there ?
The good news about low-carb diets is that there are plenty of options, and not all of them involve counting carbs or sticking to a very small amount. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular low-carb diets and what to consider before you decide to follow them.
- Keto Diet: The keto diet, aka the ketogenic diet, originally started in the 1920s as a way to help treat epilepsy, but since then it has become one of the most popular low-carb diets for weight loss. On the keto diet, you will limit your carb intake to no more than five percent of your daily calories. This will help your body hit ketosis, a state in which your body uses fat for fuel instead of carbs. While the keto diet has helped thousands of people lose weight, it’s highly restrictive, which can be hard to sustain long-term.
- Atkins Diet: Another popular low-carb diet, you might remember Atkins from the early 90s. The Atkins diet is a high-protein, high-fat diet that helps you lose weight by filling up on meat, dairy, and fats, in place of carbs. Atkins has three different plans: Atkins 20, Atkins 40, and Atkins 100. All three plans involve keeping your daily carb intake low. During the first phase of the Atkins 20, for example, you will have only 20 to 25 grams of net carbs daily. As you progress within your plan, you gradually increase the amount of net carbs you can enjoy.
- Whole30: The Whole30 diet is a Paleo-inspired eating plan, where you restrict sugar, alcohol, dairy, grains, gluten, and legumes from your diet for 30 days. The goal of Whole30 isn’t necessarily to lose weight but to help you combat your sugar addiction, focus on clean eating, and uncover food sensitivities. However, many people follow Whole30 as a way to detox after the holidays or lose weight before a big event, like a wedding. Because it helps you avoid eating highly processed packaged foods and promotes healthy home cooking, you might lose a significant amount of weight, depending on what your eating habits were like before you started the diet. Why 30? Creators of the diet believe that 30 days is all you need to reset your body and improve you relationship with food.
- Paleo diet: The Paleo diet is another low-carb eating plan that focuses on eating lean protein, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. The Paleo diet mimics eating patterns of our Paleolithic ancestors who ate only foods they hunted or gathered for. This means you can eat fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and lean protein, but dairy products, grains, beans and legumes, and highly processed foods, like sugar and artificial sweeteners, are off limits.
The bottom line is that low-carb diets aren’t meant to be followed long-term
If you want to follow a low-carb diet to lose weight, be sure to talk to your doctor and a registered dietitian to help you find the right diet for you. Restricting carbs can lead to nutritional deficiencies and yo-yo dieting, so you want to make sure you’re still getting a balanced diet that makes you feel satisfied and delivers the nutrients you need.
A Diet should be something you could live with forever. A lot of people say they cheated on their diet or fell off the bandwagon, but a diet you can keep for life shouldn’t feel like you got off of something.