Low Carb Lifestyle Made Simple

September 17, 2009

Low-Carbohydrate Diets versus Non-Carbohydrate Diets.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, a “low-carbohydrate diet” is one which reduces carbohydrate intake to 20-60 grams of carbs per day, or about 20% of total daily caloric intake. Such diets are often higher in protein or fat to replace the calories/foods that would usually come from carbohydrate-rich foods.

Although the low-carb craze has quieted down lately, many still believe that cutting out carbs and increasing protein is the way to go to lose weight. In reality, this does usually lead to weight loss.
veg
Here are the 3 main reasons why this occurs:

1. When you cut out one or more food groups (grains, fruit and/or dairy), you restrict the amount of food you can eat and will likely consume less calories. Reduced caloric intake, while maintaining or increasing energy expenditures will result in weight loss.

2. Decreased consumption of sweets, sugar, and junk food will decrease cravings for such foods, thus decreasing caloric intake.

3. Low-carb diets often result in lost water weight for 2 reasons:
1) Carbs hold 4 times their weight in water in the body, which is released as carbohydrate stores in the body are diminished. 2) Low carb-diets are usually high in protein which requires the use of more water to be excreted as they are metabolized by the body.

Despite the above, at SculptNYC we DO NOT advise following such a low-carb diet.

We believe in reducing or eliminating white flour and sugar, while maintaining a balanced diet including a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products. This also allows for a greater adaptation into a life-long health plan, rather than thinking about being on a restrictive plan that is not healthy for your body in the long run and near impossible to maintain.

Carbohydrates are particularly important in fueling workouts and in post-exercise muscle-recovery.

Low-carb diets can cause many negative side effects, including headache, constipation, dehydration, and ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic condition that occurs when fat is broken down to be used by the body as fuel since sufficient carbohydrates are not available for energy use. When this occurs, ketones build up and the body and can lead to feelings of lethargy, tiredness, and decreased energy. In fact, a recent study conducted at Tufts University (published in the February 2009 Journal Appetite) concluded that low-carb meals decrease cognitive skills and performance on memory-based tasks.

Each individual has different carbohydrate and nutrient needs, which is why we advise each client according to their particular situation.

If you would like to reduce and improve the carbohydrates in your diet, then try these tips:




Summer Fruit

1. Avoid Fruit Juice and be conservative about your whole fruits. Fruit contains natural sugar, but it’s still metabolized like sugar in the body. Fruit juices are empty calories, since they do not contain the fiber that whole fruits do. Remember that most fruits have about 15g carbs per half cup, so 2-3 servings per day is sufficient to meet
dietary needs.

2. Skip the “sugar-free” products. They often contain hidden carbs that mysteriously add up and keep the cravings coming. Examples include sugar-free gum, diet soft drinks, or artificially-sweetened packaged foods, such as ice cream and cookies. The calories and carbs in such foods can add up and keep blood sugars elevated. Artificial ingredients, sweeteners, and carbs in these foods can leave you feeling bloated and reduce your motivation to stay on course.

3. Increase vegetable intake. Try adding vegetables to breakfast (think egg white omelets) or even non-traditional chicken and vegetables for breakfast. For snacks think snap peas or sliced cucumbers. Try a yogurt or hummus dip for a more tasty, filling, treat.
4. Try eating multiple-course meals. Start lunch and or dinner with a salad/vegetable before the main course. Then eat your protein. Pause for 5 minutes. Then, if you want healthy carbs, have a small portion LAST.

5. Work on your URGES! Try waiting 15 minutes before each decision to
eat, even if it’s healthy snack. Most people snack on carbs, which means that giving into the behavior is giving into the urge. If you want to reduce your urges, thus cravings, try fighting against those urges and double check that you are actually hungry.

6. Creative in the kitchen! Make your own version of your favorite dishes.

For example, try your own frozen yogurt:

Blend 2 cups of ice, with a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped fruit, 3/4 cup club soda, 1 tsp natural sweetener, with a 1/2 cup of low carb, low fat yogurt for 2 minutes on medium in a blender or food processor. This will provide you with a refreshing, healthy dessert that will help keep you satisfied without all the unnecessary fillers that come in packaged frozen yogurt or ice cream.

7. Make your own vegetable soups: Many store bought or restaurant served soups are filled with starch, salt, oil, and/or sugar. Use slow roasted vegetables and seeds to create texture without the corn starch. Roast vegetables in a seasoned stock and then blend in food processor. Add a tsp of parmesan cheese for a richer taste and a little more texture.

8. Prepare! Don’t get caught hungry especially if you are the person always on the go. Cut up small vegetables so you have them handy, carry them in small Ziploc bags. Cheese sticks or low fat cottage cheese are available in portable sizes as well. The same is true for hard boiled eggs. They are a great high-protein snack, especially if you limit the yolk. If you are really tight on time, and don’t have them available at home, many restaurants and delis have them prepared and waiting for you!

9. Handy snacks. A handful of nuts is a great way to get some mid-day protein. Don’t go for repeats because the calories can add up, but a small handful with half of an apple is a great way to get a boost without having to leave the office, or breaking your calorie or cash bank.

10. Quick fix: Try a high protein power bar. Make sure it’s not loaded with unnecessary carbohydrates, extra oils (often found in the candy coatings), and is high in fiber. Try bars that are made with all or mostly natural ingredients such as fruits and nuts. Its better than allowing your body to feel “Starved” which lowers your resistance to binges later on!

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2 Responses to “Low Carb Lifestyle Made Simple”

  1. gliliEssext Says:

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Cool site, love the info. I do a lot of research online on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..

    -Bill-Bartmann

  2. Bill Bartmann Says:

    I don’t know If I said it already but …This blog rocks! I gotta say, that I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..

    -Bill-Bartmann


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