The low carb and weight loss approach will help you to lose weight and keep it off. Reducing your carbohydrate intake and losing weight go hand in hand, hence low carb and weight loss.
So why is reducing your carb intake so important?
Good Carbs and Bad Carbs…
Good carbs are those found in whole fruits and vegetables, are calorie bargains and have many health benefits.
Bad carbs are simple and refined sugars, eg sugary snacks, chocolate, etc. However, you can add starchy carbs to the bad list when trying to lose weight.
You do need to limit grains such as white rice, pasta and bread as well as potatoes and beans. Even ‘healthy whole grains’ should be limited to 1-3 servings a day max to maximize the benefits of a low carb and weight loss approach.
Check out our list of carbohydrate foods for more information.
No food is banned on our healthy weight loss plan, except sugar that is, it’s more about getting the balance right. For some ideas as to how to do that take a look at our free weight loss menus, And why not incorporate some low carb snacks into you weight loss plan?
The problem with carbs for many people are ‘carbohydrate cravings’. Carbs can alter brain chemistry and stimulate binging. Ever heard the saying ‘one is never enough’?
Refined sugars and starches can become habit-forming as they increase the levels of blood insulin more quickly than other foods after eating. As such they can act as trigger foods for carb binges.
If refined sugars and starches are trigger foods for you, then reduce or eliminate them from your diet altogether.
Ready for the science bit…?
Your body produces insulin to deal with an increase in your blood sugar level. As your insulin levels go up amino acids (the building blocks of protein) are driven into your muscles, with the exception of tryptophan.
As the relative level of tryptophan goes up it interacts with a protein in the area of your brain that stimulates pleasure. This pleasure hormone is called seratonin and can be made from tryptophan.
Of course, once you experience the pleasure of foods containing sugar (think chocolate!) you are more likely to want more…and more…and more.
You can see how habitual binging can become a problem! Low carb and weight loss making more sense now?
A way to measure the rate at which certain foods cause your blood sugar level to rise is the Glycemic Index or GI.
Insulin is also your fat storing hormone. If your body doesn’t burn the sugar in your blood to finance some form of physical activity it sends it off to your fat stores to be converted to body fat.
So Are Carbs All Bad, Then…?
Your body will burn carbs in preference to other energy sources such as protein and fat.Certainly not. If you’re physically active or a regular, vigorous exerciser you need plenty of carbs to finance your exercise or activity as carbs are our primary source of energy. The problem is, most of us are pretty sedentary.
Your body stores around 50 calories of sugar (glucose) in your blood to burn first and stores 400-500 calories of carbs (glycogen) in your muscles and liver for later.
When dieting you want your body to run down its stored carbs to force it to burn body fat. Eating more low carbohydrate foods as a proportion of your daily food intake will help.
But you should only limit your carbs, not eliminate them as fat burns in a carbohydrate flame. That means that your body requires carbs to burn body fat.
Carbs Make You Sleepy…
Carbs are also sedatives. Some slow-release carbs like those found in porridge or wholgrain cereals are fine for breakfast as they give you some energy to get through the morning.
However, the reason for limiting your carb intake after breakfast is that you’ll feel sluggish and tired.
Ever felt like a nap after a lunch with lots of potatoes, pasta, rice, bread, a starchy and sugary dessert? The carbs stimulate your body to produce hormones that will send you to sleep, if you let them.
Your body needs to digest all those carbs and wants to slow you down to let it focus on doing so. Ever wondered why dog and cats, most animals in fact, lie down and doze off after a meal?
Limit this post-meal torpor by sticking to protein and veg at lunchtime.You’ll feel more alert and energized, and it will help you to lose weight as well!
Hey, we accept its convenient to grab a sandwich at lunchtime but plan ahead and have a low sugar and starch alternative prepared instead.
So, does the low carb and weight loss approach make more sense, now?
Low carb and weight loss go hand in hand. Stick to the ‘rules’ on this page and you’ll beat those cravings whilst feeling more alert, energised and lighter to boot!