Keeping in view the increase in the consumption of unhealthy and processed foods and a dramatic rise witnessed in stress levels in today’s fast paced world, weight gain has become one of the most important concerns for many people.
In fact, weight loss is one of the first steps suggested by doctors for curing many medical conditions due to the miraculous effect it has on speeding up the process of recovery.
Carbohydrates are essentially polymers of sugar molecules that are found in starch and sugar loaded foods like white rice, white flour, potatoes, corn, white bread, cereals, pasta, white sugar containing desserts, cakes, candies, chocolates, etc.
Excess amounts of sugars raise the levels of insulin in the bloodstream, which acts as a fat escort and promotes the conversion of sugar into fat that gets deposited beneath the skin in the form of adipose tissue, thereby leading to weight gain and obesity.
Hence, the main objective of a low carb diet is to restrict the intake of simple carbohydrates that elevate insulin levels in the body. A low carb diet plan not only assists in weight loss, but also helps to keep blood sugar levels under control, which in turn helps in the prevention of diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancers.
Tips For A Low Carb Diet Plan
Oatmeal With Apples
Being rich in soluble fiber and low in carbohydrates, oatmeal provides one of the most effective ways of creating satiety that keeps your stomach filled and stops you from over-eating. It slows down digestive process, thus allowing a better absorption of nutrients from the food.
Oats not only stabilize blood sugar levels and keep insulin levels under control, but also aid in maintaining low levels of cholesterol.
You can add other low-carb foods like apples, blueberries and nuts to oatmeal to enhance its taste. Pectins found in apples and berries contain fermentable fiber, which releases compounds that are useful for maintaining colon health. Make sure that you use low-fat milk for preparing the oatmeal. For a sweetening effect, you can add a teaspoon of honey to the milk.
Eggs provide you with just about 6 grams of carbohydrates, which is about 4 times less than the daily recommended intake. You can simply fry egg in butter or make different kinds of omelets with your choice of toppings and serve it for breakfast.
Whole Wheat Bread With Turkey Sandwich
Replace processed foods like white rice, white sugar and white or refined flour with whole foods like brown rice, honey and wheat flour, since the later are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Whole foods contain complex carbohydrates, which are made up of two or more sugars and raise insulin levels gradually, unlike simple sugars.
In other words, inclusion of low glycemic index (GI) foods like whole grains, organic fruits and vegetables slowly release sugars, thus stabilizing insulin levels in the bloodstream. They contain less or no fat and are rich in dietary fiber, which acts as a digestive aid for eliminating wastes and toxins that promote the storage of fat.
Turkey is as an excellent source of animal protein that serves as a great source of essential amino acids required for maintaining a healthy body and mind. A turkey sandwich for lunch covers almost the entire recommended daily intake of protein, while keeping the intake of carbohydrates at its minimum.
At the same time, a 4 ounce serving of turkey also covers 12% of your daily content of saturated fat that is required for carrying out biological functions like hormone production, formation of a protective layer around organs and as a great source of energy.
Since you have the entire day to at your dispense during and after lunch, keep a bowl of salad made of different kinds of vegetables ready to eat.
Try different set of greens like cucumber, celery, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, chicory with radishes, beet roots, carrots, tomatoes, etc., to include some variety. You can sprinkle a few drops of extra virgin olive oil on the salad to increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids and decrease your intake of carbohydrates.
Instead of grabbing fried chips or sugar-laden foods like candies, cakes, pastries, juices etc., for snacks, eat smart by consuming healthy snacks that are delicious and can keep you feeling full for a longer time.
You can have a handful of nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios and seeds like flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. that are not only low in carbs but are high in healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids. A hardboiled egg and plain, organic yogurt can also serve as an excellent alternative for deep fried foods.
It is advisable to increase your intake of protein and limit your intake of starchy foods during the night, since the rate of metabolism slows down as the day comes to an end. In fact, it has been recommended to finish your dinner 3-4 hours before you go to bed.
Smoked Salmon Roll
Loaded with proteins and poly-unsaturated fats or omega-3 fatty acids, fish is one of the healthiest meals for dinner. One of the many fish recipes that you can try is a smoked salmon roll. Coat a slice of bread with horseradish sauce and place a piece of salmon in the center.
Roll the bread around the salmon and garnish it with a tiny sprig of fresh dill and grounded flax seeds. Use a toothpick to secure the roll. You can use brown bread or a spinach leaf as a base to lower your intake of carbohydrates.
Prepare a pizza using a base that is made using soy flour rather than white flour, since soy provides an excellent means of increasing your protein intake. You can also layer the pizza on a low-carb tortilla, eggplant slices or portobello caps.
Add a variety of non-starchy vegetables like green beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, etc., by cooking or frying them in olive oil. This will help you balance your protein and fat intake for dinner.
The aforementioned diet plan will help you limit your intake of carbohydrates, in order to keep the symptoms of depression, memory loss, fatigue anxiety, compromised immune system and many digestive disorders at bay.
As you observe a considerable amount of decrease in your weight, you can gradually include foods containing more amounts of healthy carbs like brown rice, corn, pasta, fruits like oranges, kiwi and vegetables like avocados, spinach, etc., to replenish the body with the nutrients and minerals that are essential for leading a healthy life.
However, over-indulgence in the above-mentioned foods clubbed with lack of physical activity can promote weight gain and increase your risk of heart diseases and cancer. Furthermore, the American Heart Association restricts an individual from adopting a low-carb diet for weight loss, since they deplete the body of its essential nutrients.
They attribute weight loss that occurs during the initial phase of a low crab diet to fluid loss as opposed to the decrease in the percentage of fat in the body. Hence, having 5-6 regular small meals a day by limiting portion size and calorie intake in conjunction with regular exercise serves as a healthier alternative for burning more calories, without necessarily hampering the proper functioning of the body.