Low-Carb Diet for Beginners

Low carb diets, such as the Ketogenic diet, have become quite popular. These diets allow the body to depend less on carbohydrates as a way to produce energy and rather turn to the alternative – which would be fats.

Low Carb Foods on Table

A typical low carb diet would involve a significant restriction in carbohydrate intake, with a moderate amount of protein included, and the majority of calories obtained from fats. 

There are, however, different kinds of low carb diets out there. For people who are simply touching base with low carb dieting, things may seem somewhat overwhelming. This type of diet does, after all, change the way most people are used to eating. Getting started on a low carb diet does not, however, have to be a tedious task.

We’ll show you what to know before you get started and how to start implementing your new low carb diet in this post. 

What Is A Low Carb Diet?

A low carb diet refers to a diet where carbohydrates become the least included macronutrient in a meal plan. There are three macronutrients that any type of diet tends to focus on. These macronutrients include:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Protein

In most modern-day diets, carbohydrates make up the majority of the meal plan. This, however, completely changes when adopting a low carb diet. There are different formulas that are used when it comes to looking at a low carb diet. Here is a breakdown of the most common options that people tend to opt for:

  • Standard Low Carb Diet: Carbohydrates make up 15% to 30% of daily calories. Protein would usually make up a similar amount as carbohydrates. Fat would then make up the rest of the daily calories consumed, ranging from about 40% of up 70%, depending on the amount of protein and carbs included. 
  • Ketogenic Diet: The keto diet requires a more significant restriction in carbs. Generally, carbohydrate intake is limited to 5% to 10% of daily calories. Protein would make up 20% to 25% of daily calories, while fat would make up the remaining 60% to 75%. 

Getting Started With A Low Carb Diet

Understanding what a low carb diet is and what such a meal plan would look like is a great beginning that can ease the initial process for you. The next step is to take action – but to do this, and you need to know what to do in order to adopt this type of diet without compromise effectively. 

Foods To Eat On A Low Carb Diet

There are different low carb diets that you might want to follow, and while some of them may have a very specific list of foods, if you are looking to cut down on carbs and adopt one of these diets, the following is a good list of foods that you should familiarize yourself with – they are usually considered the most ideal food options to include on a low carb diet:

  • Avocados
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Full-fat dairy products
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Leafy greens
  • Berries
  • Poultry
  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Eggs

Vegetables that are low in carbohydrates can also be included. Most fruit will need to be cut out, however, as they tend to be relatively high in carbs. 

Foods To Avoid on a Low Carb Diet

In addition to understanding exactly what you are allowed to eat when you follow a low carb diet, you also need to ensure that you know what foods you should always avoid when you are trying to adopt this type of meal plan. 

Some of the most important foods that you need to start eliminating from your diet when you are going to be following a low carb meal plan:

  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Corn
  • Beans
  • Sugary foods
  • Pasta

Reducing Your Carb Intake

The first step to adopting a low carb diet is to ensure you start by reducing your intake of carbohydrates. This is also the hardest step that you will need to get through.

Simply start to cut out the foods that we listed above in the “what not to eat” list, and you are already on your way to eating a diet that is lower in carbohydrates. 

As you start to reduce your intake of carbs, you need to start balancing out your intake of fats and protein. Remember that a low carb diet consists of moderate protein intake and high fat intake. Try not to add too much protein as this may lead to excess stress on your kidneys. 

You should aim to achieve a fixed rate on your daily consumption of carbohydrates and protein. Fat, on the other hand, can be adjusted as you go along.

If you want to lose weight, you can reduce your intake of fat a little if you find that your current meal plan is not yielding successful results.

If you do not feel full enough, but you are seeing results, then adjust your meal plan by increasingly your fat intake slightly. 

Focus On Hydration

As a tip for those who are new to a low carb diet, it is crucial that you prioritize hydration on this type of meal plan. Normally, your body is able to retain a more significant amount of water since these molecules bind to glucose in your body.

When you go on a low carb diet, there is not enough glucose for such a large amount of water to be retained in your body. 

It is generally advised to double your intake of water when you go on a low carb diet. Additionally, you should focus on obtaining more magnesium, potassium, and sodium as well.

These are electrolytes that may become depleted when your body dehydrates while you are following a low carb diet. 

Conclusion

With low carb diets becoming popular among people trying to lose weight, you might be interested in trying one of these meal plans out for yourself.

Unfortunately, things often seem somewhat overwhelming when a person starts to delve into one of these diets.

Fortunately, by simply ensuring you acknowledge yourself with the right information, things can become much easier, and adopting one of these diets does not have to feel like punishment.