So, why choose a low carb diet?
Why not a low calorie diet or a low fat diet?
Obviously it’s still possible to lose weight on any diet – just eat less calories than you burn, right?
The problem with this advice is that it ignores one major thing: HUNGER. Most people don’t like to eat less and be hungry for weeks on end while trying to lose weight, which is what a typical low calorie, low fat diet will do to you. Sooner or later the average person following one of these diets will simply just give in and eat, hence the prevalence of “yo-yo dieting”. In short, a low fat, low calorie diet is unsustainable. My diet of choice, is a low-carb, moderate protein, high fat (LCHF) diet consisting of whole, unprocessed foods. The principles of this diet are not my original ideas, rather they are principles that I’ve adopted from my years of eating low-carb and are well accepted principles of many known successful ways of low-carb eating such as the Primal, Paleo, Atkins, ketogenic, and low carb high fat (LCHF) diets to name just a few.
As a weight loss strategy, the key idea behind lowering your carbs is to avoid stimulating the hormone insulin which is the “fat storage” hormone. Excess insulin circulating through your body keeps fat locked up tight in your fat cells and ensures that more fat will be deposited. It is a known but little publicized fact that as women approach menopause they become more insulin resistant which means that their bodies produce more and more insulin in an attempt to convert a meal containing carbs into glucose fuel for your body cells to use. That’ not a good thing when you’re trying to lose weight and is the reason why low calorie diets stop working for women around the time of menopause. You can read more about insulin resistance and menopause here. Foods that trigger insulin are starches and sugars, including sugar found in fruit and fruit juices (fructose).
What’s wrong with fruit you say? Ah, another myth that eating lots of fruit will help you lose weight is now finally being dispelled. Fructose, the sugar found in fruit, unlike other forms of sugar like glucose, is stored directly in your liver and is converted to fat.
If you don’t believe me – then read here. I’ve written a whole blog post about fructose and high-fructose corn syrup. Click here.
Being over 50, I’ve found that I now have a very low tolerance for carbs, particularly carbs from fruit and grains. That’s why I’ve banished them from my diet. Do I miss them – hell no. I’ve found plenty of other foods to enjoy – including my low carb desserts. Cheesecake anyone? – it’s all here.
As any experienced low-carber will tell you, a LCHF diet will keep you happy and sated, even when you choose to eat less. Once your body is burning fat for fuel you won’t experience the blood sugar roller coaster that leaves you shaking with hunger that happens when you eat predominantly sugar and starches. Sometimes I find that lunch time flies by and I’ve forgotten to eat – because I’m not hungry! I don’t feel like I’m dieting at all and that, coupled with the drop of weight on the scale and decreased body measurements, makes me very HAPPY!
Need to hear more about the benefits of a LCHF diet? Many recent studies show that people on a low carb diet burn up to 300 more calories a day – while resting! As a 5 feet 2″ moderately petite woman, I find that I can lose weight by eating around 1300-1600 calories a day on a LCHF diet. That’s a whopping 300 – 400 calories more than traditional recommendations for low calorie weight loss diets that tell me to eat 1100-1200 if I want to lose a pound a week. No thanks, I’ll stick to LCHF!
Before we get underway, I want to emphasize that eating a high fat diet in the absence of large amounts of carbohydrate (carbs) is now officially healthy. The old idea of fat being bad for you is thoroughly dead! Throughout history sugar and starches have been rightfully identified as the culprits behind weight gain, and diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. It was only in the 1970 until quite recently, for a very short period of time in our history that the finger was pointed at fat as being the cause of weight gain and disease and finally this erroneous claim is being corrected. Unfortunately, most of us grew up during this period of anti-fat indoctrination and we struggle to accept the scientific evidence about fat being good for us. Not convinced? Click here to watch this entertaining video based on the recent cover story in TIME magazine promoting fat consumption. Sweden has recently released a official statement to its people rejecting the low fat diet and announcing that the low carb high fat diet is the healthiest way to eat and to lose weight. Click here for article. The only kind of fats you need to avoid are man-made trans fats and processed oils such as margarine, man-made oils (hydrogenated & partially hydrogenated oils), corn oil, soybean oil, grape seed oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, and sunflower oil.. See full list of good and bad fats here.
Studies show that people who choose to eat LCHF have lower triglycerides, lower blood pressure and high levels of heart healthy HDL. They have less bodily inflammation, get sick less often and just plain feel and look better.
If you need further convincing about eating LCHF, consider that in addition to being high in carbs, food such as bread, grains, and even so called “healthy” starchy beans and legumes contain phytates and lectins that block the absorption of necessary macro and micro-nutrients and cause bodily inflammation. They are largely empty calorie foods. Who wants to miss out on nutrients? – especially when you’re lowering your food intake to lose weight. There are much better sources for the nutrients found in foods such as meats, fish and veges as any good nutrition text will inform you. Do I hear you say “Well how will I get my fiber? Trust me, veges like cauliflower, spinach, eggplant and salad greens provide all the fiber you need. Extra magnesium is heart healthy and will keep you regular too