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Low carb diet for weight loss

Updated on December 1, 2013

What is a low carb diet ?

A low carb diet is a dietary program which restricts the carbohydrate consumption such as grains, fruits and starchy vegetables. In this dietary program carbohydrates are replaced by high amounts of dietary protein and good fat. There are different types of low carb diets exist with various restrictions on the types and amounts of carbohydrate intake.

Generally, low carb diet is used to lose weight though several low carb diets say that they have other beneficial effects beyond weight loss such as reducing risk factors associated with diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and certain cancers.

Low Carb Vegetables


How does a low carb diet help to lose weight ?

Low carb diets are based on the principle that a diet very low in carbohydrate which leads to a fall in the body's insulin production. Insulin prevents fat breakdown in the body and allows sugar to produce energy. Low carb diet reduces insulin levels in the body which causes the body to burn stored fat for energy and eventually helps you shed excess weight. The main plan of low carb diet is to force the body to use stored fat and protein (muscle) as main energy source. In this program weight is shed by loss of water and muscle tissue of the body. So, it may result ‘dehydration’, for this reason most low carb diet experts recommend to drink minimum 2 quarts of water every day.

If daily carbs intake is seriously restricted to less than 20 grams it may result “Ketosis”. In this state body produces ‘ketone bodies’ that can’t use fat as an energy source. The side effects of ketosis are bad breath, nausea, headache and mental fatigue.

However, many people are attracted to low carb diet because result is fast, that means people lose weight very quickly. Many Hollywood stars go on low carb diets because they need to drop a dress size for a movie, but they don’t do it for their permanent good health.


Have you ever been on a low carb diet?

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Other Benefits

A number of low carb diets including “Atkins Diet” say that their diet plans can stop or improve a severe health condition like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome. Besides, HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and triglyceride values are slightly improved by low carb diet compared with moderate carbohydrate diet. It is important that what kind of carbohydrates you will consume, for example whole grains, fruits, legumes, low-fat dairy products and vegetables are much healthier than carbs from sweets, processed and refined grains like white rice , white bread, potato chips, etc.

Low Carb Salad


Low carb diets give focus to:

Generally a low carb diet gives focus on proteins including meat, poultry, eggs, fish and few non starchy vegetables and restricts most grains, breads, pastas,fruits,sweets,starchy vegetables and sometimes seeds and nuts. Few diet plans allow certain whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Typically a daily intake of 50 to 150 grams of carbohydrates is acceptable in a low carb diet plan. Moreover, some low carb diet plans deeply restrict carbs in the initial phase of the dietary program and then gradually increase the amount of carbs.

Low carb foods list

(click column header to sort results)
Food Category  
Beef, chicken, pork and lamb. (Grass-fed is best)
Salmon, shellfish, trout, haddock and others. (Wild-caught is best)
Omaga-3 enriched or pastured eggs.
Spinach,cauliflower,cabbage,broccoli, celery,asparagus, green beans, bok choy,cucumber, radish, lettuce etc.
Apples,pears,orange,strawberries,blueberries etc.
Nuts and seeds
Almonds,sunflower seeds,walnuts etc.
Fats and oils
Olive oil,coconut oil,cod fish liver oil,lard and butter.
High fat dairy
Yoghurt, cheese, butter, heavy cream.

Low Carb Food List

Tips for weight loss:

  • Choose a suitable low carb diet plan.
  • Eat protein at each meal.
  • Do exercise regularly.
  • Do some weight training.
  • Don't drink calories.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Have a good night's sleep.

Foods have to be avoided:

  • Sugar: soft drinks,ice cream,fruit juices,agave etc.
  • Artificial sweeteners: Saccharine, Sucralose, Aspartame, cyclamates etc. Alternatively use Stevia .
  • Gluten grains: Wheat,barley,breads,pastas,rye and spelt.
  • Vegetable oils and high omega-6 seed oils: Soybean oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, grape-seed oil, canola oil and corn oil.
  • Diet and low fat products: Cereals, some dairy products,crackers etc.
  • Highly processed foods: Don’t eat highly processed foods. (Foods are made in a factory)
  • Trans fats: Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils.

Low Carb Diet Ideas


A sample low carb menu you may follow:

Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled in butter or oil(2 teaspoons), 1 oz ham, 1 low carb tortilla(popular variety has 5 grams functional carb and 7 grams fiber) and 1 small size cantaloupe(1/8 of medium melon).

Lunch: 2 cups low carb cole slaw mixed with 1cup cooked chicken, 1/3 cup chopped apple and1/4 cup chopped pecans.

Snacks: 1 apple flax muffin with a nice cup of tea.

Dinner: 4 oz lean beef, 1 cup mushrooms (sautéed in olive oil) and simply scrumptious spinach.

Professor Jon Buckley talks about the Low Carb Diet

In Conclusion

For your weight loss program, a simple equation has to keep in mind which is “Burn More Calories Than You Eat”. However, you need to make sure that you are eating proper nutrient dense foods. For monitoring your daily calorie intake, you may use a “Calorie Counter”. It will help you to track how many calories in your diet, the amount of calories in the food you eat and the number of calories you have burned by doing exercise.

If you really want to lose weight please do some exercises, increase your daily activities and choose a suitable low carb diet plan. However, before starting any diet plan talk to your health care provider but given information is worth noting. Good luck friends.


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    • arnob0024 profile image

      arnob0024 3 years ago


    • Vvitta profile image

      Kalai 3 years ago from Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

      Am moving on to a low carb diet slowly but surely. Your tips are helpful. vegetables and salads are tasty. Just need to refocus and do the low carb thing.