What if we told you that you can shed some pounds without giving away some of your favourite foods and reduce your belly fat?
Sounds implausible right?
Gone are the days to count calories, gone are the days to give up on your foods, and gone are the days to be annoyed.
Well, you happen to be just in the right place, Low-carb diet is gaining popularity these days and for good reasons.
These diets are not so regimented and allow you the freedom of gorging on fats that were considered to be bad for our health.
But that’s not the case anymore, read along to find out what exactly low-carbs diets have in store for you.
What is the LCHF Diet?
Low-carbs, High-fat diet or abbreviated to LCHF is a diet that lowers your carbohydrates intakes and increases the proportion of fat with some adequate amounts of protein. This may sound counterintuitive for many people as the term fat is — generally related to health problems.
But the reality couldn’t be further from the truth, for years people have believed this and have considered fat to be detrimental for human health. This gave rise to the so-called — low-fat diets to flood the markets.
Nevertheless, that proved out to be a great mistake and it coincided with the beginning of obesity. Though the diet didn’t prove to be the media for the cause, it sure didn’t forestall the problem either and might possibly have a hand in promoting the problem.
However, there is no reason to fear natural fats and studies have proven it. Consider the high-fat and low carbohydrate diet your best shot at preventing obesity or burning fat.
And for that to happen all you have to do is just proscribe the intake of sugar and starches with intaking necessary amounts of protein. Here is why, when you stay away from starches and sugar your body starts to balance the blood sugar whilst the levels of insulin-related to fats drops.
After that, your body starts to act as a fat burner and advances in weight reduction. Thus the researches give us an insight that an LCHF diet not only assists in reducing weight but also maintains the glucose levels.
And guess what, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, like an onion following a low-carb diet has many — many layers of advantages which we will discuss a bit later.
The best part of this diet is that you are allowed to eat as much fat as you wish and stop when you are full. Sounds ridiculous especially for a diet right? But it’s true and it cannot be simpler than that.
How Does LCHF Diet Works?
Now that you know a low-carb diet lowers your consumption of carbohydrates and increases the intake of fat with some adequate levels of protein. Despite the fact that you are consuming fatty foods, the low-carb diets work by facilitating less hunger and more satiety with some metabolic benefits.
Some studies showed that participants following a low-carb diet had a significant weight loss.
Generally, you mostly feel full and don’t gorge in between meals, this is because you are consuming necessary amounts of protein to keep you full while ketogenesis keeps your appetite lower.
Additionally, it also helps with a metabolism that favours greater weight loss. Again thanks to the protein intake and energy loss through sweat or urine in the form of ketones. This increases the lipolysis by reducing lipogenesis that ultimately contributes to weight loss and reduced blood insulin.
What are the Advantages of LCHF Diet?
Well by cutting off some carbs and intake more fats can prove to be beneficial to your body and health in many ways. Without being acquainted with the benefits of this diet why would you choose to follow it right?
Since you will be consuming fishes you will intake omega 3 fatty acids which are great for your body, heart, and overall health. There are many potential benefits of following a low-carb,high-fat diet and these advantages are mentioned as follows.
Of course, one of the biggest benefits of choosing this diet is none other than losing pounds. It works by suppressing your appetite and increasing protein intake while improving insulin sensitivity. Not only limited to that, at a point they can be considered as fat cutters since they kinda do that job.
LCHF diet has proved to show a fat loss, especially around the belly area. Most individuals start to consume low carbs for losing weight and these types of diets are generally more effective than most of the other diets.
Some researches show that these diets can burn more calories when compared to other ordinary diets. It makes it easy to lose weight without actually starving.
Another BIG advantage that comes with this diet is the reversal of type 2 diabetes. Many studies have found that a low-carb diet led to better improvement in glucose control as well as reducing diabetes, at least better than high-carb diets.
They additionally also help to manage type1 diabetes. Generally, the reduction of carbohydrates in any level leads in effectively controlling the blood sugar.
Low-carbs diets reduce body fat and inflammation while improving the blood to keep the ticker (heart) healthy. These diets reduce blood pressure, lowers bad cholesterol, lowers glucose, and burns fats. All of these benefits help to improve the health of your heart while potentially reducing the risk of any heart-related problems.
LCHF diets also help to decrease gut-related problems like gas, diarrhoea, cramps, bloating, indigestion, pain, reflux, and other similar digestive problems. This might be the only reason some people choose to go low-carbs and for some individuals, it works.
Since this diet keeps you satiated for prolonged periods there is no place for cravings. Not only that but it also helps to reduce sugar cravings. Yes, if you are one of those people who are struggling to stay far away from sweets then a low-carb,high-fat diet is your ally. It helps to reduce or sometimes even eliminate sugar cravings.
LCHF Diet VS Atkins Diet and Keto Diet
While the LCHF diet is all about lowering your carbs intake, there are two other diets that are nearly similar to the LCHF diet, they are the Atkins Diet and Keto Diet.
Moreover, these two diets fall under the umbrella of the LCHF diet and both of these diets promote weight loss.
While all three diets work towards lowering the carbs intake, the Atkins diet and Keto diet are more numbers specific. They are generally more regimented than the LCHF diet and thus require you to calculate the intake.
Keto diet generally relies on ensuring that you are consuming around 75% fats, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. When you are following this diet it helps to ease your body for ketosis. Where your body burns stored fats for energy as there are not enough carbohydrates available to use for energy.
The individuals following the keto diet mostly consume 20 to 50 carbs per day, that too net carbs, meaning removing all the extra nutrients from their overall carb intake, like sugar, alcohol, fibre, and other sweeteners.
Similarly, the Atkins diet also promotes weight loss but in a slightly different approach. Unlike the keto diet, the Atkins diet has four phases.
- Phase 1:- During this phase you are allowed to consume only up to 20 carbohydrates per day. And you will have to continue this for 15 days or almost 2 weeks.
- Phase 2:- In this phase, you can add some low-carb foods to your diet, such as nuts, legumes, fruits, vegetables especially low-carb vegetables, potatoes, and so forth.
- Phase 3:- While you are reaching towards your weight goal, you can gradually add more carbohydrates to your diet.
- Phase 4:- Once you reach this phase, you can start to add as many carbs to your diet as you wish, given that your weight is not increasing.
While following this diet, we would recommend you to stay away from processed foods and pre-packaged products. The reason is they are processed and mostly contain sugar, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol.
Thus, it is probably best to stick with whole foods rather than the processed ones.
LCHF Diet Plan
Though the LCHF meal plan will prioritize lower carbs, it is way less restrictive than the Atkins diet and Keto diet. This way anyone can try this diet out without the constraint of specific carbs intake.
Thus if you want a flexible diet that can help to lose weight, this is the one you are looking for. Furthermore, if you are a fitness enthusiast and probably a regular gym hitter then you can take supplements, BCAAs, for example, that will coincide with your muscle growth as well as weight-loss without increasing your carbs intake.
Consider the LCHF diet as your sweet spot for losing weight. Since you can keep yourself full while not boring your tastebuds. It makes this diet more flexible and reliable to use, thus it is gaining more fame these days.
How about fitting in with Indian Diet?
As history is evident, our diets are loaded with tons of carbs, ready to provide us with all the energy needed. Thus following a low-carb diet initially will prove to be challenging.
With that being said, our Indian diet consists of myriads of vegetables that are not only low in carbohydrates but are packed with multivitamins which are essential for the body’s growth and better functioning.
Besides that, items like paneer, butter, fish, chicken, flour, spinach, brinjal, beetroots, bottle gourd, and Indian round gourd are an excellent way to not only lose your weight quickly but also control your insulin levels.
Foods that are Allowed to Eat
Like every other diet in LCHF, you are allowed to eat certain foods and you may have guessed them as they are low in carbs while simultaneously high in fats. Depending on how strict your diet is the foods might slightly vary but the job would be the same. Some go-to foods, as well as snacks, are as follows
- Whey protein
- Red meat
- Leafy greens
- Brussels sprouts
- Tea and coffee but without sugar
You can prepare any meal from these highlighted ingredients just make sure to consult your doctor before making any prominent changes in your whole diet. Thanks to fishes you will also be intaking fish oils which you know are best for our bodies.
Foods to Avoid
Basically, you will have to stay away from processed foods and simply anything that contains more carbohydrates. While you are following a low-carb diet make sure you are excluding these items
- Starch vegetables like potatoes, peas, winter squash, etc.
- Sweetened drinks that contain sugars such as soda, energy drink, juice, etc.
- Artificial and non-artificial sweeteners like sugar, honey, syrup, agave, maple, etc.
In addition to that, make sure that you are avoiding food items that contain excess sugar, low-fat foods, for example. This applies to fruits as well, just keep in mind that different diet plans will have different carbs intake for the day.
Foods that are Allowed in Moderation
Well, a little bit of leniency is granted in every diet and the same goes with LCHF diets. These mentioned foods should be consumed in moderation or otherwise, might sabotage your diet as well as the efforts. Here is the list of the foods that are condoned at some limit
- Lentils and Bean
- Almonds, sunflower seeds and peanuts.
- Some fruits
- Chocolate but with coco quantity up to 65 to 90%
- Dark chocolate
- Dry wine
Who Should Avoid Low-carb Diet?
While this diet is doable for most of the individuals out there it is highly recommended to visit a nutritionist or dietitian to give your clear idea. However, a BIG NO if you are suffering from any sort of medical illness.
If you are taking medicines for diabetes for example insulin then you should not choose this diet. Similarly, if you are taking medication for high blood pressure, you should avoid this diet. Safely you should first visit a doctor if you have a history with some medical problems.
If you don’t have any sort of chronological diseases then you are good to go.
Sample Meal Plan
Now that you are aware of most of the things, let’s look at the sample meal plan that you can referee to customize your diet. This a one-day sample plan that will steer you accordingly.
- Breakfast:- Paneer bhurji or omelette made from cheese and served with veggies.
- Lunch:- Spinach soup and mushrooms.
- Dinner:- Grilled chicken with some vegetable salad.
For vegetarians following the low-carb diet will be more difficult as you will get poor choices. You can go with nuts, almonds, olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, ghee, butter, cheese, paneer, cream, coconut, spinach, and moderate amounts of pulses.
Some Downfalls of LCHF Diet
Okay, it’s time to stop accentuating on the positives and look at some negatives as well. Since you will be cutting your carbs intake greatly there are some symptoms that you will most likely experience. Don’t worry they are normal as it will take some time for your body to adjust to the new environment and lifestyle.
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle weakness
These symptoms will most likely stop once your body gets acclimatized to the new state. However, if they don’t stop, you should consult your doctor.
To Pen Down
Low-carbs, high-fat diet is an excellent way to burn some fat and lose pounds without sacrificing the taste. It is a really flexible diet and adapts to your lifestyle very quickly. Not only that, but it also accompanies many advantages that will keep you healthy for a long time.
Remember it is always crucial to consult a doctor, nutritionist, dietitian, or even physician before making any huge changes in your diet. Low-carbs diet is a great way to lose fat without compromising much and most importantly counting the calories.
We wish you the best of luck for your weight goals and following the diet.