People are forever searching for the answer to the great question of how to lose weight. There are countless cleanses, detoxes, diets, and meal plans on the market today – often, too many to keep track of.
Here we’ll break down just three of the most popular low-carb diets that have proven results. You’ll learn what foods these diets include (and don’t) and how they’re designed.
The Keto diet is one of the most well-known diets that focuses on low-carb intake and is based on the science of ketosis. Ketosis is a natural metabolic process of your body. Your body instinctively burns glucose to produce energy. Glucose is found in all carbohydrates. During a low-carb diet like the Keto diet, the limitation of carbohydrates forces the body to burn stored fat and produce ketones. This process shifts your body into a metabolic state, the same as it would during starvation. But this diet is far from starvation. You’ll enjoy a wide range of delicious and filling food items.
So what foods are off limits on the Keto diet? Here are just a few:
- Sugar (syrup, honey)
- Grains (wheat, corn, rice)
- Fruit (grapes, apples, oranges, bananas)
- Starches (potatoes, yams)
While eliminating the above mentioned foods from your diet, you’ll incorporate some healthy fats and protein packed meals. These include, but are not limited to:
- Meats (poultry, beef, fish, eggs)
- Nuts and seeds (walnuts, sunflower seeds)
- Leafy greens (spinach, kale, romaine lettuce)
- Above ground vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts)
- Healthy fats (coconut-oil, saturated fats)
- Avocado and berries
- High-fat dairy (cream, butter, cheese)
The list of foods you can have is extremely wide-ranging and offers a lot of room for creativity with recipes. But weight loss isn’t the only health benefit individuals following this diet plan will experience. The Keto diet can also lead to the following:
- Reduced blood sugar
- Mental alertness and focus
- Increased energy
- Improved blood pressure and cholesterol
By eliminating carbs from your diet and introducing healthy portions of fats and proteins, the Keto diet can lead to overall health improvements.
The name is synonymous with low-carb diets. This diet was created by a cardiologist – Dr. Atkins. As part of patient’s treatment, Dr. Atkins limited their intake of carbohydrates and sugars. He did this to improve their heart health, but an added bonus was weight loss! This got Dr. Atkins to thinking about what his patients were eating and how the body uses food for fuel. The concept of this low-carb diet is the same as most others, including the Keto diet. But the breakdown of the diet plan differs.
The Atkins diet offers two different plans to choose from, depending on your body type and your goals. Atkins offer the Atkins 20 plan or the Atkins 40. These plans are based on how much weight you’re trying to lose.
Atkins 20 is the most popular choice and targets those looking to lose more than 40 pounds. This plan is also designed for anyone that is either diabetic or pre-diabetic. Atkins 40 is for those individuals looking to lose 20 pounds or less and are seeking a wider range of acceptable food choices. This plan should be followed by any woman that is pregnant or breastfeeding.
The main difference in the two plans is your starting point – those following Atkins 20 begin the program with 20 net carbs, whereas those following the more flexible Atkins 40 plan are allowed 40 net carbs. Both plans allow you to slowly reintroduce carbs into your diet and offer a plan for maintaining weight loss once you’ve achieved your goal.
The Paleo diet has increased in popularity as of late. Whether or not it’s a passing fade still remains to be seen, but the basis of the diet is also low-carb and surrounds those foods that were likely found in the paleolithic era – hence the name! This means before the industrial and agricultural revolutions. The Paleo diet promotes eating the way we once did, before processed foods and other contaminants entered our food. It’s believed that eating this way will lead to overall improved health.
Though this diet isn’t technically coined a “low-carb” diet, by nature, participants will feast mainly on protein, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. You’ll also eliminate all processed sugars and grains. The main focus of this diet is to eliminate all refined foods, trans fats, sugars, and artificial additives and to return to a more natural, clean way of eating. Paleo diet followers attribute many of these foods as the cause for obesity, depression, infertility, and Alzheimer’s disease.
If you’re a meat or protein junky, you’ll love this diet. Eating Paleo means consuming a wide variety of proteins from as many sources as possible. This diet even encourages you to eat those fatty pieces of steak and beef! All vegetables are welcomed and encouraged when following a Paleo meal plan, as well as some of the same healthy fats found in other low-carb diets.
Some don’t believe that Paleo is a diet at all, but instead, a way of life.
Do What’s Best for You
Not every diet is right for everyone. People have different goals, a variety of genetic components, and lifestyles that drive their diet and food choices. Before choosing or following any diet plan, you should consult a doctor and also determine how well this diet will fit into your everyday life.
Article Submitted By Community Writer