Complete guide to the low carbohydrate diet (to lose weight and optimize your health)


Low Carbohydrate Diet

You’ve been lied to about food

Your health and performance today are intimately linked to your past diet: what you ate the day before, during the last week, the last month, the last year.

English speakers say: Garbage in, garbage out. This means that if you put bad things into a system, you get equally bad results: bad food, therefore bad health.

Exceptionally, I sometimes eat fast food (without taking fries or soda in order to limit the damage). Systematically, I notice this after a few hours:

  • Less energy and more desire to sleep (compared to a normal meal),
  • Having difficulty concentrating,
  • I have either more or less stomach ache.

And a few hours later, I’m very hungry.

All that for this ?

Let’s go to the extreme.

If for a whole month you eat only bad food, then your health will deteriorate, you will feel bad and you will be ineffective: watch the Morgan Spurlock documentary .

But you’re on this blog, so you’re looking for the opposite effect: you want to maximize your efficiency, health, and well-being.

While I was looking for an optimal diet, a few years ago I discovered the low-carbohydrate diet, whose promises seemed too good to be true: weight loss without being hungry, optimal health, reversing diabetes, reducing hypertension, etc.

I was surprised, because most of the media and experts said (and continue to say) that in order to be healthy and / or lose weight, you have to eat “balanced” and:

  • Base each meal on complex carbohydrates (rice, bread, pasta and other starches)
  • Avoid lipids (butter, oil, fatty meats, etc.)

Both curious and skeptical, I proceeded as follows:

  1. I spent hours analyzing the scientific literature on this subject. I concluded that the low carb diet was good, and a one-month test would be harmless.
  2. For a month I tested this diet and saw the results in terms of my well-being and my efficiency (the results were excellent: I felt better, more alert and in better shape).
  3. At the end of this test I did a blood test to test my health (the test was just as satisfactory).

Since then, I have moved away from the usual recommendations and adopted a low-carb, high-fat diet (with some deviations from time to time) and constantly testing personal adjustments.

Because even if there are almost universal facts (example: almost certainly, sodas are bad for the health of all humans), certain foods are more or less good for different people (example: if you are slightly allergic to a particular food, it is better to realize this and adjust).

I think the low carb diet or some variation of it can benefit the vast majority of people. That’s why I’ve translated a complete guide to the low-carb diet for you from the Diet Doctor reference site .

Before you start the guide, read this:

  • The guide goes against official “anti-fat” guidelines (which are based on old arguments refuted dozens of times by recent and serious scientific research ), so you will probably jump at times. Stay open-minded, think critically, carefully analyze the evidence, and form your own opinion.
  • All the content that follows is a translation as faithful as possible of the following page:  http://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb .
  • The many scientific sources are cited in parts 1 and 5: examine them. 

Good reading !

1. Low-carb diet: introduction

This guide is based on low-carb diets, and it will give you the following results:

  • Effortless Weight Loss,
  • Optimal health,
  • Reversal of diabetes.

More specifically, this guide details the low carbohydrate and high fat diet. It allows you to be slimmer and healthier by eating real food, without feeling hungry.

Does this sound too good to be true? Check out the many  success stories  and dozens of scientific studies  that prove it works.

A low carbohydrate diet means you eat less carbohydrates and more fat. Above all, you limit your intake of sugar and starches. You can eat other delicious foods until you feel full, and lose weight.

Many  recent and good scientific studies show that the low carbohydrate diet makes weight loss easy and helps control  blood sugar levels . And that’s just the start.

The basics

  • Eat:  Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables that grow above the ground, natural fats (like butter).
  • Avoid:  Sugar and starchy foods (such as bread, pasta, rice, beans, and potatoes).
Eat when you are hungry, and eat your fill. It’s as simple as that !

You do n’t need to count calories or weigh your food. And forget about light industrial products.

There are solid scientific reasons for why low-carb diets work. When you avoid sugars and starches, the amount of sugar in your blood stabilizes and the levels of insulin (the hormone that activates the storage of fat) decrease. This increases fat burning, and gives you better satiety.

Note for diabetics

Carbohydrates increase your blood sugar level. If you avoid them, then you have less need for medicines to lower blood sugar levels.

So if you continue to take your usual dose of insulin after eating a low carbohydrate diet, you may have hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels).

When you start this diet, you should therefore:
  • Frequently test your blood sugar level,
  • Adapt (lower) your medication intake.

Ideally, do this with the assistance of a competent physician.

If you are not diabetic, or if you are a diabetic treated only with diet or Meftormin, there is no risk of hypoglycaemia.

2. What to eat?

Eat at will

  • Meats:  Any type, including beef, pork, game meat, chicken, etc. You can eat the fat of the meat as well as the skin of the chicken. If possible, try to choose organic or grass-fed meat.
  • Fish and Seafood: Any type. In particular, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring are excellent. Avoid raised fish.
  • Eggs:  All types: boiled, fried, omelet, etc. Prefer organic eggs or eggs raised in the open air.
  • Natural fats, high fat sauces:  Use butter and cream for cooking, it will flavor and you will be fuller. Try the béarnaise and hollandaise sauces: check the ingredients or make them yourself. Coconut oil and olive oil are other good options.
  • Vegetables that grow above ground: All types of cabbage, such as cauliflower, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, Brussels sprouts. Asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, olives, spinach, mushrooms, salads, avocados, onions, peppers, tomatoes, etc.
  • Dairy products:  Always choose whole products (not low fat) like real butter, cream (40% fat), sour cream, Greek yogurt and fatty cheese. Be careful with milk as it contains a lot of milk sugar. Avoid flavored, sweet or “light” products.
  • Nuts:  Excellent for snacking instead of candy (ideally in moderation).
  • Berries: Raspberries, currants, blueberries, etc. OK in moderation, if you are not very strict or allergic. Excellent with whipped cream.

Read the label when you are at the store. A good simple rule of thumb: no more than 5% carbohydrate for any given food.

Avoid if you can

  • Sugar : The worst. Sodas, sweets, fruit juices, energy drinks, sports drinks, hamburger buns, chocolates, cakes, pastries, ice cream, breakfast cereals. Try to avoid sweeteners too.
  • Starchy foods : Breads, pasta, rice, potatoes, fries, chips, porridge, muesli, etc. Whole grain products are just less bad. Legumes such as white beans and lentils are high in carbohydrates. If your diet is not strict, you can eat potatoes and other legumes in moderation.
  • Margarine:  It is an industrial imitation of butter with an unnatural omega-6 level. No health benefits, bad taste. Statistically linked to asthma, allergies and other inflammatory diseases.
  • Beer : Liquid bread. Unfortunately, it’s full of quickly absorbed carbohydrates.
  • Fruits : Lots of sugar. Think of fruit as natural candy, to be eaten in moderation.

Sometimes

It’s up to you to decide when you want to afford it. Your weight loss may slow down a bit.

  • Alcohol:  Dry red or white wines, whiskey, brandy, vodka and other cocktails without sugar.
  • Dark chocolate:  At least 70% cocoa, preferably in moderation.

Drinks

  • Water
  • Coffee:  Try with whole cream
  • Tea

And without adding sugar, of course.

How much should you restrict carbohydrates?

The less carbohydrate you eat, the better the effects on your weight and blood sugar levels. I advise you to follow these tips as strictly as you want. When you are satisfied with your weight and health, you can gradually add carbohydrates.

On the other hand, if you are thin and in good health, you can eat a little starchy foods and gluten-free legumes: rice, potatoes, kidney beans, etc.

Here are three examples of low-carb meals. They vary depending on the amount of carbohydrates you eat per day. The small yellow pieces are pieces of herb butter .

3. How low carb diets work

What are you supposed to eat?

Humans have evolved for millions of years as hunter-gatherers, without eating large amounts of carbohydrates. We ate whatever food we found by hunting, fishing, and gathering what was edible. These foods did not contain starchy foods in the form of bread, pasta, rice or potatoes. We have only eaten these starches for 5,000 to 10,000 years, since the beginning of agriculture. Such a small period of time allows only limited genetic adaptation.

With the industrial revolution of 100 – 200 years ago, we established factories that could produce large quantities of pure sugar and flour. Quickly digested pure carbohydrates. We barely had time to genetically adapt to these types of industrial foods.

In the 1980s, the fear of fat gripped the western world. “Light” products reduced in fat have appeared everywhere. But if you eat less fat you need to eat more carbohydrates to be full. And it was at this point in history that our disastrous obesity and diabetes epidemic began. The country that has demonized fat the most, the USA, has been hit the hardest and is now the most obese country in the world.

Today it is clear that the fear of real food rich in natural fat has been a huge mistake.

The problem caused by sugar and starches

All digestible carbohydrates (bread, pasta, etc.) are transformed into simple sugars in the intestines. The sugar is thus absorbed into the blood, which raises the sugar level in the blood. This increases the production of insulin. Insulin activates the storage of fat by the body.

Insulin is produced by the pancreas. In large amounts, insulin prevents fat burning and stores excess nutrients in fat cells. After a certain period of time (a few hours or less), it can lead to a perceived lack of nutrients in the blood, which creates hunger and the urge to eat something sweet. This is when people eat again. This restarts the cycle: it is a vicious circle that leads to weight gain.

On the contrary, low carbohydrate intake gives you lower and more stable blood sugar levels, and therefore less insulin. This increases the release of fat from your fat stores, and increases fat burning. This usually results in fat loss, especially in the stomach area in obese people.

Weight loss without hunger

A diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat lowers the level of insulin in your blood, which helps your body to use up its fat stores. This is probably the reason why eating fat makes you more full than eating carbohydrates. It has been shown in many studies that when people are on a low carbohydrate diet and eat at will, they typically take in  fewer calories.

So there is no need to count or weigh your food. You can forget about calories and trust your feelings of hunger and fullness. If you don’t believe it, try it for a few weeks and see the results.

Health as a bonus

No animal in the wild needs the assistance of nutritional experts or calorie charts to eat. And yet, as long as they eat the food they’re supposed to eat, they stay at a normal weight, and prevent cavities, diabetes, and heart disease. Why would humans be an exception? Why would you be an exception?

In scientific studies, the low-carb diet doesn’t just reduce weight. It also improves blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol profile, and triglyceride levels. It generally gives a calmer stomach, and less craving for sugary foods.

Initial side effects

If you suddenly stop sugars and starches (recommended), you may have side effects as your body adjusts. For most people, these side effects are mild and last only a few days. There are also ways to eliminate them.

Common side effects during the first week:

  • Headache
  • Tired
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Irritability

These side effects subside quickly as your body adjusts and fat burning increases. You can minimize these effects by drinking more and increasing your salt intake a little temporarily. A good option is to drink broth several times a day. Or, drink more water and put a little more salt in your food.

The reason for these side effects is that foods high in carbohydrate can increase your water retention. When you stop eating foods high in carbohydrates, you lose excess water through your kidneys. This can lead to dehydration and a lack of salt for the first week as the body adjusts.

Some people prefer to slowly decrease their carbohydrate intake over a few weeks to minimize side effects. But the Nike Way (Just Do It) is probably the best choice for most people. Cutting out sugars and carbohydrates makes you lose weight in the first few days. Even though it’s mostly fluids, it’s great for motivation.


Meal suggestions for breakfast:

  • Eggs and bacon (obviously, homemade or artisanal bacon is superior to industrial bacon)
  • Omelette
  • Leftovers from last night’s dinner
  • Coffee with cream
  • A box of mackerel and hard-boiled eggs
  • Hard-boiled eggs with mayonnaise or butter
  • Avocado, salmon and cream
  • Sandwich with  Oopsie-bread
  • Cheese
  • Hard-boiled eggs crushed with butter, chives, salt and pepper
  • Brie with ham or salami
  • Greek yogurt with nuts or seeds (and possibly berries)

Don’t like to eat in the morning? With a low-carb diet, you may not feel hungry in the morning. If so, you can skip breakfast perfectly .

Meal suggestions for lunch and dinner: 

  • Meat, chicken or fish dishes with vegetables and a sauce rich in natural lipids. There are plenty of alternatives to potatoes, such as mashed cauliflower.
  • Stews, soups or casseroles with low carbohydrate ingredients.
  • You can use most cookbook recipes if you avoid high carbohydrate ingredients. Do not hesitate to add lipids (examples: butter, cream) to your recipe. Or buy a paleo cookbook.
  • Drink water with your meal, and occasionally a glass of wine.

Snacks / Snacks

With a low-carb diet, you probably won’t need to eat as often as before. Don’t be surprised if you don’t need to snack anymore. Many people function well with 2 or 3 meals a day. If you need a snack:

  • Cheese / ham roll (like Boursin) with a vegetable
  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • A piece of cheese
  • A hard-boiled egg taken out of the refrigerator
  • Canned Mackerel in Tomato Sauce

Olives and nuts can replace crisps when you’re watching TV. If you’re still hungry between meals, it’s probably because you’re not eating enough fat. Don’t be afraid of lipids. Eat more fat until you are full.

Eat at a restaurant or with friends

  • Restaurants: Usually not a big deal. You can ask for salad or vegetables instead of potatoes / fries / rice. Ask for extra butter (not margarine!).
  • Fast food: Kebabs can be decent (without bread). At burger chains, burgers are usually the less bad choices. Avoid soda and fries, of course. Drink water. Pizza toppings are generally acceptable, and the more strict you are in your diet the less dough you will eat.
  • If you eat strictly in everyday life, you can make a few exceptions when you are invited. If you are not sure what food will be served, you can have something to eat at home before you go.
  • Nuts and cheeses are good emergency foods when there are no other good choices.

Shopping list for beginners

Print out this list and bring it with you when you shop:

  • Butter
  • Whole cream (40% fat)
  • Sour cream (whole)
  • Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Meat (minced meat, steaks, stew / fondue pieces, fillets, etc.)
  • Fish (ideally fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel)
  • Cheese (preferably fatty)
  • Turkish yogurt (10% fat)
  • Cabbage (green cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, wedge cabbage, etc.)
  • All other vegetables that grow above the ground
  • Frozen vegetables (broccoli, wok vegetables, etc.) 
  • Lawyers
  • Olives
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Nuts, almonds

Clean your cupboards

Do you want to maximize your chances of success? Especially when you have addictions, it is better to throw away or give foods containing sugars and starches, light products, etc.

This includes :

  • Candies
  • Chips
  • Soda and juice
  • Margarine and vegetable oils
  • Sugar in all its forms
  • Bread
  • Flour
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Breakfast cereals
  • All products labeled “light”
  • Ice
  • Cookies and biscuits

Why not do it now?

The serpent in paradise

Beware of products labeled “low in carbohydrates,” like pasta or chocolate. Unfortunately, these products do not work well. They have sabotaged the weight loss of many people. They are generally loaded with carbohydrates, despite their creative marketing.

For example, Dreamsfield’s “low carbohydrate pasta” is pure starchy foods, which are absorbed more or less like normal pasta. They are just absorbed more slowly:

What about low-carb bread? Be careful: if it is bread made with cereals, it is certainly not low in carbohydrates! But some brands try to sell them to you as low-carb options. Here is an example :

  • Julian Bakery’s Low Carb Fake Bread

Low-carb chocolate is usually filled with sugar alcohols, which the manufacturer does not count as carbohydrates. But about half of these carbohydrates can be absorbed, which increases blood sugar and insulin levels. The rest of the carbohydrates end up in the colon, which can cause gas and diarrhea. Plus sweeteners can keep cravings off sugar.

Instead, take real dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) in moderation.

Bottom line: if you want to be slim and healthy, eat real food.

Recipes

4 Easy ways to make eggs

  1. Put the eggs in cold water and boil for 4 minutes or 8 minutes. If you want, eat them with homemade mayonnaise.
  2. Fry the eggs in butter, on one or both sides. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Fry some butter and add two eggs and 2 or 3 tablespoons of heavy cream per person. Add salt and pepper. Mix. Add chives and grated cheese. Serve with fried bacon.
  4. In a bowl, beat three eggs and add three tablespoons of cream. Add salt and spices. Fry the butter in the pan and pour the preparation. When the surface becomes solid, you can add something good. For example, cheese, fried bacon, fried mushrooms, a good sausage (read the ingredients and prefer an artisan sausage over an industrial sausage), or leftovers from dinner from the night before. Fold the omelet in half and serve with a crunchy salad.

Snacks and desserts

  • Mixture of nuts, almonds, etc.
  • Quality sausages  : Cut them into pieces, add a piece of cheese and prick them with a toothpick.
  • Vegetables with a sauce:  Try cucumber or pepper sticks, pieces of cauliflower, etc.
  • Cheese  rolls : Spread creamy cheese (like Boursin) in a slice of ham or salami.
  • Olives
  • Low-carb crisps:  On a baking sheet, make small piles of grated cheese (Parmesan or other). Each pile makes one tablespoon. Heat the oven to 225 ° C. Let your chips melt and take on a nice color (be careful, they burn easily). Serve like crisps, possibly with a dip sauce.

RECIPE BOOKS

There are hundreds of low-carb cookbooks, including the Paleo cookbooks. Just avoid the pounds that avoid fat. Remember: if you avoid carbohydrates, you must  eat more fat or you will be hungry. Don’t be afraid of fat. Fat is your friend. Add fat until you are no longer hungry.

Also, avoid cookbooks filled with sweeteners, desserts, and other “treat foods”. Because if you abuse this stuff it will sabotage your weight loss.

5. Reversal of diabetes and normalization of blood sugar levels

Do you have type 2 diabetes? If not, you probably know someone who has diabetes. The low carb diet is great for treating type 2 diabetes.

Eating less of the things that turn into blood sugar (carbohydrates) makes it easier to have low blood sugar. Restricting carbohydrates can be so effective that diabetics should immediately reduce their dose of medication (especially insulin).

Less blood sugar from day one. Less need for medication. And a bonus weight loss.

Learn more about diabetes and the low-carb diet .

PS: people who have type 1 diabetes can also benefit from a low carbohydrate diet.

Normalization of blood pressure

Low-carb diets lower blood pressure in those with high blood pressure. This has been clearly proven in scientific studies, and this is what a lot of people find when they try.

In fact, this effect can be so marked that those taking blood pressure medication may feel tired or dizzy from too low blood pressure. These people have become too healthy for their medication!

If this happens, you will need to reduce the dose of your high blood pressure medicine, or stop taking it entirely, after talking to your doctor.

Learn more about blood pressure and the low-carb diet.

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Rachel

An admin for many health topic based websites and a perfect proof reader. Fluent in Spanish language with A+ grade. Published many articles on women's health in various spanish publications. Currently working with healthzink.com as an author in health topics.

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