Choosing to eat low carb is not a fad diet but rather, a complete lifestyle change. Yes, it promotes weight loss, but its main benefit is long-term health solutions. Low carb is the right way to eat and surprisingly, is not as complicated as other ways of eating. You’ll just need to eat meals that are low in carbohydrates and high in fat such as meat, eggs or green leafy vegetables.
Keep in mind that when you start adapting to the low carb eating lifestyle, you have to avoid or completely eliminate high carbohydrate foods such as pasta, rice, grains and starchy foods. When you consume these foods, they are converted into sugar, which will also be your number one enemy when you opt for eating low carb meals for good.
One of the most popular forms of low carb eating is the ketogenic diet or keto. Keto is the strictest form of low carb diet because you have to be mindful of your macros, not your calories. To succeed with keto, your carbohydrate intake must not exceed 20 grams per day.
Aside from keto, there are other ways of eating that are also low in carbohydrates but more sustainable. Let’s take a closer look at the following forms of low carb eating:
The Dukan Diet
The Dukan Diet is a form of low carb eating that allows you to eat meals that are high in protein. It was formulated by Pierre Dukan, a French doctor and weight management specialist. Then Dukan Diet claims that it helped people to lose weight fast and easily without starving themselves.
The diet has four phases:
- Attack Phase – For the first seven days, you have to consume limitless amounts of lean protein and 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran each day
- Cruise Phase – The next 1 to 12 months where alternating lean protein day-to-day with lean protein and non-starchy vegetables must be done. It also requires the intake of two tablespoons of oat bran daily
- Consolidation Phase – Every pound you’ve lost in Attack and Cruise phase must correspond to five days of eating limitless amounts of protein and vegetables. You also need to consume some carbs and fats and two and a half tablespoons of oat bran per day.
- Stabilization Phase – The food intake is similar to the Consolidation Phase but the rules under this phase are more relaxed and the oat bran intake should be three tablespoons daily.
Since The Dukan Diet is high in protein, you’ll burn more calories especially during gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is a process that converts fat and protein into glucose when your protein consumption is high and you steer clear from high carbohydrate meals. On the other hand, high protein intake leads to longer hours of satiety so The Dukan Diet might be beneficial to those who can’t control binge eating.
What sets apart The Dukan Diet from other low carb forms is that the fat consumption must also be restricted. In other words, it’s a low carb, high protein but low fat diet. In terms of weight loss, The Dukan Diet produces it fast just like the other low carb eating forms.
For more info, read our full post, Is The Dukan Diet Right For You?
The 4-Hour Body
Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Body, also known as the “slow carbs diet,” is designed to hack the human body. It teaches fat gain prevention even when you binge eat, levels up fat loss by 300% and decrease the hours of sleep while waking up still feeling refreshed and functioning well. The program claims to make you lose 20 pounds of fat in just 30 days. It can also ramp up your muscle gain and enhance your sex life.
When it comes to protein intake, it is similar to the Dukan Diet. There’s no such thing as calorie counting in this program, just like the other low carb diet plans. In this program, you can consume mostly protein, non-starchy vegetables and legumes. Then, you have to avoid sweets, cakes, cookies and fried foods. Unlike other low carb plans though, dairy products are non-compliant foods under the 4-Hour Body.
While you can have cheat meals on all sorts of low carb diets, these cheat meals could sabotage your fast fat loss goals. The 4-Hour Body is unique because it allows you to have one cheat day every week and you’ll still lose weight and fat quickly.
Ferriss claims that the keys to get the best results out of the program are avoiding white carbohydrates, having the same few meals repetitively, eliminating liquid calories, eliminating fruits and as mentioned, one cheat day per week.
You’re only encouraged to eat as much protein as you can every meal time. If you don’t want to set yourself up for failure while under this diet, there should be no snacking at all during your meal interval hours. If you can’t resist the temptation of grazing on some snacks, you can eat a handful of nuts or carrot sticks.
For more info, read our full post, Why The 4-Hour Body Really Works
Is your body reacting badly when eating high carbohydrate meals? Have you been counting calories when eating without restrictions but still not losing weight? If so, then Banting is for you.
Banting is a high fat and sugar-free form of low carb eating named after its brainchild William Banting. This diet is as effective as the trendy Ketogenic and Paleo diet because it also focuses on consuming high amounts of fat, but the difference is that all the foods you should consume are gluten-free. Those who have tried Banting claim that their quality of sleep improved and any cravings for carbs are pretty much eliminated.
The greatest similarity of this diet with other low carb diet forms such as Dukan and The 4-Hour Body is that it utilizes your body as an ultimate fat-burning machine instead of burning carbohydrates. The difference to the other low carb diets in this article is that the amount of protein intake is more moderate.
Since Banting focuses on high fat foods, you’ll feel fuller after every meal. When you feel fuller, you’re less likely to snack during the day. On Banting, your meal plan includes low carb fruits, dairy, green leafy veggies, fish, avocados, eggs, and fatty meat. These foods are on the green list. On the red list, foods which are forbidden, include artificial sweeteners, sugar, bread, oats, potatoes and pasta. You should eat at least four times a day without snacking in between meals.
Before beginning your fat loss journey with Banting, keep in mind that your meals should be nutrient dense. Focus on eating animal fat and a cup of greens every meal. While the foods you eat under this diet are delicious, be mindful of the amount of food – don’t overdo it but also don’t deprive yourself.
For more info, read our full post, The Banting Way Of Eating
Want to improve your overall digestion and achieve optimal health while losing weight? Try the Paleo Diet. Paleo, also known as the “caveman diet”, focuses on eating foods that were only available during the Paleolithic era. The main principle of this low carb type of eating is that the modern food system and how they are processed nowadays are detrimental to our health.
The Paleo diet focuses on whole, nutritious foods such as meat, eggs, fish, nuts, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats such as avocados, coconut oil, olive oil and ghee butter. Paleo is similar to Keto and Banting in terms of the amount of fat consumption; similar to Dukan and The 4-Hour Body as well because it also advocates high protein intake.
What sets apart the Paleo diet from the other low carb diets is that the sources of fat and protein must be whole foods only or those sources of foods that were available to early humans. The Paleo diet also emphasizes the impacts of lifestyle choices on the environment. Lastly, although Paleo is relatively low carb , you are allowed to include whole food carbohydrate sources to your meal plan. These high carb whole foods are fruits and unrefined sweeteners.
In order to succeed with the Paleo diet, you should eliminate grains, legumes, soy and all processed foods. You should also incorporate short but intense exercises if you’re aiming for faster results. Since Paleo’s principle is the promotion of long-term wellness, keen stress management is highly recommended. Yoga and meditation are great for this.
All Low Carb Diets Work
Whatever low carb eating plan you choose, all of them work. May it be Dukan Diet, 4-Hour Body, Banting or Paleo, their common denominator is that they help you lose weight fast and in the healthiest way possible. Whichever one you choose, you can rest assured that low carb is the right way to eat.