It’s been proven time and time again in recent and not so recent history that lower carbohydrate diets work best for fat loss and fat loss management-or maintaining that fat loss long term.
This is all very well, but what exactly does an effective lower carbohydrate diet look like, and more importantly, what does it NOT LOOK LIKE?
Quite a few years ago, I jumped on the no carb craze for a little while and let me tell you. Effective for weight loss-yes it was. Sustainable-no definitely not. So what happened? Firstly, my usual full of energy self disappeared. I was cranky and irritable in a big way. Secondly, as soon as I went back to eating my ‘at the time’ usual way, the weight immediately went straight back on.
So what’s the right way to do lower carb?
I like to look at my diet as firstly, not really a diet. A diet in most peoples’ minds is something you do for a certain period of time and then stop. This is certainly true for most people (I can see you nodding in agreement-been there, done that)
I don’t call the FitterFaster Precision Nutrition Plan a diet either. It’s a way of eating for life that happens to be lower in carbs than the average diet of someone just eating whatever they feel like. I dont actually refer to it as a lower carb plan as you then tend to straight away think that it’s going to be all about the protein and the fat content. AND IT’S NOT!!!!!!
Good nutrition in terms of fat loss, lean weight management and better health is all about the nutrient content of foods. And yes, there are good and bad foods (please don’t go all politically correct on me) Some foods are good for you and some are bad for you-period. It doesn’t matter if you only eat them occasionally or in tiny portions. They are still bad for you and that is that!!!
Now I’ve got that off my chest-what does my ‘lower carb’ effective ‘diet’ look like? What should I eat and what should I avoid?
Foods to eat
Nuts and seeds-a great source of carbs, protein and fat-yes these are good for you, just watch your portion size carefully
Eggs-again a good source of fat and protein
Meats, fish, poultry, game-a great source of protein and in some cases healthy fats too
Full Fat Greek or Natural Yoghurt-small portions of full fat dairy. Avoid anything labelled diet, low fat, no fat or fat reduced. Yoghurt is a great source of carbs for your body coupled with some protein. Greek and Natural are best.
Fruits– A good source of carbohydrates. Very healthy and always a better alternative than a chocolate bar etc, but do watch your portion sizes too if you’re trying to lose body fat
Vegetables-the best source of carbohydrates! This is where you should be getting your carbs from. Eat unlimited amounts of fibrous vegetables. Vegetables will supply your body with all the carbs you need to function properly. Combined with some fruit, you’ll have all the carb energy you need even if you run marathons or do triathlons.
Vegetables also supply you with all the fibre you need. Compared to other so called fibre foods, there’s much more fibre in vegies. Don’t believe the sponsors of certain programs that tell you that you need ‘wholegrain’ fibre to be healthy.
Foods to Avoid
You know this, but here’s a reminder
Processed Carbs-breads, pastas, breakfast and other cereals, wraps, biscuits, crackers, pizza bases, large quantities of rice, popcorn, pretzels, pastries, all bars (including protein bars), noodles, crisp breads, etc. These are sometimes referred to as white carbs, dry carbs or grain foods. This list includes wholegrain, wholemeal and multi grain foods-avoid them if you want to see great results.
Junk and other processed foods-yes the bad foods-cakes, biscuits, lollies, chocolate-you know this, I don’t need to say anymore
Calorie laden drinks-this includes but is not limited too: cordials, soft drinks, alcohol, juices, meal replacement drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks and basically anything that isn’t water. Don’t waste your calories on drinks. Instead, drink water and eat your calories and provide your body with the nutrients that healthy food contains. Be especially careful of cafe purchased coffee drinks. Most contain large amounts of milk. If in doubt, ask for a long black, with or without a small bit of milk. No sugar of course.
Milk and other dairy-milk is for baby cows. Would you think it weird to give your baby some cat or dog milk? Think about it! The only milk we should consume is human breast milk. It is designed for us as infants. After that, we don’t need it!!
Now of course, everyone is going to eat some foods from the Foods To Avoid list. I’d be dreaming if I thought you would never touch these things again. But that doesn’t change the fact that these foods are bad for you, or at the very least, not good for you.
Instead of thinking about the carb content of foods, think about the nutritional value instead, and the carb content will sort itself out.