10 Rules New Low-Carb Dieters Should Follow

Cutting carbohydrates is a cornerstone tenet of many popular diets, due in part to the simple fact that these diet plans can be quite effective when they’re followed properly. Learning the ropes and dedicating yourself to a low-carb diet isn’t always easy, though. Changing your eating patterns can be a challenge, especially when you’re eliminating or greatly reducing a targeted substance. These 10 tips can help you get over the proverbial hump of low-carb dieting.

  1. Don’t Starve or Skip – Just because you are trying a diet doesn’t mean you should starve yourself to lose weight. Skipping meals will also go against what your end goal is, especially when you’re working with the low-carb diet model. Skipping and starving puts your body in a mode to store up fat when you do eat so that it can survive during those times when you don’t feed it properly. Choosing not to eat is actually counter-productive. One of the perks of a low-carb diet is that you never have to feel hungry, so make sure that you’re satisfying your hunger pangs with low-carb snacks.
  2. Snack Before Bed – Having a full meal right before bed is a no-no. But don’t rule out eating before bed altogether. Indulging in a light, carb-free snack before bed can be beneficial. For one thing, a small snack before bed can keep you from waking up feeling ravenous after hours without sustenance. For another, it might put you in the habit of having smaller meals throughout the day, which can also help with weight loss. Just be sure to keep that light snack in the low-carb category.
  3. Remove Temptation – Keeping carb-filled food around the house is a quick way to fall back into old habits. Get those starches and sugars out of your cabinets so that when you get those carb-based cravings, you are less tempted to splurge on snacks that will wreck your diet.
  4. Stock Up on Meat – If you’re opting for the Atkin’s dieting style of high protein and low carbs, one thing that you’ll be able to eat your fill of is meat products. When you cull your cabinets of sugars and starches, make room in the freezer for plenty of meat.
  5. Eat Your Veggies – Most vegetables are not only high on the nutrition scale, they’re also low in carbohydrates. Have a large portion of vegetables with each meal and look for new snacking options comprised of fresh veggies. Explore the options of your grocer’s produce section and opt for a variety to keep things interesting.
  6. Eat at Least Three Meals a Day – Having at least three meals a day will ensure that you will not feel like you are starving yourself on a new diet, boosting your chances of success. If you find that you’re snacking frequently between meals, it may also be smart to consider making the move to multiple small meals throughout the day. Just remember to decrease your portions as the number of meals increases and you’ll be able to feel full and satisfied while adhering to your weight-loss plan.
  7. Eat Low-Sugar Fruits – Depending on the style of low-carb diet that you’re following, you may be able to indulge in a bit of low-sugar fruit to satisfy sweet-tooth cravings without blowing your diet. The Atkins and South Beach diets don’t allow any fruit during the first phase, but other low-carb plans may be less strict.
  8. Stay Away from Starch, Sugar, Refined Flour – You should avoid foods that are starchy, such as potatoes and corn, sugary foods and refined flour-based foods like pasta and bread. Keep away from those standard foods and that’s all the “counting” you’ll have to do. Don’t worry about the number of calories, just worry about the carb content.
  9. Keep It Green – Along the lines of eating your vegetables, make sure you keep things green. Have something green and leafy with each meal to guarantee you are keeping on the right track while providing your body with essential vitamins and nutrients.
  10. Know That There Are No One-Size-Fits-All Diets Just because the low-carb plan worked for your best friend or co-worker doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for you. There’s no diet out there that works the same for everyone. If you find that this diet plan isn’t right for you, don’t become discouraged. Instead, reconsider your options and try something new. As long as you’re taking steps in the right direction and are dedicated to improving your health, you’re sure to find the solution that works for your individual body.

Cutting carbohydrates can be an effective way of losing weight, but it can also be dangerous if it’s paired with a high-protein regimen under some circumstances. Before you start any diet, it’s smart to talk it over with your doctor to make sure that your decisions are healthy ones. The last thing you want to do is to inadvertently damage your health by trying to lose weight and get into shape!

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