Switching to a Low Carb Lifestyle (LCL) is a tricky process, and success will only come if you take the time to allow the habits to form. When it comes to nutrition, too many people dive straight into the deep end, unprepared, unaware and uneducated, which leads to them giving up before they experience the benefits.
The best way to start your journey on an LCL is to switch up the food sources you’re currently eating before making any drastic cuts or changes.
Introduce each step below in order:
Unnatural vs Natural
Unnatural food choices such as microwaveable meals, fast food options and pre-packed meals still dominate many people's eating habits.
Eating anything and everything natural (think grown, not produced) can make a huge difference to the way you look and feel, especially if you're consistently eating unnatural sources.
This change can be hard as many of us eat unnatural foods as a quick, easy re-fuel. Eating natural foods does take more time but trust me, the results are worth it.
Frozen Chips ➤ Home-cooked chips
Crisp's ➤ handful of nuts
Rice ➤ Cauliflower/broccoli rice
High Sugar - Low Sugar
Eating sugar raises our blood sugar levels. This increases the release of insulin which is the fat-storage hormone. Too much sugar means your insulin levels are always elevated, and therefore your body is always storing fat and not burning it.
Switching out the higher sugar items in your diet for lower ones means you'll avoid those horrible mid-day crashes, and your body can begin to break down your stored fat.
Milk chocolate ➤ Dark chocolate
Ice Cream ➤ Frozen yoghurt
Chewy sweets ➤ Berries
Low Fibre - High Fibre
Fibre is a huge component of health, and if you are someone whose diet is dominated by unnatural food, as we mentioned above, then you're more than likely lacking in fibre too.
Fibre slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and can help you stay fuller for longer. Focus on including more fibre in all of your meals, which can help you eat less overall, and it'll help regulate your digestion and help keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Cereal ➤ Porridge oats
White bread ➤ Wholemeal bread
White pasta ➤ Wholemeal pasta
Non-Green Vegetables - Green Vegetables
This last swap is the perfect finisher to your introduction to a low carb lifestyle.
Green vegetables have a shallow carb content, and they're also very low in calories, which means you can fill out your plate, not your waistline.
Try filling your plate with green leafy
vegetables such as; broccoli, spinach, cabbage and kale. Reduce the intake of starchy vegetables such as peas, squash and corn, as these hold a higher sugar content and more calories.
All of these swaps will help you attain a lower carb intake, but they'll also help you lose any excess weight you carrying from your general poor choices. Work your way through each step but make sure you have a handle on it before moving on.
Remember, there is no such thing as ‘perfect. However, to see the results you wish to achieve, you need to start thinking about what is going in your body. As the saying goes, ‘you are what you eat.
If you'd like to learn more about how to improve your health, I'd highly suggest looking into intermittent fasting. You can learn more here.