Low-carb lifestyle guidelines
By now you should have a pretty clear idea of what you have to do to improve your diet and, with it, your entire lifestyle.
The general principles
Cut out all unhealthy refined carbohydrates.
- Curb your intake of high GI carbohydrates and focus on those from the low—medium GI range.
- Eat most of your fruit and vegetables raw to ensure a good level of phytonutrients and fibre.
- Eat more high-quality protein — organic if at all possible.
- Increase your intake of healthy omega-3 fatty acids by eating more oily fish, and use only natural unrefined oils in your cooking.
- Cut out tea, coffee, concentrated fruit juices and alcohol, and banish soft drinks of any kind, but drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
- Incorporate 30-45 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three times in to your weekly routine, and carry out resistance training at least three times per week.
Myth: skipping meals is a good way to lose weight.
Fact: your body needs a regular supply of nutrients each day in order to work properly. If you skip meals, you will be more likely to make up for it by snacking or eating more at the next meal. Studies show that people who skip breakfast tend to be heavier than those who eat a nutritious breakfast. A healthier way to lose weight is to eat many small meals throughout the day.
Myth: eating after 8 pm causes weight gain
Fact: it doesn’t matter at what time of day you eat; if you are eating too much of the wrong type of food and not getting any exercise, that will make you fat.
Are you all fired up?
You should be, because you are going to get back in control. You now know what you are doing, understand your body and should look on this as an important project that will bring untold benefits. Now that you understand how your body metabolizes the food that you eat, you can start to view food as a vital fuel that helps your body function at optimum levels. This should be a turning point. It should change your attitude from one of ‘Oh no, I’m on a diet’ to a more positive ‘I’m doing this for me, to make myself healthier, fitter, stronger, leaner’.
Pretty soon you are going to be feeling and looking better. Think of that boost of self-confidence that you are going to experience. So get ready to roll and flex that determination. Whether you have 3kg (71b) to lose or 30kg (701b), this regime is only going to work if you are committed to changing your eating and exercise habits for life.
The rest of this section offers advice on weight, and on setting goals for (and managing) weight loss; suggests how to cope with the cravings and snack attacks that may arise when you are on a diet; and gives tips on taking supplements and sticking to a healthy diet, even when you lead a busy lifestyle. It is followed by the three-step programme and nutritious recipes that form theMainstay. Plus, there is also a section on adapting the plans to suit a vegetarian diet, which includes some delicious low-carb vegetarian recipes.
Myth: low-fat or non-fat means no calories. Fact: many low-fat and non-fat foods still contain a lot of calories. Often these foods also contain extra sugar, flour or starch thickeners to make them taste better. These ingredients all represent extra carbohydrates. As we have seen, you need to eat healthy fats to lose extra fat.