Summer time is a perfect season to start a healthy diet, but trying to lose weight can be hard work as well as stressful and frustrating.
So instead of following strict fad diets such as the cabbage soup diet, the grapefruit diet or liquid diet, how about simply eating less carbohydrates combined with foods rich in protein? Interestingly studies have shown that a person can lose double the amount of weight on a low-carb diet in contrast to those following a low-fat diet. The editor of this blog site is a fan having lost a stone herself using this diet over the last month!
Certain diets have been found to be easier to stick to such as the paleo diet or the latest trendy keto diet. These diets encourage you to restrict carbohydrate intake, and increase protein rich foods, consequently keeping you feeling fuller for longer.
So how do low-carbohydrate diets show they’re success rate on the weighing scales? And why are they classed as easier diets to stick to?
Faster Results: Eating fewer carbohydrates, or virtually no carbs consistently has been associated with successful steady weight loss. Low-carb diets such as the ketogenic diet, more commonly known as the keto diet has scientifically been proven to induce nutritional ketosis. This metabolic state causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream and encourage rapid fat-burning without compromising muscle breakdown. An initial easy weight loss increases motivation, and as a result gives individuals an incentive to keep going.
No Hunger Pangs: If you can’t bear hunger pangs then following a low-carb diet may be the way forward, as then you’ll be more likely to stick to your diet plan. Limiting carbohydrate intake generally involves the consumption of increased amounts of other food groups, such as fiber in the form of mostly vegetables, and particularly protein rich foods. Protein takes longer to digest, so keeps you feeling fuller for longer and consequently keeps hunger pangs at bay. In addition, eating more protein in contrast to carbohydrates has been found to reduce appetite and food cravings.
Fewer Calories Consumed: This may sound too good to be true, especially when you feel full whilst on a weight loss program. So how is this possible? Firstly being conscience of consuming adequate protein at each mealtime means that your satiety levels would have increased, and reduced your appetite for high calorie junk food. In addition you’ll be eating more fiber in the form of vegetables or fruit to replace the carbs you would ordinarily be consuming. Ramping up your fiber intake in this way also means that you’ve automatically added low calorie foods into your diet without skimping on food quantity. Interestingly studies report that the extra chewing time involved in munching these low calorie vegetables & fruit gives the brain more time to realise that it’s getting full, preventing overconsumption of high calorie foods.
Tasty Meals: Following a low carb-diet doesn’t mean that you have to avoid all types of fat. Some healthy fats such as extra-virgin olive oil, coconut butter, avocados, nuts and seeds can make meals and snacks taste a lot better. When your palate is satisfied with delicious food, a diet doesn’t really feel like a diet at all! What more motivation do you need to stick to a weight loss plan! Interestingly, weight loss strategies that incorporate ‘good fats’ such as omega-3 fats found in oily fish, chia seeds, walnuts and flaxseeds have been found to help promote weight loss by keeping the appetite satisfied for longer. Choosing the right fats may also give the skin and hair a youthful appearance. So try this top tip, replace mayonnaise with mashed up avocados to cut out unnecessary calories.
Positive Health Benefits: Consuming less carbohydrates means that you’ll be eating more protein, vegetables and fruit, as well as avoiding a wide range of processed junk food. Research reports that when we follow a healthier diet many positive health benefits are observed such as better blood sugar balance, reduced blood pressure and lowered cholesterol levels. In addition, a healthier diet usually results in better energy levels, enhanced mood, improved hormonal health and optimum fertility health. Being healthier and feeling good about your body is a great incentive to continue on with a healthy weight loss plan.
BSc (Hons), MSc, PG Cert CC, NT, CNELM Dip NT, MBANT, CNHCreg.
Miss Salma S. Khan, Nutrition Consultant & Health Writer is the Founder and Director of ZingTality Ltd, a Nutrition Consultancy. Salma is a highly qualified Health Practitioner - she advises clients on a broad range of nutritional issues, and specialises in all matters related to nutrition. Salma incorporates Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques within each consultation in order to motivate clients to reach their nutritional goals. Salma offers appointments at a clinic on Harley Street in London, and can be reached directly through her website; www.zingtality.com
Salma is a member of the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy (BANT). She is registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), and is also an associate member of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM).