What to Eat in a Low-Carb Diet to Lose Weight Fast
If you simply remove the most unhealthy carbohydrate sources from your diet, such as refined wheat and added sugars, you are well on the road to improving your health. However, to increase the metabolic benefits of the low-carb diets, you also need to restrict other carbohydrate sources as well.
There is no scientific research that explains exactly how to combine carbohydrate intake with individual needs, because each person has specific energy needs due to their work, daily life and metabolism.
People who are physically more active and have more muscle mass can tolerate much more carbohydrates than people who are sedentary, without gaining weight. This applies particularly to those who do a lot of high-intensity exercise, such as lifting weights or running compared to those who spend the day sitting at a desk.
Metabolic health is also a very important factor. When people develop metabolic syndrome, obesity, or diabetes type 2, their carbohydrate needs change. People who fall into these categories are less able to tolerate a large amount of carbohydrates, and must reduce their intake more drastically to not gain weight fast.
Below we present what some dieticians believe to be the intake of carbohydrates for those looking to lose weight.
Eat from 50 to 100 grams of carbohydrates per day
This range can be beneficial if you want to lose weight while keeping some carbohydrate sources in one diet to lose weight more sustainably. It can also help maintain your weight if you are sensitive to carbohydrates.
The carbohydrates you can eat include:
- Many vegetables, of all types, giving preference to those with stronger colors.
- 2-3 pieces of fruit a day, that do not contain much sugar.
- Minimum amounts of amiláceos carbohydrates (cereals: such as wheat, barley, rice, oats, etc. and tubers: such as potatoes, yams, manioc, etc.)
Eating 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day
This is where the diet poor in carbohydrate has the greatest effects on metabolism and works most rapidly.
This is probably the best range for people who want to lose weight fast, or who have metabolic problems, strong obesity or diabetes.
By eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, the body goes into ketosis, providing energy to the brain through the so-called ketone bodies, which are produced by the liver and allow even faster weight loss. This is likely to substantially decrease your appetite and make you lose weight automatically, losing hunger and being satisfied with a reduced amount of food.
The carbohydrates you can eat include:
- Many low carbohydrate vegetables.
- Some fruit berries that do not contain sugar.
- Small amounts of carbohydrates from other foods such as avocados, nuts and whole seeds.
- You should eliminate all the carbohydrates listed in the 50-100 gram regime, such as all cereals, potatoes, etc.
However, be aware that a low-carb diet does not mean it is a non-carb diet. There is room to introduce many low carbohydrate vegetables.
Each individual is unique and what works for one person may not work for the other. It is important to do some experimentation and find out what works best for you, which may even be something in between these two suggestions.
If you have diabetes type 2, talk to your doctor before making any change, because this diet can drastically reduce your need for medication.
In short: For people who are physically active, want to lose weight in the long term or have already lost weight with a fast diet and now want to maintain their weight, a range of about 100 grams of carbohydrates per day may be indicated.
But for people who want to lose weight fast, going below 50 grams of carbohydrates per day is the best suggestion.
Types of healthy carbohydrates that you should give preference to
A diet poor in carbohydrates is not only about weight loss, it can also improve your health. For this reason, the diet should be based on complete, unprocessed foods and healthy sources of carbohydrates.
Some low-carbohydrate foods are sometimes unhealthy. If you want to improve your health, choose unprocessed foods, for example:
Lean meat, preferably white meat – Chicken is among the most popular meat in the world. It is rich in many beneficial nutrients and an excellent source of protein. If you are in a low carbohydrate diet, it may be the best choice, although it is advisable to cut with the more fatty parts such as skin, wings and thighs. Other white meats like turkey and rabbit can also be eaten regularly.
Beef – Beef is highly satiating (which helps not to be hungry for longer) and contains important nutrients such as iron and vitamin B12 and should therefore be consumed, although in smaller quantities.
Fish – Fish and other seafood tend to be incredibly nutritious and healthy. They are particularly rich in B12, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids – all nutrients from which many people do not get enough in their daily diet.
Like meat, almost all types of fish and seafood contain almost no carbohydrate. Some of the healthiest are salmon, trout, sardines and seafood.
Eggs – Eggs are among the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet. They contain many nutrients – including some that are important to your overall health.
Vegetables – Most vegetables have low carbohydrate content. Vegetables and raw vegetables have particularly low levels, and most of their carbohydrates consist of fiber. On the other hand, starchy root vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes are rich in carbohydrates and should be avoided.
Broccoli, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, kale, onions, asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, spinach, cabbage, etc. are advised.
Avocado – The avocado is a type of fruit that instead of being rich in carbohydrates is loaded with healthy fats. The avocado is also extremely rich in fiber and potassium and contains appreciable amounts of other essential nutrients.
Olives – The olive is another fruit little used, but delicious and with high fat content. It is very rich in iron and copper and contains a good amount of vitamin E.
Strawberries – Strawberries are among the fruits with less carbohydrates and more dense in nutrients that you can eat. They are very rich in vitamin C, manganese and several antioxidants.
Grapefruit – Grapefruit is citrus fruit that is related to oranges, but is more suitable for those who are in a diet. They have higher levels of vitamin C and carotenoid antioxidants.
Besides these fruits we also advise the regular consumption of lemons, kiwis, oranges and raspberries.
Walnuts and Seeds – Walnuts and seeds are very popular in diets with low carbohydrate content. They tend to be low in carbohydrates, but high in healthy fats, fibers, proteins and various micronutrients.
Walnuts are often eaten as an aperitif, while seeds are widely used to add crispness to salads, recipes or yogurts.
In addition, walnut flour and certain seeds such as almond flour, coconut flour and flaxseed flour are often used to make low carbohydrate breads and other identical products.
Almonds – Almonds are incredibly tasty and crispy. They are very rich in fiber and vitamin E and are one of the best sources of magnesium in the world, a mineral from which most people do not get the recommended dozens.
Chia Seeds – Chia seeds are currently among the richest foods in vitamins and essential minerals and are the healthiest and most popular seeds in the world.
In addition to the countless important nutrients, they can be used in various recipes with low carbohydrate content. In addition, they are one of the richest sources of dietary fiber on the planet.
Healthy Fats – Olive oil, nut oil and coconut oil are unsaturated, healthy and essential fats for keeping your health in good shape.
Cheese – Cheese is a tasty food with low carbohydrate content, and can be consumed both raw and as a secondary ingredient in several delicious recipes. It goes particularly well with meat, such as on top of a burger of chicken or rabbit.
The cheese is also highly nutritious. A single slice contains an amount of nutrients similar to a large glass of milk.
Whole yogurt – Whole yogurt is exceptionally healthy, containing many of the same nutrients as whole milk. However, thanks to its living cultures, yogurt also contains beneficial probiotic bacteria.
And Greek yogurt, also called strained yogurt, is very thick compared to ordinary yogurt, and is also very rich in many beneficial nutrients, especially protein.
If you are looking to lose weight sustainably in the long term, choose carbohydrate sources that include some fiber. If you prefer a moderate intake of carbohydrates, try to choose sources of unrefined starch, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, oats and brown rice.
The addition of sugars and other refined carbohydrates are always unhealthy options, so it is recommended to eliminate them, or at least avoid them.
If the objective of the diet is to lose weight fast, then you should eliminate all carbohydrates that are not listed above.