Lose weight with a low carb diet
Credit: Hammerin Man, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr

Of all the diets around today, probably the one that gets the most attention is the low carb diet. And there’s a good reason for this – it works. In fact it’s been conclusively shown that a low carb diet plan is the most effective way to lose body fat there is.

However it’s important to realize that you can’t stay on a very low carbohydrate diet indefinitely or else you will eventually start to lose muscle tissue and your metabolic rate will slow right down. This means your weight loss will slow down too, and if you start to eat carbs again you will quickly put all the weight back on again – and probably more.

An Effective Low Carb Diet Plan

So the best way to do it is to eat low carbs six days per week, and have a day of higher carbs once per week. If you do any form of strength training, your high carb day should be on a training day. This high carb day will give your metabolism a boost and stimulate the production of more fat burning hormones, so you’ll burn fat much more effectively for the rest of the week.

You can continue a regimen of this sort for as long as you wish with no harmful side effects. However, if at any time you find your energy levels dropping and you stop losing weight, you could have 2 or 3 high carb days in a row to give your metabolism an extra boost. Or alternatively, if you work out regularly, you could switch over to a carb cycling plan instead, where you eat carbs on your training days but not on your off days.

What To Eat On A Low Carb Diet Plan

Eating the low carbohydrate way means cutting out all sugars and starchy carbs from your diet. So you would eat mostly protein (meat, poultry, fish and eggs) and vegetables. You can eat as much of these foods as you wish – there’s no limit. So you don’t need to worry about counting calories or weighing portions as you would with most other diets.

You can also eat a small amount of fruit, nuts, seeds, beans and dairy products if you want to.

On a low carb diet plan fats are your main energy source, so you don’t need to worry about the fat content of some of the foods mentioned above. However you should avoid refined fats and oils like margarine and vegetable or seed oils.

Then, on your high carb days all you need do is add in some starchy carbs, such as brown rice, oats, potatoes and sweet potatoes, whilst reducing the amount of fat you are eating. You can even have one meal as a ‘cheat meal’ if you wish. This means you can eat whatever you want at this one meal.

The Benefits Of A Low Carbohydrate Diet

Apart from rapid and sustained weight loss, a diet of this sort has other benefits too. A low carbohydrate intake helps to keep blood sugar and insulin levels stable, and this can help prevent or even reverse type 2 diabetes. Most people find their energy levels are more stable too, as eating carbs (especially refined carbs) causes an insulin surge, which may then cause your blood sugar to drop too low, leaving you feeling sluggish and lethargic.

And on top of this, a low carb intake has been shown to improve blood lipid profiles (increasing HDL cholesterol and reducing triglycerides), normalize blood pressure and significantly reduce the risk of developing heart disease. So you’ll probably live longer too!

As with any weight loss program, when you burn off fat toxins will be released from your fat cells into your bloodstream, so make sure you drink plenty of water to flush these out of your system. At least a couple of pints per day; but more is better.

So there you have it. A low carb diet plan of this sort is probably the easiest and most effective long term strategy for weight loss there is. But you can make it even more effective by following your high carb day with a 24 hour fast. This is because the metabolism boosting effects of the high carb day will result in a higher level of fat burning during your fast than you would normally experience. So why not give it a go?