In my previous blog post I gave you – through 5 helpful tips – a brief introduction about starting low-carb eating. Now that the basics are in place, I’d like to take you to the next step. Because what many people wonder is: what can you eat and what is better to avoid? For example, I received the question from Simone, “what is the rationale behind leaving out fruits and nuts?”. And so today I answer this question, tell you more about starting low-carb eating and give you 5 handy follow-up tips.
Starting with low-carb: the basics
Starting to eat low carb is not difficult, as long as you do it the right way. First of all, it is good to know that you really have to give your body time to switch to your new eating pattern. After all, what we want to achieve is that your metabolism switches from mainly carbohydrates, to proteins and fats. For this, your body needs at least 2 weeks. Therefore, it is important that you get rid of all forms of sugars and carbohydrates in those first 2 weeks. To come back to Simone’s question: although fruits and nuts are very healthy, they contain too many sugars and carbohydrates. If we keep eating these, your body will get too much of them. This means you don’t switch to the desired metabolism.
How many carbs are okay?
With the proliferation of low-carbohydrate diets, which all prescribe something different, it is difficult to say exactly how many carbs are okay. For myself, I initially used a limit of 20 carbs (kh) per day. Admittedly, this sounds extremely low. But here it is important to note that those 20 kh must come mainly from vegetables. So if we consider that on average (per 100 g) there are 1 kh in arugula, 0.9 kh in iceberg lettuce, 2.2 kh in cucumber, 1.5 kh in avocado and 0 kh in tuna (canned), then you’ve already eaten a big salad (á 500 g) and only 5.6 kh. Suddenly doesn’t sound so bad, right?
But 20 is still not much. Some people feel better with a bit more carbs, making this a rather personal decision. Just feel what works for you.
Good vs. bad carbs
Within the amount of carbs you can eat in a day, we also make a distinction between good and bad carbs. As I mentioned above, the amount of carbs you eat should be consumed mainly from vegetables. Therefore – especially in the beginning – ignore all those diet products, protein bars and powders. Another big pitfall, for example, is sausage. Although you can eat quite a bit of sausage (think: pork sausage, grilled sausage and smoked sausage), some types of sausage contain a lot of hidden carbohydrates, starch and sugars. So pay close attention and read the labels!
Eat 3 times a day
One of the reasons other diets or lifestyles are not for me is that you are always hungry. Not so with low-carb diets. The reason is that fat and protein are way more filling then carbs will ever be. I myself usually eat only twice a day. And I skip breakfast, using intermittent fasting. Make it a habit to not eat more then 3 times a day. You do not need to eat every few hours and eating enough fat and protein will make sure that you are still fullfilled and have enough energy to keep going.
Preparation is half the battle
In my previous blog post you could already read that I plan my meals ahead. But I have another handy tip for you! Since I have a busy job in the field, I’m on the road almost every day. A logical consequence of this is that I regularly stop at gas stations. The danger then is that you are tempted in all sorts of ways to buy something. This not only costs you a lot of money, but you are also tempted to buy something that is not good for you. To avoid this kind of situation, I always take plenty of provisions with me, such as bacon bits or smoked cheese crackers. Yum!
I hope you guys got something out of my 5 helpful follow-up tips for getting started with low-carb eating. Did you miss the previous 5 tips? Then read on in this post on low-carb eating.
This post was written by Melissa Aarssee but adapted by me.