Don’t Starve! Try the Best Low Carb Diet Instead
“there’s even a tapeworm diet?”
Everyone is searching for the best diet whether to lose weight or to be healthier, and the crackpots (and the doctors) cater to our desires by coming up with the “best,” “easiest,” and “quickest” diets. I often hear of people doing various crazy diets whereby they starve themselves for some specified period of time in the absurd hope that the pain and suffering derived from the starvation will miraculously shave 20lbs of fat from their body permanently. Ok, so I was one of those people once upon a time. I used to religiously check the nutritional information on the back of every product in the supermarket to ensure I was consuming the fewest calories possible. My friends would shake their heads and look at me as if I was crazy, and now I do the same when I hear of someone on the raw food diet or the grapefruit diet (there’s even a tapeworm diet?)!
“I hate being hungry – it’s like waking up on the wrong side of bed for me.”
Although I laugh at “those” people, I would totally also buy into the crazy diets if they had any modicum of success and didn’t involve so much starvation. I hate being hungry – it’s like waking up on the wrong side of bed for me. I often think about doing a fast for a day, but I just know I couldn’t do it – I estimate that I’d last until lunchtime. So basically I pick my diets on how hungry I will be on the diet because there’s a much much higher chance that I will keep with the diet if I’m not continuously starving! The other main advantage of the low carb diet is saying goodbye to that afternoon slump when you just wish you could hid under your desk and take a nap. There’s no sugar high and therefore no sugar crash. You can throw away those 5 hour energy drinks, that triple espresso shot and those cans of diet coke!
“fewer carbs does correspond to more misery (but also more weight loss)”
There are many varietals of the low carb diet (Atkins, South Beach, Eco-Atkins, Bernstein’s Diabetes diet, Protein Power, Primal diet, and way more). The first step is choosing one to follow. In many ways, all low carb diets are very similar – they all just restrict your carb intake. However, after that, they diverge dramatically – some allow diary, some allow fruits, some allow cheat days, and some disallow meat. Many of these restrictions has to do with cutting down carb intake further – both fruits and diary products contain higher amounts of carbohydrates than we realize. But remember, fewer carbs does correspond to more misery (but also more weight loss).
Stick to the Atkins Diet for Weight Loss: I think the Atkins diet is great if you’re looking to lose weight. There’s a definite plan so you’re not flailing around figuring things out – they tell you what to do and what results to expect, and you get results within 2 weeks! The downside is of course that it is a very strict diet, especially initially. In the first 2 weeks, you have to stick with less than 20g of net carbs a day (basically, you’re eating veggies and meat/eggs all day). After the first 2 weeks, you can gradually increase your carb intake, although not by that much! You can read the Aktins’ diet book for more information about the diet. If you really follow it, you will find the lbs just dropping off. You don’t really get hungry on the diet either because you can pretty much eat as much as you want (just not anything with too much carbs)! In fact, the main problem most people encounter on the diet is not intaking enough protein and therefore starting to lose too much weight! But only do this diet if you’re serious as it’s a difficult diet to stick to in the long run.
“if you’re just looking to lose weight – then Atkins is the way to go”
My Low Carb Diet: Personally, I’m not a big fan of strict diets – it’s too painful! It’s especially painful if you give up carbs completely when you normally consume a huge ton of them daily. I first tried the Atkins diet several years ago during finals – huge mistake! I felt dizzy and unfocused. It was as if my brain had stopped functioning. Eating carbs is basically an addiction, and I suffered withdrawal symptoms when I stopped intaking them even for a day! My advice is to try to cut out carbs gradually – don’t get that mashed potato side with your steak and choose a cheese plate for your dessert instead. Maybe do the 1 cookie a day challenge, where you cut out carbs from all your meals but reward yourself with a cookie during the afternoon each day. However, if you’re just looking to lose weight – then Atkins is the way to go!
What Foods Not to Eat? The main things to avoid on the diet are any kind of bread or pasta (even gluten free ones), anything with sugar (even some sugar-free desserts are off limits) and potatoes. I’ll write a more detailed post about what foods you can and cannot eat on low carb diets soon.