Whether you’ve tried a low carb diet before and fallen off of the wagon, or you’ve dieted before but never tried low carb, 2012 is the year to make a low carb New Year’s resolution. Here’s where to begin:
Every year, dieting and losing weight tops Americans’ list of New Year’s resolutions. The revelry of the holidays — and all of the fattening delicacies it brings with it — combined with the pitfalls of the typical low carb diet, usually leave people feeling and looking heavier this time of year. And yet, the New Year’s resolution diet quickly becomes a viscous circle — a revolving door weight loss and weight gain. By this time next year, you’ll most likely be the same weight or even heavier, and the only thing you’ll have to show for it is a few months of starving yourself.
Time to turn your New Year’s resolution into a diet revolution.
The “Diet Revolution” was the term coined by Dr. Atkins, the nutritionalist who first popularized the low carb diet back in the 1960s. He wrote several books about his Diet Revolution, and revealed that the big problem in Americans’ diets is not fat or calories, but rather carbs and sugar. He argued that modern man’s diet has shifted from a high-protein diet to a high-carbohydrate diet, and that our metabolisms are not capable of handling all of the extra carbs and sugar we consume. Thus, the only way to get back to a healthy weight is to switch from a modern high-carb diet to a more primal low carb diet.
I emphasize the term “primal,” because it has quickly become the new popular term in low carb dieting. Atkins himself never used that term, though he did talk about primitive man, and how their diet was healthier than the diet we currently engage in. Whether you’re looking to start a low carb or “primal” diet for your New Year’s Resolution, here are a few starting off tips:
1. Buy a Book
I strongly recommend picking up a book written by a low carb guru. But choose wisely, as there are many low carb diet plans out there on the diet market today, and not all of them work. My personal recommendation is to go with Atkins’ Diet Revolution books. I even recommend his original book, written back in the late 60s. It is by far the most hardcore low carb diet out there, cutting out a large percentage of carbs. But Atkins has science backing him up — in spite of what his detractors claim.
Not only are Atkins’ books solidly rooted in the proven science of ketosis and the low carb diet, but also his book acts as a wonderful support book for the starting out low carb dieter. Rather than pushing heavy duty exercise, eating less, controlling hunger, and other typical dieting requirements, he instead gives you a means of making dieting easier. that, after all, is the goal of the low carb diet: it’s not about losing weight faster — it’s about losing weight easier, without feeling hungry.
2. Plan On Virtually No Carbs For the First Week
The good news is that, as you progress along your low carb diet, you’ll be able to incorporate carbs again, and you’ll also be able to stock up on low carb food products that act as a tasty substitute to high-carb and high-sugar food staples. But for the first week, commit yourself to eating very few carbs. In the Atkins diet, this is called the “induction phase.” Atkins knew that, in order to keep his patients, he needed to show them that the low carb diet works. So, for the first week, low carb dieters eat virtually no carbs, but plenty of fat and protein. The result is that they typically lose 5 to 10 pounds in the first week, and never felt hungry.
3. Track Ketosis With Ketostix
In a low carb diet, ketosis is the name of the game. It is essentially the fancy name for when your body begins to metabolically burn fat. And it only happens when you begin to deprive your body of carbohydrate, which is turn becomes sugar, which is converted to body fat. In order to track ketoss, it is best to use Ketostix test strips. Atkins highly recommends using them, though he doesn’t “require” it. I, however, would suggest that, with Ketostix, it is very difficult to traverse the first few weeks of a low carb diet, since some days your weight will fluctuate up. But as long as your Ketostix test strip is turning pink or purple, you are assured that your body is burning fat.
I always say to myself, “I don’t care what my weight is — I just want to look and feel good about my body.” It isn’t about a number, but rather about a shape. Bodybuilders, after all, are often “overweight,” but have almost no body fat. This is a key thought to maintain on those days when the Ketostix is purple, but you’ve gained a pound or two — remember that you are burning fat, and that’s all that matters.
4. Consult Your Doctor
It’s important t note that you should consult your doctor before you begin a low carb diet. Dr. Atkins points out that a low carb diet is beneficial for your health on a wide range of issues. First off, it helps you lose weight, and obesity is responsible for several deadly diseases and conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and possibly even cancer. Also, you will find that cutting out sugar and carbs and eating proteins regularly will vastyl mprove your blood sugar levels — you will have more energy throughout the day.
If you are currently on cholesterol reducing medicine, it is likely that your doctor will frown at your suggestion of going on a low carb diet. In fact, that is a common reason by most doctors, since Dr. Atkins and the low carb approach is not what you’d call “conventional medicine.” You might want to approach your doctor about your low carb diet by saying, “I really want to go on a diet where I cut out sugar and simple carbohydrates.” No doctor will advise against that statement.
5. Load Up On Low Carb Bread
Once you get going with a low carb diet, you will be amazed at how quickly you will stop missing sweets and other sugar-laden foods. In this way, you actually begin to “detox” from a kind of “addiction” to eating carbs and sugar. Atkins himself points out that the process of refining sugar and cocaine are almost identical, and in this way, sugar is similarly addictive. After a month or so, you will not crave sodas or desserts like you did on week one.
The downside to a low carb diet, however, is that you begin to make eating a bit more difficult. Where it was easy in the past to make a sandwich, hot dog, or hamburger for lunch, not you have to eat those proteins without bread. That’s why stocking up on low carb bread is definitely something you want to do after a few weeks on the diet.
Low carb bread is not like typical bread — because it lacks the sugars and gluten of regular bread, its consistency is a bit different. But it tends to toast very nicely. Moreover, it can make eating lunch on a low carb diet a lot easier.
The fact is, a low carb diet isn’t about cutting carbs for a few months to lose weight. Instead, it is a realization that most of us simply cannot eat the 100+ grams of carbs a day that the average American eats. As a result, being on a low carb diet means that you have to become hyper sensitive to how many carbs you eat in a day in order to maintain an ideal weight. It doesn’t meant that you’ll never be able to eat carbs again — it just means that, in order to maintain a low carb lifestyle, you’ll have to accept that you cannot gorge on carbs like you once did.
But the good news is that, if you do this, you’ll be able to pick a different New Year’s Resolution next year at this time.
Thanks for reading our article! Did you know that Linda’s Diet Delites sells a wide range of low carb breads! Take a look at our selection today!
Note: Michael Nace is not a doctor, and this article should not be construed as medical advice. Dieters should always consult a doctor before beginning a diet.