“Although I had to spend loads of money buying smaller-size clothing, as I’ve lost 17 kg since I’ve started the low-carb diet. Today, I sleep much better and feel more enthusiastic and energetic, besides experiencing a higher concentration level on activities that demand more focus. Also, I’ve realised my immune system has also improved, ” says Giovanni Bronca, 41, Executive Marketing in London.
Giovanni tries to keep his carbohydrate consumption below 120g daily. “I started to eat more salads and vegetables with low glycemic value. Eggs are an essential part of my diet today. Meat and fish, too, and I try to avoid processed foods. I love cheese, but I take care not to overdo it “, reveals Giovanni.
The maximum amount of carbohydrates to be consumed daily will vary from person to person, so it’s essential to consult a nutritionist to develop a personalised diet plan according to your daily needs. “I didn’t cut carbohydrates completely, but I consume from 20% to 35% of carbs daily”, explains Carolina.
The nutritionist Carolina Capellari explains that reducing the carbohydrates in the first weeks will ‘deflate’ the body, eliminating more water than fat at first, since the carbohydrate, as the name implies, is composed of 1 carbon molecule (carb) + for two water molecules (hydrate).
On the other hand, Protein is formed by a chain of amino acids that is more difficult to break. In this way, the body will spend more energy digesting, absorbing, and metabolising Protein than carbohydrates, thus leading to weight loss.
As with all diets, consuming at least 3 litres of water per day is essential, especially on the low-carb diet, where there is less water consumption through food due to reduced carbohydrate consumption.
“I always have a glass of water around. Most of the time, when we think we are hungry, it can be only thirsty,” explains Carolina.
WHY REDUCE CARBOHYDRATES?
Carbohydrate (glucose, fructose, sucrose or lactose) is formed by chemical bonds joining one or more sugar molecules. As soon as carbohydrates are ingested, they release sugars quickly into the bloodstream. When consumed in excess, it is one of the leading causes of diabetes, obesity, artery obstruction, hypertension, heart disease, anxiety and depression, and recent studies have been carried out.
THE HIDDEN SUGAR
However, it is essential to note that sugar is hidden today in practically all industrialised foods, in addition to these foods also containing little fibre, emulsifiers, excess amino acids and salt, and trans fat (food in packaging, inboxes and fast food, especially if they are fried in vegetable oil), among other additives.
Consuming sugar and other preservatives without being aware of their presence is expected. To give you an idea, most foods in the UK and 74% of foods in supermarkets in the United States contain added sugar. It’s not just about chocolates and junk food; sugar is also present in salad dressings, ketchup, sauces and even bread and pasta in general!
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends a maximum sugar consumption limit of no more than three teaspoons for children between four and eight. Only a bar of chocolate, a glass of fruit juice, or a can of cola has at least two or three times more than that limit.
ABSENCE OF HUNGER, FAT BURNING
Dr José Carlos Souto, an authority on a low-carb diet, explains on his blog that a significant characteristic of all low-carb diets is the absence of hunger that sets in after a few days.
With insulin permanently low, lipolysis (“fat-burning”) begins to occur, and we even consume 500 calories of our fat every day (thus losing weight). Therefore, it is natural that we feel less hungry.
In addition, there are other hormonal mechanisms (peptide Y, for example) by which proteins and fats cause an incomparable degree of satiety. Finally, the absence of wheat alone already causes decreased appetite due to the lack of exorphins”.
In his book ‘Pioppi Diet’, Dr Aseem Malhotra also explains that excess fructose turns into fat, causing the liver to accumulate fat, which causes insulin resistance. A portion of the fat is released as triglycerides in the bloodstream, contributing to high cholesterol.
In addition, excess fructose can cause cardiovascular disease as well as cancer. Excessive glucose consumption causes the pancreas to release more insulin. As a result, there is a more significant deposit of energy in the form of body fat and, consequently, weight gain.
Some foods rich in saturated fat, such as extra virgin olive oil and nuts, have been proven to prevent heart attacks and strokes. According to recent studies, saturated fat does not block arteries, but sugar is ingested in excess and presented in various forms.
It is important to note that industrialised products classified as ‘light’ contain much-added sugar to compensate for the lack of flavour when removing fat from the food. I always prefer “full fat” products.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Above all, a determination is needed. Giovanni says he adapted very well to the diet but had to be firm in his decision. “As soon as I started the diet, many people had a birthday at work, so they had cake and sweets practically every week. After a while, saying not always, people stopped offering”, says Giovanni.
In addition, it is essential to prepare meals in advance. That way, when the hunger hits, you will avoid eating foods without any nutritional value that only put on weight.
Dr Souto also recommends taking precautions with a low-carb snack (nuts, chestnuts, cheese) for an emergency, “but over time, these snacks will become less and less necessary. A low-carb diet decreases hunger naturally.”
Seek pleasure from your diet. Feel free to try new foods and learn new low-carb dishes. Thus, you will keep your diet exciting and not be bored or want to abandon it.
But, it is also necessary to emphasise that for a successful change in eating habits, it is essential to reevaluate the whole lifestyle, such as exercising daily (at least 20 minutes at night and avoiding stress. The ideal would also be to do intermittent fasting of 24 hours once a week to stimulate the production of hormones beneficial to the body, which help to increase muscle mass, according to Dr Malhorta’s recommendations in his book “Pioppi Diet”.
Would you like to learn more about LOW CARB DIET? Continue your reading HERE: DOES LOW CARB DIET REALLY WORK?