Many people think that low carb is complicated and time-consuming, so they do not find the energy to give it a chance as they have already made up their minds. I thought the same way when I first started considering a low carb lifestyle. I found out that this was not true at all, rather quite the opposite. I am going to share my theory with you all – Low Carb Made Easy. All it takes is a little planning. Who knows, maybe this could be a wake-up call for you, just as it was for me.
Low carb diet has become a very common and popular diet that one can hear and read about in many arenas. Many people look at low carb diet as a weight loss diet, others have different health issues they want to get rid of by trying this out. For me personally, and probably many others, this is a lifestyle change, where it is desirable to make a lasting change in eating habits, to improve health.
I`ve changed my lifestyle before, but unfortunately fell into the carbohydrate trap again – But I am on my way to a new low carb lifestyle again, and this time I will make it final. I know the benefits this gives me, and I`d like to invite you to join in.
Low Carb Diet Explained
Some foods are high in carbohydrates; Bread, pasta, rice and potatoes to name a few examples. When you practice a low carb diet, you increase your intake of protein and healthy fats, while you reduce your intake of carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates give your body energy and then doesn’t need to consume the fat reserves when consuming energy. It is important to point out, that the fat you eat when your on a low carb diet should be of the healthy type of fat (avocados, nuts, pure dairy products to name some).
Eating carbohydrates, will start a process in your body; Carbohydrates are broken down into a substance we call glucose – which is a type of sugar. The next step in the process is that the pancreas releases a hormone we call insulin. Insulin will send the glucose to the cells in your body – providing the cells with energy. The energy not used is stored in your body as fat. When reducing the intake of carbohydrates, your body absorbs energy from its fat reservoir and that`s why this is a great diet when weight loss is part of the plan.
In a low carb diet you don’t have to count calories, instead you just make sure to keep the carbohydrate intake at a low range. If you want to reach ketosis, you need to keep the total intake of carbohydrates at a level of 20 grams a day. A good rule is to make sure that the products you eat contains 5 grams carbohydrates per 100 grams. This is where you will be able to see some weight loss.
Easy Low Carb Meal Ideas
There are so many good resipes to choose from, but I will give you an example of a perfect days’ menu for me. It doesn’t have to be difficult to create a day menu (or a week menu for that matter). All it takes is just a little planning.
Here are some favorites:
- Breakfast: Chia seed pudding, topped with blueberries and raspberries. I use fat reduced coconut milk.
- Lunch: Broccoli and bacon salad.
- Dinner: Chicken or steak tacos in lettuce wraps; side salad with tomatoes and vinaigrette
- Snack: Wild berries smoothie
CHIA SEED PUDDING:
- 2 dl fat reduced coconut milk
- 3 ts chia seeds
- 1/4 ts natural vanilla powder
- Stir together coconut milk, chia seeds and vanilla powder in a bowl of glass. (You may add salt or other spices if you prefer).
- Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator to keep cool, preferably overnight so it is ready for breakfast the next day.
- Remove from the refrigerator and select the desired topping – In this case blueberries and raspberries.
BROCCOLI AND BACON SALAD:
- 150 gr chopped bacon
- 1/2 broccoli
- 2 spring onions / 1/2 red onion
- 1.5 dl sour cream
- 165 gr of mayonnaise
- 1 tbs sp raspberry vinegar 7%
- Natreen sweetener
- 2 tbs sp sunflower seeds
- Start by frying bacon. When frying, start cutting spring onions and broccoli into small pieces.
- Mix this together in a bowl with the bacon and the fat from frying.
- Add sour creme, mayonnaise and vinegar – season with sweetener – I use natreen sweetener when I only need this small amounts.
- Add sunflower seeds if you want / like them.
CHICKEN OR STEAK TACOS IN LETTUCE WRAPS:
- 400 gr shredded chicken
- 100 gr green pepper
- 100 gr onion
- 1 fresh champignon
- 1/2 red chili
- Cut the Onion, green pepper, champignon and chili
- Fry the shredded chicken until almost done
- Mix all the ingredients, including the chicken, and fry everything together
- Add the desired taco spices at the end
- Fill lettuce leaves with the ingredients, and use shredded cheese, salsa and sour creme as topping
- 100 gr Wild berries
- 200 gr Fat reduced coconut milk
- Sukrin Gold
- Put the wild berries in a blender, and make sure they are crushed into a fine mass
- Add the fat reduced coconut milk and blend some more
- If you want a sweeter taste, add a little sukrin gold to the blend
I have used Norwegian measuring units, but it`s quite easy converting those into your preferred measuring unit. You can find the conversion tools online, simply make a visit to google 🙂
Low Carb Food Examples
Here are some low carb food examples:
- Meat (0%)
All meat has virtually zero carbohydrates. Liver (about 5%) and internal organs sometimes have some carbohydrates.
- Eggs (0%)
Eggs are some of the healthiest and most nutritious you can eat. Eggs contain high quality protein. They are rich in vitamins: A, B, D, E and K. They are rich in minerals and also contain iron, calcium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
Beef is rich in nutrients such as iron and B12.
- Lamb (0%)
Like beef, lamb contains iron and B12.
- Chicken (0%)
Perfect source of protein. Low fat. If you eat low carb, it’s good to get some fat in your food. The wings and thighs are richer in fat than the chest.
- Pork (0%)
Pork is high-fat and flavorful meat. Bacon is often very popular among low carb people. But because bacon is processed, you should not eat too much of it. It has nothing to do with the fat content, but the fact that studies have shown that large amounts of processed food (minced meat, ham, etc.) can predispose to disease such as colon cancer.
- Seafood and fish (0%)
Fish and other seafood are known to be very nutritious and healthy. Seafood typically has a high content of B12 and omega 3. Mostly all seafood and fish are around 0% carbohydrates. Salmon is an oily and filling fish that contains omega 3, B12 and some vitamin D3. Trout (0%) Like salmon, trout are full of omega 3 and other important nutrients.
- Vegetables that grow above ground
Vegetables that grow above ground have close to zero carbohydrates and you can eat as much of them as you want on a low carb diet. Examples of such vegetables are: Spinach, Avocado, Lettuce, Pepper, Olives, Broccoli, Tomato, Cabbage Cauliflower, Asparagus
Low Carb Health Benefits
Some people are very careful with their intake of carbohydrates on a daily basis, while others simply cut down on; potatoes, pasta, rice and other carbohydrate rich sources. There is no rule to it, but if weight loss is the main goal of the low carb diet, it is wise to follow a strict diet in the beginning – Keep carbohydrates on a level between 50 – 150 grams per day, and eat more protein, fat (natural and healthy fat) and vegetables (the ones that grow above ground). One handful of nuts (without salt) in between meals are a good alternative if you desire a snack.
For me personally, the low carb lifestyle is about finding the golden path where weight loss comes as a bonus. My focus is; get rid of intestinal inflammation, abdominal pain and low energy. It`s all about finding your own path to a healthier everyday life – Find the best way for you.
Health benefits of low carb:
A diet low in carbohydrates and more fat reduces your appetite. (Eating more protein and fat reduces your appetite. It makes you feel fuller after a meal, and for a longer amount of time than by eating carbohydrates. When cutting down on carbohydrates, and eating more protein and fat, studies have shown you will eat fewer calories as well).
A diet low in carbohydrates and fat and protein leads to weight loss. (A low carb diet makes you get rid of excess water in the body, lowers insulin levels which leads to a rapid weight loss the first weeks. Low carb is especially effective if you are overweight 6 months after the start up of the diet. It will most likely be a slower process after these 6 months. Then it’s about keeping the weight off).
A diet low in carbohydrates with more fat and protein leads to a reduction in belly fat. (It`s very effective in reducing the dangerous belly fat. It seems that a larger proportion of the fat you lose with a low carb diet comes from the abdominal cavity. Over time, this should lead to a reduced risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Many people with type 2 diabetes can reduce or even stop taking their glucose lowering medication after changing to a low carb lifestyle.
A diet low in carbohydrates and fat reduces blood sugar and insulin levels. (When you are on a low carb diet you will have a stable blood sugar and almost no high levels of blood sugar. Conversely, when you eat a lot of carbohydrate rich foods, you will notice a drastic rise in blood sugar levels. In fact, some people suffering from type 1 diabetes, might be able to reduce the Insulin doses quite a lot after changing their diet – But you should ALWAYS consult your doctor before making any changes.
Therapeutic for inflammatory bowel diseases. (People with intestinal problems often have intolerance to grains and milk. Gluten and casein are two proteins that are very difficult to digest. They require a good secretion of digestive enzymes and a healthy and strong intestinal flora in order to be broken down and taken up again – just like building blocks in our body.
Researchers have finally begun to take an interest in this field and they have discovered that our immune cells and intestinal bacteria communicate with each other. I would recommend for anyone who has health problems, and especially those who have intestinal problems to try a diet without gluten, milk, sugar and fast food. If there is an intolerance to gluten or milk, you will quickly notice improvement – Been there, done that.
I could probably list many more benefits, but I have to stop somewhere 🙂 All I can say from my own experience, is that everything feels better while I am on a low carb diet – My mood, energy, health and last but not least a very happy stomach!
Low Carb Journey
I have just started on my low carb journey again, after I got lost for a while in the jungle of carbs and sugar. This time it`s different, this time it`s for real – I know the benefits of it, and I know for a fact that prepping these meals are faster and so much more fun. I also sincerely mean that the low carb diet is tastier than foods with high carbohydrate content.
So as you can see, the low carb diet does not have to be very complicated. There are lots of great recipes and guides online and in the bookstores. I learned from others online and some of my friends that lived a low carb lifestyle. On Facebook I became a member of a low carb group, where I found tons of good information, inspiration and received many good advises along the way.
I hope you found this article interesting, and I would love for you to join me on my low carb journey – we can make it together, and we can learn from each other along the way.