Highs & lows of carbs

Highs & lows of carbs

A low-carb diet is a remarkable way to not just lose weight, but also improve vital health parameters, writes Sudarshan Gangrade

Include protein, fats and veggies in every meal. Stick to your curated grocery list and meal plan.

Unlearning an old habit is harder than learning something new. When you condition your body and mind to a specific routine or dietary habit, you have to work twice as hard to change that. Naturally, when you decide to embrace a low-carb diet and give up on sugar and processed foods — highly addictive substances — it can be a challenging endeavour.



Nonetheless, when the goal is to change for the better, it makes all the effort worthwhile. Here are some of the benefits of switching to a low-carbohydrate diet, which is rich in natural proteins, fats and vegetables:

Reduced appetite

If there’s one reason why people do not stick to their diet plans, it is due to hunger pangs. How long can one ignore the growling tummy? Anyone who has ever been on a diet plan will tell you that diets more than anything else, are a test of one’s willpower. Well, that’s the best part about adopting a low-carb diet — it leads to an automatic reduction in appetite. In other words, it is easier than any other diet plan to stick with.

Weight loss

By cutting out carbs from your daily meals, you pave the way for a lighter you. Low-carb diets lower insulin levels, which lead to the kidneys shedding excess sodium from the body. Getting rid of excess water causes rapid weight loss at the outset. In time, low-carb diets also help reduce harmful abdominal fat, thus drastically reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Improved health

Low-carb diets help prevent lifestyle ailments, such as high blood pressure, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. When the kidneys expel excess sodium, your blood pressure will automatically lower, thereby reducing the risk of stroke and heart diseases. That apart, restricting carbohydrates through a low-carb diet also brings about an increase in high density lipoprotein (HDL) or the good cholesterol, and keeps a check on the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol, which is directly related to cardiovascular disease mortality.

Things to remember

Unlike many fad diets that list unrealistic meal plans, especially for the Indian palate, low-carb diets are easily customisable and fairly simple to follow. Here are a few rules to keep in



mind: 

  • Be strict about cutting out sugar, processed foods and all forms of carbs from your lifestyle. Along with determination, awareness is key. So, read up about foods that are low-carb. While you can include protein, fats and veggies with every meal, stay away from sweet fruits and starchy vegetables, such as potatoes. Stick to your curated grocery list as well as meal plan. This will ensure that you do not derail from your low-carb diet.
  • When you decide to go on a low-carb diet, give your body a couple of weeks (two at least) to get accustomed to it. Once the body has made its peace with the new routine, you will notice that you are feeling good about the change.
  • Eat only when you are hungry. Avoid emotional eating or munching on food to cope with boredom. Once in a while, even if you do succumb to temptation, make it a point to deal with the guilt and get back on track promptly. While there is no secret formula for being committed to your diet, it helps to involve friends and family in the plan. It’s a good way to stay on track.
  • Adopt a positive outlook. Don’t ever think of your diet as a denial of things you enjoy. Instead look out for a whole new variety of low-carb options that are available in the market today. Yes, there are tasty, low-carb snacks, too. The important thing is to enjoy the process, rather than suffer through it. This makes the effort sustainable and beneficial in the long run.

(The author is founder, Lo! Foods)

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