Perhaps you have decided to eat low carbohydrate, for example to lose weight. You may have already figured out which products you shouldn’t eat and which low-carb foods you can replace them with. But how do you actually start a low-carb diet?
There are several low-carb diets. The most well-known are keto and paleo, but you also have the Atkins diet, low-carb Mediterranean and just the standard low-carb diet. How many carbohydrates, fat and protein you can eat depends on which plan you choose.
How many grams of carbohydrates do you eat?
According to the Nutrition Center, the Health Council recommends getting at least 40% of your daily energy from carbohydrates, which is about 200 grams per day. With a low-carbohydrate diet you are below that. In general, anything below 100-150 grams of carbohydrates per day is low-carb and below 50 grams is a keto diet. You go into ketosis: the body does not have enough carbohydrates to burn as energy and therefore uses the fat in your body.
Determine what you eat
When you start a low-carbohydrate diet, you naturally have to determine what you will and will not eat. It’s helpful to plan your day out and keep track of both your calories and macronutrients — carbs, fat, and protein. This makes it more difficult to exceed the limits you have set, for example 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. This is now very easy with an app. Make sure you still get carbohydrates from healthy sources, such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
The beginning of a low carbohydrate diet
When you normally eat a lot of carbohydrates, it is best to start slowly. The Atkins diet throws you right into the deep end: in the first two weeks you can only eat 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. The first few days you may feel tired or even sick. Normally, your body is also accustomed to carbohydrates as your main source of energy. When that suddenly changes, the worst thing you can do is to start exercising very hard. So you can sometimes go for a walk, but a HIIT workout is not a good idea. That only causes your body
Things to watch out for when you start a low carb diet
- Don’t eat too much protein
When you have too much protein, your body can convert it into glucose through gluconeogenesis. This prevents your body from going into ketosis. It is best to eat about 1.5-2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. The chance that you eat too much protein is greatest when you eat a lot of meat.
- Do not eat too little law
We are very used to being afraid of fats, but this is an important source of energy on a low-carbohydrate diet. You just have to make sure that these are mainly unsaturated fats and omega-3 fats.
- Don’t give up too quickly
As mentioned earlier, it can be very tough in the beginning. It can take up to a week for your body to get used to your new eating pattern. You may also feel a little sick. So don’t give up right away, but also pay particular attention to the signals your body gives and check with a professional whether this is the right choice for you.