Low Carb Diets (Part 2)
Low carb diets are a huge metabolism booster. Use them to optimize your weight loss in a healthful way. They are superb for weight loss that lasts. Your ancestors evolved to get most of their calories from fats, not from carbohydrates. For optimum health and lasting weight loss, switch from a sugar-burning to a fat-burning metabolism.
This is the second page about low carbohydrate diets. On the first page you learned that the best answer for the question about how to eat well comes from your past.
Your ancestors had the best low carbohydrate diets.
If you have not yet read the first page, you might want to do so. You will find its page link awaiting you at the bottom of this page.
Your ancestors had the very best natural weight loss diet.
As a result, our bodies are:
Therefore, if you want to be as healthy as possible and achieve lasting weight loss in a natural way, we recommend that you get about one-third of your calories from natural sources of protein and most of the other two-thirds of your calories from fats rather than from carbohydrates.
Breads, pastas, and other toxins to avoid
Do you know the Minimum Daily Requirement for carbohydrates? There isn't one. It is not necessary to eat any carbohydrates either to survive or to be healthy. So, you could avoid carbohydrates completely, but we don't recommend that.
We recommend low carb diets, not no carbohydrate diets.
As a starting point, we recommend obtaining about 15% (from 12% to 18%) of your calories from carbs. If you get about 35% of your calories from proteins, this means getting about 50% of your calories from fats.
If you want to be healthy as well as lastingly trim, test a 15/35/50 diet for yourself. Of course, adjust it as necessary for your particular circumstance. Think of this as a suggestion for the beginning of an interesting experiment to discover for yourself the level of low carb diet that works best for you.
Bottom line for a low carbohydrate diet: consume no more than 25 grams of carbs daily on most days.
However, on your once a week cheat day, have one or two meals with plenty of carbs as well as fats and calories. It's fine to eat pizza and similar foods occasionally! If you don't restrict carbs on most days, you will not reduce your percentage of body fat. If you don't give yourself a cheat day once a week, you will slow down your metabolism and fat burning.
So usually keeping grams of carbs at 25 or lower except for a cheat day once a week is how to eat well for health and lasting fat loss. Once you are at your ideal percentage of body fat, you may raise your carb intake slightly. Experiment and see how many carbs you can tolerate without getting fatter. Simply cut back if you find yourself regaining body fat.
Such a diet promotes lasting weight loss. Again, the key ideas is this: instead of "burning" carbs, you will "burn" fat; you'll shift from a carb-burning to a fat-burning metabolism. It's simple: the only way to lose body fat is to enable your body to use that fat as fuel.
Glucose comes from our bodies digesting carbs, which are either sugars (sweets) or starches. By limiting your consumption of sugars and starches on most days of the week you'll give your body no option except using fat as fuel.
The key to successful low carb diets is to limit refined processed (unnatural) carbs. There are many unprocessed carbs such as green leafy vegetables that are rich in nutrients that are an excellent supplement to proteins and fats.
There is no good reason for healthy people ever to consume much less than about 25 grams of carbs daily and nearly all should be unprocessed. (The only exception would be if you are on a ketogenic diet, which is best reserved for breaking through fat loss plateaus.)
To learn how to select the best foods to implement this nutritional plan, see our Low Carb Foods List. You'll find the link to that page awaiting you at the bottom of this page. At least initially, we recommend counting carbs daily to ensure that you are not over-consuming them.
Beyond that, assuming that you are regularly drinking plenty of clean water, ensure that you are getting at least 1 gram of protein for each pound of your ideal body weight. It's best if these are complete proteins from natural sources.
Since overconsumption of protein is one key to lasting weight loss, consider getting about 1 gram of protein for each pound of your actual body weight. Of course, it's also best to exercise well and to recover (rest) well; we cover those topics on other pages of this site (see the menu bar).
That's it for proteins and carbs. Let's look at the remaining macronutrient.
Include the fats in low carb diets
What you'll be doing most days is replacing most of the calories that you used to get from carbs with calories from beneficial fats. A 15/35/50 diet is one that is low in carbohydrates, moderate in proteins, and high in beneficial fats.
That means potential foods for this diet include natural sources of meats and internal organs, fish, poultry, and whole eggs. Unlike carbs and even proteins, fats do not cause high levels of glucose and insulin in the blood. It is these high levels that cause abdominal obesity, insulin resistance (Syndrome X), hypoglycemia, type 2 diabetes and a host of other health problems.
Well, it's because this is the way Mother Nature designed us to eat. If you eat this way, it will promote natural and optimum health. If you adopt these habits, you will certainly lose fat. You'll quickly be on your way to real weight loss that lasts.
The second point is that fats produce "ketones." These are an important secondary source of energy that is actually the preferred energy source for active tissue such as the heart. Ketones substitute for glucose. When your body makes ketones and shifts to using more fatty acids, its overall need for glucose is reduced. If you have ever seriously tried a low carb diet, you have found out for yourself that it works. Now you begin to understand why.
There's an important third point about fats. If you did try a low carb diet, why did you go off it? It was probably because it was too difficult to sustain. The reason for this was almost certainly that you weren't eating enough fats as part of your low carb diet. Consuming fats is sustaining, curbs hunger and food cravings.
It's not natural for us to consume grains.
It's as if our bodies are confused by their consumption. It can sometimes seem that we can eat endless bowls of pasta or numberless biscuits without feeling full. This is the behavior of an addict. We don't really become addicted to the carbohydrates. Actually, when we consume them, our bodies release chemicals to combat their ill effects -- and it is these chemicals that we become addicted to. By restricting carb consumption on most days, you'll be able to break the addiction to those chemicals.
By way of contrast, with low carb eating when you've eaten sufficient fat, you'll feel full (satiated). Howevever, even on cheat days, never eat until you feel stuffed; instead, eat only until your hunger disappears and stop eating.
Again, if you are too fat but otherwise healthy and have your physician's approval in advance, we recommend a moderate protein, high fat, low carb diet. Because fats are satisfying and because you'll have a weekly cheat day, such a diet is relatively easy to sustain. As long as you restrict the consumption of carbs on your low carb diet, eat what you feel like eating! Since they are satisfying, you won't naturally overeat fats and proteins.
Your weight loss plan
However, isn't this exactly what you should have expected? Did you seriously expect to lose body fat and keep it off without significantly improving your diet? Of course not.
Dennis (one of the two webmasters of this site) used to consume about 320 grams of carbs daily. He knew that they burned more cleanly than proteins (so he didn't want his protein intake too high) and thought that it was wise to reduce restrict fat intake. Big mistake! he got fatter. It's a common mistake.
Again, if you are too fat, it's not your fault. You were probably only doing what the so-called health experts were telling you to do. They were wrong.
Clinical obesity only occurred infrequently until the last several decades. There are a number of causes for this. Lack of exercise is one cause.
Take a step back and think about what you already know. If you want to fatten cattle significantly to produce well-marbled steaks, what do you feed them? Grain. Similarly, if you want to significantly fatten geese or ducks like the French to produce foie gras, what do you feed them? Grain.
So if you eat a lot of refined carbs and grain products such as sweets, pastries, breads, biscuits, pastas, breakfast cereals, rice, jams, jellies, syrups, soda, beer, sweet wines, dried fruits, and fruits packaged or cooked in syrups, please stop! Replace them with beneficial fats and adopt a low carb diet.
Please don't attach to the idea of instant success. You don't need to do it all today or this week. In addition to reading the rest of this website and ensuring that you are sufficiently active, here's a simple plan that we recommend.
The first steps for your diet
(2) If your daily intake of carbs is over 25 grams daily, cut it down. While ensuring that you are getting sufficient complete proteins, replace those missing carb calories with calories from fats.
Try not to lose more than two pounds weekly. (One pound of fat equals about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of body weight.) If eating well by itself doesn't do it, add it some regular exercise. If you lose more than that, excellent!
Over time, your excess weight will disappear for good. This type of diet may be a major change for you. If so, make it as easy on yourself as possible.
Highly recommended books for this topic
If you gained useful information from the low carb diets page, and wish to improve your weight loss and eating habits further, the following books are highly recommended.
Our low carb pages related to this page
Low Carb Foods Low Carb Fruits Chart Low Carb Vegetables Chart Low Carb Diets (Part 1)
Low Carb Foods
Low Carb Fruits Chart
Low Carb Vegetables Chart
Low Carb Diets (Part 1)