There are so many different diets available that choosing the right one for you can be very confusing. In this article I will be looking at a healthy weight loss diet plan, explaining the importance of carbs in your diet and looking at low carb and high protein/low carb diets.
Whilst not all dietitians agree, a majority of experts feel that 45 - 55 % of daily calories should come from carbohydrates.
Healthy, nutritious carbs include:
All of these foods give us necessary vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Couple this with reducing your daily intake of refined carbs like sugar and white bread.
Potatoes are also high in carbs. A diet consisting of no carbs is not healthy and definitely not recommended. It can lead to a condition called ketosis the affects of which are nausea, dehydration and weakness. The affects can be very dangerous for a person with diabetes. A diet low in fiber can lead to constipation.
There is quite a range of popular low carb diets including the Atkins Diet, Sugar Busters and the Zone Diet. The low carb diets vary in the amounts of carbs they allow you to eat. Some allow 20 percent of calories to come from carbs whilst others allow up to 40 percent. It should be stated here that the US government recommends 50 - 55 percent. There is also the question of how much fat you can have.
The basic theory behind the low carb diet is that by eating less carbs the body is forced to burn fat.
Do low carb diets work and are they healthy? Yes they do work and weight loss in the beginning may be faster but this may also be due to water loss. Very little study has been done on the health affects of low carb diets. There is some suggestion that after 12 months the weight loss is no higher than those on a more balanced diet.
Beware of the high protein/low carb diet, it may be harmful for some dieters. Remember that some high protein foods may be full of saturated fat and cholesterol. Too much protein can also cause a loss of calcium from bone and puts pressure on your kidneys because they have to work harder to eliminate the urea which comes from the bodies breaking down of protein. Your body could also notice the lack of glucose, fiber and some of these diets can be lacking in essential vitamins.
Most importantly, whilst you may experience an initial fast weight loss, this can be mainly from loss of water weight and lean muscle mass. Not the fat that you are trying to lose. There is also some evidence that you may rapidly gain weight when you go off the diet. It is suggested that a healthy amount of weight to lose each week is 1 - 2 pounds and no more.
A well balanced diet and moderate physical activity won't produce huge amounts of weight loss but they are sustainable. If you eat a healthy diet, and one that you are enjoying, the better the chances are that you will stick with it and maintain the weight loss for life. A healthy diet does more than help you lose weight; it also helps keep you fit and healthy. Use the food pyramid to help you plan your meals and this will keep you on the right track.
Given all this information, it may be wise to look more closely at a more balanced diet where your body is receiving all the nutrition it needs to function. Starving your body of essential nutrients is not healthy or recommended. Always visit your medical practitioner and have a check up and seek his advice before starting out on a diet. He will be able to give you sound advice and guidance as to a healthy choice to make when choosing a diet.