A low-carb diet has become one of the most popular diet trends, and if you’ve just purchased a home among Phoenix real estate, or in another warm area of the country, the thought of wearing a bathing suit or skimpier clothing more often may have you thinking about it too.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, evidence suggests that following a low-carb diet may help you lose weight faster than consuming a low-fat diet, and make it easier to maintain that weight loss too. But that diet isn’t as simple as giving up breads and sweets. There are a number of mistakes that many people make when going on a low-carb diet that you’ll want to avoid for the best chances of success.
Relying on Packaged Foods Marketed as ‘Low-Carb’
Processed, packaged foods can harm your diet efforts and your health as they often contain artificial ingredients that are just as bad or worse than the real thing, like malitol. Malitol is frequently found in items like meal replacement bars, low-carb ice cream and other items labeled sugar-free or low-carb. It’s a carbohydrate that affects blood sugar and something that should really be avoided.
Overeating Other Foods
Just because you’re keeping that carb count low, doesn’t mean you can overindulge in other foods. It’s easy to end up reaching for more foods, such as cheese, meats or both. They contain a lot of calories and can quickly lead to weight gain not to mention risks to your health. Even if you’re dedicated to following a strict low-carb diet, that doesn’t give you a license to eat everything else your heart desires. Moderation is key – be sure you’re consuming the optimal amount of macronutrients, and let your appetite guide you. When you’re hungry, eat slowly so that you’ll know when to stop before you get too full.
Avoiding Carbs Altogether
Your body needs carbs – it can’t function without them just like your car won’t run without gas. Carbohydrates provide the necessary fuel for your brain – when you don’t get enough you’ll feel irritable, sluggish and can even develop brain fog that makes it difficult to think. It will also make it harder to resist cravings, which means you may end up sabotaging your efforts in the long run – calling for pizza delivery and devouring the entire thing.
You Don’t Have a Plan
When embarking on a low-carb diet, it’s important to plan ahead – at least until it becomes a habit. One of the easiest ways to sabotage your efforts is to end up with hunger pangs that will make it impossible to resists the items you’re trying to avoid. If possible, plan a week of menus, or at least a day at a time. Then make a list before you go to the grocery store in order to make sure you have all the ingredients you need. Purchasing or baking low-carb snacks that you can turn to when you don’t have time to make a meal makes it far easier to stick to your diet.