If you’ve been following the old USDA food pyramid, trying to lose weight with no success, the problem could be too many carbs, and not enough protein and healthy fats. A diet high in carbohydrates encourages fat storage, while a diet low in carbs, moderate in protein and high in good fats encourages fat burning and helps you avoid constant hunger and annoying dips in blood sugar, both typical to high-carb diets.
One of the best things about a low-carb, higher-protein-and-fat diet is that it’s really satiating. You won’t be as hungry as you are on a high-carb diet, and so you’ll likely eat less without feeling deprived. There’s no need to count calories or grams of anything – just base your diet on the healthy protein sources listed below, add lots of veggies and healthy fats, and you’ll watch the pounds melt away.
Of course, this is not without sacrifice – you do need to mostly cut out sugar, and limit complex carbs as well (ideally, to no more than 4 slices of bread per day, or a small bowl of pasta). But chances are, you’ll feel so good (especially after the first couple of weeks), it will be worth it.
Protein-rich foods include meat, fish, eggs, Greek yogurt, and to a lesser extent beans and nuts. A diet low in carbohydrates and high in these protein sources, in addition to lots of vegetables and healthy fats (such as olive oil), will make it easy to lose weight and maintain the loss.
Can you still eat out? Of course you can. Go to your favorite restaurant, but instead of ordering a huge plate of pasta, order a grilled salmon with veggies sautéed in olive oil. When you order steak, typically served with a side of baked potato and a veggie, ask the waiter to hold the potato and double the veggies.
When you eat a high-protein diet, you won’t need to snack as often, but when you do feel the need to snack between meals, grab a handful of dry-roasted nuts, a hard boiled egg or a cup of creamy Greek yogurt instead of pretzels or potato chips. Protein snacks, especially when coupled with fat, are very satiating.
Many people think that giving up sugar and limiting carbs will be difficult, but quite often they discover that once they do, they actually feel free – free from constant hunger, free from cravings, and free from having to constantly snack. That freedom, coupled with being able to lose weight without feeling hungry, makes the “sacrifice” of limiting carbs more than worth it.