10 Worst Low Carb Mistakes
Like all of my other posts this too will begin with my experience as a low carb dieter 🙂 When I started eating low carb food to lose oodles of weight, the first thing I got confused about was how much to eat at one time. Since a low carb dieter eats no grains just veggies and non veg food, S/he becomes very vulnerable to over indulging.
The diet plans I followed said “Eat as much you want” , I mean seriously!!! At that time my weight was 98 kg and stomach big enough to hide a full tandoori chicken in a small corner… in such a situation this vagueness about quantity was self defeating. Thanks to Rujuta Diwekar’s diet books in which I read that our stomach is the size of our fist and at one time doesn’t require food more than that, along with my mother’s repeated statements like,” our stomach is like a rubber sack which will expand according to the stuff you fill in”, that I was able to reduce the elasticity of my tummy. 🙂
Now why I am talking about all this is because low carbers most of the times make such mistakes which makes them feel like failures. What are those mistakes? I have a list of some of the worst low carb mistakes.
1) Maintaining balance between meat and vegetables.
Most of the times people assume that eating low carb means they should just eat meat all day. This is really a recipe for problem. Everyone needs some basic knowledge about how reducing carbohydrates works, what foods have carbohydrates, and how to eat a balanced low-carb diet. It is very important to balance out the meat and veggie portions. For me 80 – 20 worked well initially for a month and then it was 70 – 30 for the next one month. In these two months I had already lost a big chunk of weight so I reduced further to 60 – 40. ( obviously the bigger portion was non veg)
2) Loosing patience
There are many times when you feel like giving up because either you are hungry or not liking the taste of food you are eating. Such vulnerable moments make you impatient and you over react by giving up. Mostly people give up because initially they eat too little carbohydrate and suffering carb crash decide low-carb isn’t for them. This is where a bit of patience and tolerance can go long way in reaching your goals.
3) Not Enough Fat
This is where the real problem lies. We are conditioned to hate fat and be scared to include fats in the diet. This leads some to attempt a low-fat version of a low-carb diet. In the beginning some dieters manage it, as they use up their own body fat, however, fat loss inevitably slows down, and then hunger pangs take over. Nothing sabotages a diet faster than hunger. So don’t let this happen to you and include lots of ghee, butter, cheese in your Low carb diet to stay satiated.
4) Not Enough Fiber
Eating enough leafy vegetables and some fruit go a long way towards getting enough fiber in your diet. There are other low-carb sources of fiber like psyllium husk which must be included in the diet as low carbers generally face constipation problem. Two teaspoons psyllium husk with lots of water every day is a good choice. I used to make sandwiches and cup cakes with psyllium husk. 🙂
5) Eating Too Much
It’s true that you don’t have to count calories on a low-carb diet. But that doesn’t mean calories don’t count! The great thing about low-carb eating is that our appetites automatically reduce allowing us to eat fewer calories without getting hungry. Some people make the mistake, though, of thinking they can just keep eating and eating and still lose weight as long as the food is low-carb. Let your appetite be your guide – eat when you are hungry, and stop when you are comfortable. This is what your one meal should look like. This meal has brown rice but I used to have double fish fillets. 😛
6) Lack of Planning
When we are in the process of transformation from one woe (way of eating) to other we run into old habits that need to be changed to new healthier ones. No longer can we eat mindlessly. We cannot afford that any more. It is a good idea to re-consider our eating habits and take a constructive step towards making improvements in our lives. But for that we need to plan ahead for awhile, until our new habits start coming naturally to us. Nothing will sabotage your goals more quickly than realizing that you’re hungry but you don’t know what to eat.
7) Rut or change- its your call
Some people like to eat the same things day after day while some like variety as they get bored very quickly. There is no reason for not eating a wide variety of foods, and in fact, a varied diet is likely to be better for us nutritionally. we need to understand that every cuisine has low-carb options and we just need to skip the starch and sugar. My personal experience says that every dish can be “de-carbed”, only thing is that we need to plan a bit. Frankly speaking I am in favor of having same meals daily, as when I was on the mission of losing weight, taste didn’t actually matter to me. It was a do or die situation for me so choices didn’t matter.
8) Ingredients in “Low-Carb” Packaged Foods
It is important to check what you are being offered in the garb of low carb food. Be wary of meal replacement bars, ice cream, and other “treats” labeled low-carb or sugar-free. They often contain ingredients such as maltitol (the worst offender) which are just as bad as sugar in a lot of bodies. Its better to avoid all such low carb products.
9) Carb Creep
When you are eating low-carb you feel great and the weight drops off as if by magic. Best thing is that you are not hungry between meals, you are full of energy with ability to concentrate better. Now its time you think you can afford to have a piece of cake. It didn’t hurt much. You feel great, and decide to have some ice cream too. You’re still losing weight, okay a bit of sugar in your coffee or tea too seems to be going well , but…uh oh, do you realize you are over your personal carb limit? Suddenly, you’re having cravings, you’re hungrier, you’re gaining weight, and you’re in a vicious circle that’s hard to break of eating carbs, being hungrier, eating more carbs.. and then you hate it all. That is what is called carb creep. (yes dear I can identify with this situation, as I have fumbled so many times and suffered carb creep.)
But no worries it happens some times and if that happens, it’s time to take stock and probably start over, at least for a few days, to break that cycle. Remember you have the power to control your mind and taste buds too, so use that power and give everything damaging a shut up call.
10) No Exercise
There is a temptation to leave exercise out while on a low-carb diet, because often people can be successful at first while staying sedentary. However, there is nothing that can replace exercise in any diet (Atkins called it “non-negotiable”). Most important thing is that exercise lowers insulin resistance and we are very unlikely to be able to maintain a significant weight loss without exercise. Exercise leads to inner joy and satisfaction of doing something for youself. (I can vouch for that) 😀
Are you victim of these 10 worst low carb mistakes? Think and get out of the vicious circle.
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