Common Low-Carb Diet Mistakes

1. Ignoring the nutritional value of carbs

Carbs aren’t the enemy. There are plenty of nutritious and super yummy carbohydrates you can and should be eating in moderation.

Think: fruit, whole grains, beans, and vegetables, to name a few.

These foods provide our bodies with the natural, sustained energy we need to function and stay active. “A carbohydrate-dense fruit such as a banana can give you the fuel you need to increase the intensity of your workout; [you might] burn more calories [as a result],” says Klamer.

High-quality carbs are also chockful of vital nutrients like B vitamins, potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. Klamer says reducing your carbohydrate intake to super-low levels puts you at risk for deficiencies in these areas.

2. Misunderstanding portion sizes

If you don’t have a basic idea of portion sizes — say, what a single portion of brown rice or steel-cut oats actually looks like — you’re likely to either over- or underestimate how much food you need.

Understanding portion sizes can help prevent overeating while also ensuring you consume enough nutrients to fuel your body properly.

“By going with 40 percent carbs, we’re able to make the majority of carbs [in the plan] produce-based without crushing people [who are] new to healthy eating under a kale, broccoli, and mixed-berry avalanche,” says Faye.

There are three containers for carbs in the system: Purple is for fruits, green is for veggies, and yellow is for other carbs like whole grains.

You fill each one up with its corresponding foods anywhere from two to six times a day, depending on your predetermined calorie target range; no measuring or overthinking necessary.

Faye also notes that the 40 percent carbs guideline isn’t a hard-and-fast rule: “Starting your diet at 40 percent carbs allows you to experiment and increase your carbs to a level that best works for you, which is much easier than trying to slowly reduce carbs to find your sweet spot,” he explains.

3. Eating too many carbs

Just as it’s possible to eat too few carbs when starting a low-carb diet, it’s also possible to eat too many.

What constitutes an excess of carbs varies for each individual depending on metabolism and activity level, but in general, consuming more than 45 percent of your total daily calories from carbs isn’t technically a low-carb diet plan, according to the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

If carbs make up half or the majority of your food consumption, you may be missing out on other essential macronutrients like lean protein and healthy fats.

Protein is necessary for building muscle, and healthy fats provide our bodies with energy, aid in nutrient absorption, and facilitate cell growth and function.

How to Reduce Your Carb Intake in a Healthy Way

Go slow

Adopting new ingesting conduct takes time and staying power, which is why it’s crucial to go slowly and be practical about your expectancies for weight reduction.

“many people get discouraged whilst starting a low-carb weight loss plan because it can take weeks to see consequences [from actual fat loss],” says george.

Though you would possibly see a decrease range on the dimensions inside the first week of consuming low-carb, this change is probably a end result of losing water weight.

The technique of shedding fats and gaining muscle, but, might be greater slow. If that’s the case, understand that sluggish and steady wins the race.

Eat carbs with more nutritional value

“If you are choosing to eat less carbs, it is important to make the carbs you do eat as nutritious as possible,” says Klamer.

Try to eat low-glycemic, high-fiber carbs whenever you can.

Low-glycemic carbs such as legumes, nuts, sweet potatoes, berries, and green apples help stabilize blood sugar levels and provide longer-lasting energy, says Klamer.

For more fiber and nutrients, Klamer recommends whole-grain bread, whole-wheat pasta, and brown or wild rice. Other fiber-rich foods include black beans, lentils, broccoli, barley, artichokes, and raspberries.

High-Quality, Nutrient-Rich Carbs

Yellow container:

  • Sweet potato

  • Quinoa

  • Beans (kidney, black, garbanzo, white, lima, fava, etc.)

  • Lentils

  • Edamame

  • Peas

  • Brown rice

  • Wild rice

  • Potato, mashed or ½ medium

  • Corn on the cob, 1 ear

  • Oatmeal, rolled

  • Pasta, whole-grain

  • Couscous, whole wheat

  • Bread, whole-grain, 1 slice

  • Pita bread, whole wheat, 1 small slice (4-inch)

  • Bagel, whole-grain, ½ small bagel (3-inch)

  • Tortilla, whole wheat, 1 small (6-inch)

Green and purple containers:

  • Kale

  • Spinach

  • Broccoli

  • Peppers (sweet)

  • Carrots

  • Cauliflower

  • Cabbage

  • Winter squash

  • Raspberries

  • Blueberries

  • Strawberries

  • Watermelon

  • Orange

  • Mango

  • Peaches

  • Pineapple

  • Figs

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