Low Carb 101

Resources to help you learn all about a low carb lifestyle

What is a low carb diet or way of life?

A low carb diet is an eating style that focusses around whole foods, with lots of non starchy, low carb vegetables, a moderate amount of protein and a small amount of healthy fats (however it is much more than in a conventional calorie restricted, low fat plan).

It is very minimal in processed foods, refined carbohydrates and added sugars. It excludes nearly all grains too and restricts high carb vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, beetroots and parsnips.

Most fruits are limited also, with the exception of citrus fruits and berries.

Vegetables that are low in carbs include all leafy greens, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, capsicum, tomato, eggplant, zucchini, Brussel sprouts, celery and cabbage.

Carrot and pumpkin are moderate in carbs and can fit in to a moderately low carbohydrate diet in small amounts.

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For a thorough and comprehensive eating guideline including what to eat and what to avoid, please contact Bec to book in for an Initial Consultation. This is just one of the many inclusions.

Here is a really great link to help you learn about low carb foods too

What is a low carb diet?

What are the benefits of a low carb diet?

Carbohydrates, whether they’re complex (such as whole grains) or simple (such as sugar), are made up of the same thing – glucose molecules. So, no matter what type of carbohydrate you eat, it will break down into single molecules of glucose that are then absorbed into your blood.
When you eat any carbohydrate (including potatoes, pasta, rice, bread, crackers, cakes, sugar, biscuits, beans and honey), the glucose that enters your blood raises your blood sugar, causing the hormone insulin to be released.

Insulin is the driver of hunger and fat storage. When insulin is low, your bodies can burn fat. When it is high – your bodies can’t. High’s and lows in insulin also causes poor energy and moods and increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.

When you consume a low-carb diet, blood sugars stay low and steady and insulin stays low.

So, many people experience

  • A reduced appetite

  • Less sugar and carb cravings cravings

  • Steady energy (goodbye 3.00pm slump)

  • Improved moods

  • Boosted fat burning

Please read this article! It outlines the benefits after analysing many scientific studies.

Benefits of low carb diets

Here are some of my favourite low carb swaps!

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What are some potential side effects when starting out on a low carb diet?

Induction flu: Headaches, lethargy, nausea, confusion, brain fog, irritability

This is the most common side effect when people first start out on a carbohydrate restricted diet, and is often felt on day 2-4. It is called the “induction flu”, as it mimics flu-like symptoms.

Headaches, feeling tired, lethargic and unmotivated can be commonly felt. Nausea is also common. It’s also possible to experience confusion or “brain fog” and irritable – perhaps most clearly noticed by your family and friends!

The good news is that these symptoms will usually disappear within a few days. The even-better news is that these symptoms can often be avoided altogether. The main cause is usually dehydration and/or salt deficiency, caused by a temporarily increased urine production.

The cure: water & salt

Any problems can be minimized, and sometimes entirely cured, by getting enough water and salt into your system.

Try adding half a teaspoon of salt to a large glass of water. This may reduce or eliminate side effects within 15-30 minutes. If so, this may be repeated once daily if needed during the first week.

A better-tasting option is to drink a glass of broth, e.g. chicken, beef or bone broth!