Low and zero carb diets aren’t just theory and wishful thinking. There’s some science and a little math that makes the difference between success and failure on a low carb diet.
1) Stay Below The Carb Threshold
It isn’t enough to just eat lots of meat, and expect to lose body fat. For this diet to work, you have to stay below a minimum carb threshold each day. The further over this low carb zone, the less likely you are to lose weight. For most people, you will need to stay below 20-30 grams of carbs for the entire day to get the maximum results.
2) Mix-Up Your Protein Sources
The first week of a low carb diet is heaven. You eat steak, eggs, and hamburger at all hours of the day. A common mistake is to limit your choices to your favorite protein for several days in a row, and burn through your desire to continue. Fish, chicken, turkey, pork, hamburger, sausage, bacon and every other protein source is on the menu. Take advantage of the variety you have.
3) Trace Carbs Add Up
You have a very limited budget for daily carbohydrates and they can add up quickly even if it’s only in trace amounts. Two carbs here, four carbs there — you can hit your daily total before lunch if you aren’t choosing food wisely.
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4) Drink Water Religiously
You have to do it, even if you aren’t a heavy water drinker. It only takes a week or two before this becomes a fully ingrained daily habit. Drink eight ounces of water, 6-8 times per day.
5) Eat The Fat
People are so afraid of fat in food, it’s almost comical. When you’re on a zero carb diet, calories from fat aren’t just allowed — it’s recommended. Don’t be afraid to eat some fat from butter or mayo, and you don’t have to eat super lean protein either. Eat the fat! As long as you’re strict with carb intake, you’ll be rewarded.
6) Sugar Wrecks This Diet
If only sugar was allowed on this diet, it would be perfection. But it’s not. One piece of candy, a tiny sliver of cake, and a bit of ice cream can negate all your zero carb efforts for the day. There are zero carb substitutes in every grocery store to help satisfy your sweet tooth, just don’t expect them to taste like the real deal.
7) Use Protein Powder
Meat is the backbone of this diet so you can imagine how much cooking, baking and barbecuing is required to supply the needed calories. Time and schedule can become an issue on certain days, making protein powder a life saver. Water, a protein shaker bottle, and some low carb powder is all you need to stay on the low carb path.
8) Have Low Carb Snacks Ready
Often, it isn’t the main meals that wreck this diet. It’s the between meal snacks. For most people snacks have always been carb heavy. Cookies, potato chips, popcorn — and every other easy access food has tons of carbs. Think ahead and make sure you have easy access to high protein snacks, for between meal hunger cravings.
9) Use Vitamin Supplements
It isn’t just carbohydrates you’re removing from meals. You’re also removing a common vitamin and nutrient source from meals for an extended period of time. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to maintain a healthy balance with all the vitamins you need, on a low carb diet. Taking a one-a-day vitamin is the easiest solution.
10) Read Every Label
When you only have 30 grams of carbs to work with for the entire day, it’s vital to avoid any sneaky carbs that you didn’t plan for. Make a habit of checking every label, of every product you buy to see if it will take you over the carb limit.
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