As the name suggests, this diet is about reducing your carbohydrate intake. As a result, your meals will focus more on protein-rich foods such as fish, eggs, fish, dairy products and – most importantly – lots of vegetables and healthy fats. In doing so, you cut back on foods that contain lots of sugar and starch. This diet puts the emphasis on changing your metabolism; the fact that you’ll lose weight too is simply a bonus.
How does it work?
1. Avoid carbohydrates whenever possible!
Little exercise and too many carbohydrates can lead you to store fat around your belly and become overweight.
Sugar is also addictive! Eating foods packed with starch and sugar makes you feel hungry and thus increases your appetite. Limit your carbohydrate intake to 70–100 g per day.
2. Increase your fat consumption!
Now your body needs another source of energy. The body takes longer to generate energy from fats, and burns more calories in the process than it does when generating energy from carbohydrates.
3. Get active!
Take the stairs instead of the lift. Take up a sport or do an extra walk around the park on Sunday.
There are carbs and carbs.
Carbohydrates are divided into monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides. Monosaccharides and disaccharides are found mainly in confectionery, ready-meals and white bread. If you eat these foods, your body produces a lot of insulin. Insulin means that you store more fat on your belly. Polysaccharides are found predominantly in wholegrain foods and pulses. As your body processes polysaccharides, your blood sugar level rises much more slowly, so your body produces less insulin. In other words, try to eat mainly foods without monosaccharides or disaccharides.
Is a low-carb diet right for you?
Everyone’s body is different, so we each need to find out what works best for us. That said, there are of course pros and cons to a low-carb diet. We’ve put the key benefits and drawbacks together for you here.