I will be the first to admit that moving to a low-carb lifestyle is not the simplest of tasks and as some might think, it doesn’t just revolve around protein, as the picture depicts. Depending on how you structure your diet and if you follow the Atkins model, the first stage of this lifestyle change is pretty much carb free. If you are used to eating sugar and starch, this carb free time relies heavily on your will power. If you are looking to lose weight and can manage the low-carb lifestyle, while still incorporating healthy food choices into your diet, you are off to the races and will achieve the success you are after. A warning though, it does require support!
I will over and over again refer to low-carb eating as being a lifestyle or a way of life as opposed to a diet. Over the years the word diet has had some stigma attached to it, and for good reason. Have you read about the Twinky diet?… doesn’t sound like a very healthy concept to me. With that said, my point is that if you are going to change to low-carb eating for the purpose of losing weight, there are a number of behaviours in life that will require change along with eating. One of those behaviours is exercise. It seems common sense; however, if you want to lose weight, you must get exercise, regardless of what you eat. In addition to exercise, you have to choose healthy foods to ensure that you are getting the nutrition your body requires. Yes, bacon is relatively low in carbs, but no, you cannot eat bacon for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and still maintain a healthy, low-carb lifestyle.
Along with having the motivation to ensure that you are getting the exercise and nutritional value you need daily, will power is an absolute must. It is something that I really thought I didn’t have up until I tried out the low-carb way of life. I was prepared to lose some of the weight I was carrying around, but in the past was unable to stick to any diet that actually resulted in any real weight loss. Once I was through the first week or so of reducing my carb intake to almost nothing, I was shocked at the kind of will power I possessed. I was saying no to chocolate and birthday cake and ice cream and more! For me, my sweet tooth was what I thought would be my demise and would keep me more round than anything else, but in the end I surprised myself. The reason was relatively simple though, in hindsight of course. After eliminating some pretty destructive foods from my life, I felt better and that motivated me more than anything else!
Over the course of about a year, I was able to maintain my low-carb habits, while still getting exercise and ended up dropping about 50 lbs. That was definitely a success for me! I felt (and still feel) amazing, not only because of the affect reducing carbohydrates had on my body, but the immense amount of pride I had for myself. I don’t know if any other achievement could result in the same positive feelings. I have an enormous appreciation for individuals who are able to lose weight because I know firsthand how very difficult the process can actually be.
It has been about two years since starting the low-carb lifestyle and about a year since I lost my weight. Although I could stand to lose a few more pounds, I have found that I am struggling more and more with maintaining a low-carb lifestyle. I have decided that because I’ve lost the bulk of the weight I had intended on shedding, I am going to move to a healthier carb type of lifestyle. To me, this means still eating relatively low-carb, but increasing the amount of good carbs in my life, like whole grains, fruits and veggies that typically have higher carbohydrate content than others. Berries are particularly good because they have great nutritional value and tend to be somewhat low-carb.
By no means would I ever consider myself to be an expert on the low-carb lifestyle, however, I have had some notable success with maintaining it and I think I am making a healthy choice for myself in moving to a lifestyle that includes more healthy carbs. I will also admit that low-carb may not be the ideal option for every person, but I will attest to the fact that I think it was a great opportunity for me to get myself into better shape and take more control in the food that I choose to eat. It has informed me on what is good to eat and what is bad to eat, but also what is okay to eat in moderation.
If you are interested in getting rid of the spare tire around your waist or simply losing a few extra pounds to slide into that new outfit, try reducing the amount of carbs you take in. Couple that with whatever type of exercise you like best and you will be looking fabulous and feeling great all at the same time!