Many years ago I was pushing 250 lbs. My wife and I had three small kids. So, I started thinking more about my health so that I could keep up with the kids and to help ensure I would be around for them over the long term. I ran into a family friend and he had lost a lot of weight, so I asked him what his secret was. He said he was on a low carb (carbohydrates) diet. Below is my experience, but I’m not a nutritionist or doctor so you should talk with your nutritionist and doctor before you try a low carb, ketogenic diet or any other diets.
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I found information online about low carb and ketogenic (very low carb) diets. From what I read, a low carb diet is typically when you eat 50–150 grams of carbs per day, but on the keto diet you strive to eat fewer than 50 grams.
A low carb diet typically recommends reducing the intake of grains, sugar-sweetened beverages, and bread. It usually recommends increasing your intake of protein, healthy fats, and certain vegetables. A keto diet focuses on significantly reducing carb intake and significantly increasing fat intake.
Essentially, carbs provide energy for your body or can be stored in your body as fat. Lowering intake of carbs can cause your body to go into a state of ketosis. It is a metabolic process that can occur when your intake of carbs is at a certain level and your body begins to burn fat for energy because it does not have enough carbohydrates to burn.
What I did was minimize eating processed foods as much as possible and focused on eating organic vegetables, eggs and meats. I minimized/eliminated eating foods like fruit, bread, pasta, rice, juice, soda, milk, etc. I primarily drank water, tea and coffee. I lost weight fast, about 50 lbs in 6 months just by changing my diet.
Note, from my research, I learned that there are basically two types of carbs, whole and refined. Whole carbs are unprocessed and contain fiber like fresh vegetables and fruits. Refined carbs are processed, such as sweetened beverages, fruit juices, pastries, white bread, white pasta, white rice and others.
Here’s how I changed my daily diet, for breakfast I changed from eating bagels, toast, cereal, and such to eating an egg white omlette made from organic vegetables (red onions, bell pepper, green onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado, etc.), cheese and some type of meat, like chopped up pork or chicken. I used organic olive oil to saute the vegetables and added sea salt and pepper for flavor. I would usually top off with fresh salsa and sometimes I added sour cream. Check out my Low carb organic veggie omelette recipe.
For lunch I changed from eating hamburgers/fries and sandwiches/chips to eating a large salad with romaine lettuce, spinach, carrots, bell pepper, red onions, green onion, mushrooms, broccoli, avocado, etc. Again, I would try to buy organic vegetables when available at the grocery store I frequented. I would also add some type of meat like chopped up chicken, pork or steak. I would top off the salad with either an oil and white balsamic vinegar dressing or ranch dressing.
For dinner, I changed from eating Italian pasta, Asian noodles, rice and breads to eating steamed or grilled vegetables with some type of meat, like chicken, salmon, pork or steak. I really enjoyed chuck eye steak, it’s much cheaper than rib eye steak and in my opinion tastes better. When grilling vegetables I would baste with a light coat of organic olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. When grilling meats, I would just season with sea salt and pepper. I kept things simple.
For snacks, I typically ate 80-90% dark chocolate when I had a sweet tooth. Dark chocolate has much less carbs than milk chocolate or other candies. My wife doesn’t like dark chocolate, but I really enjoy the flavor. I also enjoyed drinking coffee and tea and occasionally had tortilla chips and fresh salsa. Initially I stayed away from eating fruit, but I slowly added them back into my allowed snack foods. I tried to eat fruits that have a low amount of carbs like strawberries and watermelon.
In addition to loosing weight, I noticed that I got sick less often after changing my eating habits. Prior to changing my eating habits, I would get sick maybe once or twice per year. After changing my eating habits, I got sick maybe once or twice in five years.
As time went on, I noticed I started gaining weight slowly, learn about what I did next to keep the weight off.
Below are some highly rated books related to low carb diets you may find helpful.
Amazon Kindle Unlimited Plan – https://amzn.to/2x5Bh7A
Keto Meal Prep by FlavCity: 125+ Low Carb Recipes That Actually Taste Good – https://amzn.to/39qEnRP
Craveable Keto: Your Low-Carb, High-Fat Roadmap to Weight Loss and Wellness (1) – https://amzn.to/32ShAfm