Getting Started on a Low-Carb High Fat Diet for Weight Loss

Starting a Low Carb High Fat Diet

Thinking about a Low Carb High Fat diet to help you shed the pounds? This guide reveals all!

Although low-carbohydrate high-fat and traditional ketogenic diets are some of the most popular nutrition programs for weight loss out there today, they are not a new concept and have actually been around for quite some time.

These types of carbohydrate restricted diets were first made popular in the 1970’s by the late Dr. Robert Atkins [1] and have recently given a breath of fresh air to those who weren’t getting the results that they wanted with the typical low-fat weight loss program.

When Atkins first introduced this new method of losing weight, there was a lot of hype that went along with this new and relatively unknown concept.

But does eating a higher fat and lower carbohydrate meal plan really produce the results that can help you lose weight for the long run?

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the basics of a restricted carb meal plan and how it can benefit you on your weight loss journey.

What is a LCHF Diet?

A low-carb high-fat diet (LCHF) is a way of eating that involves consuming an extremely restricted amount of starches, sugars, wheat and grains every day, while at the same time consuming moderate amounts of lean protein and larger than average amounts of dietary fats.

These diets are based on simple theories of how people get fat in the first place.

According to experts in this particular field of nutrition, consuming too many foods that consist of white flours and simple sugars is what leads to the accumulation of unwanted fat on the body.

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Experts like the late Dr. Atkins also suggest that overall carbohydrate metabolism in general, has more of an impact on whether or not you get fat than does the amount of dietary fat that you consume along with overall calories.

This theory is due to something called insulin resistance, which is when the cells in your body become resistant to the actions of insulin and are not able to use it efficiently, leading to high blood sugar. [2]

Your Body Can Only Store So Many Carbs

So, the theory is, people who are overweight and tend to store more belly fat than the average person, may have problems with insulin sensitivity.

When an individual consumes a high carbohydrate meal such as a bowl of pasta or a something high in sugar such as a candy bar, insulin is released by the pancreas in order to drive those sugars in the liver and muscle tissue as glycogen.

This stored energy is then used when the body needs it for regular activity throughout the day or for more strenuous times such as during your workout.

But the problem is, similar to your gas tank on your car, your body can only store so much energy (as glycogen) at one time.

When your system is tapped out, all of those excess carbohydrates are stored as fat, similar to trying to fill your gas tank over the capacity limit.

The excess fuel would simply spill out of the tank and over onto the ground.

Insulin Resistance, Fat Storage and Other Side Effects

Now, people who are insulin resistant experience greater difficulty in processing and properly storing any carbohydrates that they consume in the first place.

As a result, their bodies start to pump out more and more insulin to compensate for this in which their cells become more and more resistant and the body stores lesser amounts of glycogen and more fat.

This is why people who experience insulin resistance will end up gaining more weight than they wish and then have a lot harder time losing it after the fact.

In addition to excess carbohydrates getting converted to fat and leading to weight gain, there are other side effects that take its toll in the body.

Some of these effects can even be considered even more serious than the initial weight gain around your belly.

These include increases in hunger, lethargy, lack of focus and concentration and high blood pressure. [3]

One way in which people who have trouble with insulin have combated their situation is with a restricted carbohydrate diet.

This is one of the ways in which LCHF diets can benefit people beyond weight loss.

The Basics of LCHF Diets

The foundation of diets like the Atkins Diet is the complete restriction of carbohydrates in all forms, whether simple sugars that come from pastries, sweets or fruits, or carbs that come from pastas, breads and cereals.

There is no discrimination to what type of carbohydrate one must be restricted from.

As a rule of thumb, LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) diets generally restrict you to low carb foods that will add up to 40 grams of carbs a day or less.

When you take in less than forty grams per day, your body will go into a state that is called ketosis.

Ketosis is when your body shift from burning glucose for fuel to burning fat in the form of ketones (beta-hydroxybutyrate).

One of the main benefits of a low carb diet is that while in a state of ketosis, insulin will be optimized and prevent fat storage.

Weight loss may ensue, since your body will start to burn up fat storage for fuel instead of carbohydrates that you previously consumed.

Another benefit to starting a LCHF diet is that your carbohydrate and sugar cravings will subside when you get into a state of ketosis and start burning fat for fuel.

Most people still tend to crave carbohydrates when on the typical weight loss diet that restricts your calories or merely lowers carb levels. This is one thing that many people noticed when starting diets like the Atkins plan.

Do I Have to Eat Like This Forever?

Most critics think that all ketogenic diets like the Atkins plan restricts you forever.

This is a common misconception.

After an initial induction period, you can start to slowly cycle carbohydrates back into your program until you find your tolerance levels.

This is going to vary from individual to individual but can range anywhere from 50 grams for someone who is really sensitive to upwards of 75 to 80 grams for others.

Getting Started

Although there are many different variations of a Low-Carb High-Fat diet out there, they all follow pretty much the same principles.

The Atkins Diet is one of the most popular ketogenic diets available today and is a good choice for anyone who is just starting out.

After you get acclimated to this way of eating, you can assess your overall progress and if you decide to continue onward, you can try other plans that are available.

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