If the weather is beautiful and you’re frantically rummaging through your closet to find any short white dresses that still fit, remember that not all hope is lost! Just because you’ve gained a few pounds doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite clothes from last year. All it takes are a few minor lifestyle changes to get in better shape than you were in before. For example, you might consider going on a low-carb diet to get your health back on track. If such a diet might work for you, here are a few resources to help you make the most of the experience.
How Low Can You Go?
In a normal diet, experts recommend that carbs make up 45% – 65% of your daily intake, which can include everything from fruit to dairy and legumes. If you are dieting, the amount of carbs you need for energy in a day may vary depending on factors like your BMI (Body Mass Index) and your particular workout regimen. For example, if your BMI is 25 or higher, a low-carb diet could be beneficial to you, whereas if your BMI is lower than 20, your body may not have the fuel it requires to get you through the day on a low-carb diet. As your BMI shifts from more fat to more muscle, your body may eventually need more carbs or even supplements like Isopure zero carb to fuel metabolism and support healthy muscle development.
While expert opinions vary, a low-carb diet is generally considered to be between 100-150 grams of carbs per day, with 50 grams or lower being considered an extreme “Keto” diet which can alter one’s body chemistry and metabolism for bigger results. Consuming foods higher in carbs would be the most beneficial right before or after a workout to help keep your energy levels high. Though carbs are often singled out as a dietary “don’t,” they actually have several important roles to play in the body, so choose your meal plan wisely.
Consider Your Primary Exercise Goal
Some experts say carbs are a necessary fuel for activities like HIIT workouts. Depending on your current BMI and weight loss goals, you may need some extra carbs to help you get through a more demanding routine. However, if you are focusing primarily on dieting combined with low impact or cardio workouts, like brisk walking or yoga, a low-carb diet could be a great tool in your weight-loss plan. You could certainly fortify your low-carb diet with supplements if you are trying to build muscle tone, though you can also satisfy your cravings by using carbs strategically right before a high intensity workout to give you sustained energy.
Portion Control vs. Deprivation
One of the hardest things to do is stick to a diet plan. We all have cravings and sometimes our eating habits are affected by stress or lack of time for meal planning. With this in mind, a focus on portion control rather than complete deprivation can help us stick to our long-term weight loss goals, so if you can’t imagine life without bread, enjoy a limited portion strategically timed before a workout. Over time, many people who practice portion control tend to gravitate to healthier foods that keep them full longer, and the unhealthy cravings subside over time as healthier habits take root.
Finding ways to creatively satisfy your cravings while staying on target with your overall carb intake and exercise goals can make the difference between an attempt that only lasts 6 days and a lifestyle change that gives you lasting health and wellness.