Looking for low carb diet plans? The low carb diet has been around in one form or another for years.
It’s famously used by countless movie stars and socialites (even one particular royal is reported to follow a low carb meal plan) to stay svelte and slim.
History and Types of Plans:
This diet started to gain popularity in 1967 with the Stillman diet. It then regained popularity again with the Atkins diet in the 80?s. Today there are a lot of different diets that are essentially low carb diet plans in one form or another.
Popular low carb diet plans include Atkins, Protein Power, the Dukan Diet, South Beach and to some extent, the Zone (although that’s more of a balanced, slow-carb diet).
Most low carb diets try to keep your carbs to fewer than 20% of your calories per day. Some limit the amount of carb grams you can have (i.e. under 30 grams).
Other plans just emphasize protein, fats and veggies and tell you to completely cut out ‘bad carbs’ like bread, cookies, pasta and other baked goods. (However it should be noted that an almost zero-carb diet is NOT healthy at all – your body does need some carbs!)Low carb diets have also gained notoriety with Hollywood celebs with stars like Jennifer Aniston following the Zone. And Rihanna was recently quoted in US Magazine (May 2012) as following a low carb diet.
While low carb diets have been popular with the weight loss crowd, they are also followed by many people for medical reasons. For example, many diabetics find that a lower carb diet helps them control their blood sugars better. Others have found low carb diets to be beneficial for conditions like cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue and metabolic syndrome.
What’s the difference between plans?
One of the main differences between these low carb diet plans is essentially what you’re replacing the carbs with. For example when you cut your carbs, you have to increase something else. For some diets this is with protein. For others this might be with fat.
So for example with diets like Atkins, both protein and fat are increased. However Atkins has been criticized for having too high a fat content in the past. Other diets like Protein Power or South Beach use a lower fat, higher protein approach.
Some diets replace the lost carbs with lower carb veggies like broccoli, cabbage, lettuce greens and celery. However while this will give you fibre and make you feel full, you could run the risk of cutting your calories too low (because it takes a LOT of veggies to replace lost carbs in the diet).
What’s the best low carb diet plan for you?
That really depends on your body and your situation. Remember that while carbs are important, calories still count. So it doesn’t matter if you reduce your carbs. If you’re still eating too many calories, you’ll gain weight (or at least not lose it). That’s why many people choose a low carb and low fat plan – because fat calories add up quickly – and it’s super-easy to pack on the pounds.
Many people like the Zone and South Beach. However these can be very complicated and hard to prepare since they rely on strict carb-protein-fat ratios. If you’re looking for the easy way to follow a low carb, low fat diet, another option is the Diet To Go low carb plan. They prepare low carb meals for you and ship them to your home (under 30 grams of carbs a day). You get a range of nutrients to stay healthy, lots of fresh vegetables – and you lose weight for around $20 a day.
If you are set on trying the Zone diet or the South Beach diet, there are delivery plans for these services as well (for example, the Fresh Diet follows the zone 40-30-30 ratio). If you would rather prepare the food yourself, there are also online communities that offer lots of recipes, tips message boards like this one for the South Beach Diet.
Regardless of what you choose to do, remember to take it slowly and listen to your body. Losing weight is a challenge – so make sure you cut yourself some slack and give yourself extra time and pampering on your journey. Good luck!