No, Low, Or High Carb? Choosing Diet Plans

With so many options for choosing a carb diet, it may be hard for you to decide if you want to do a no carb, low carb or a high carb diet. The difference between the 3 is relatively large and all will require some lifestyle changes, but making the decision on what kind of diet to begin is the first step in pursuing your weight loss goals. Here’s how you can decide between what the right plan is for you:

Step 1: Do Some Preliminary Research

An easy way to evaluate different diet plans is on the Internet. By looking up what each diet entails and getting a feel for what kind of effort it will take, you can assess how willing you are to make those changes. Generally, a no carb diet is nothing more than a really low carb diet, as it is virtually impossible to eat no carbs. Fruits and vegetables both contain small levels of carbohydrates and are necessary for any healthy diet. This kind of diet is not sustainable over any length of time and this is typically what the introductory phase to the Atkins Diet is considered.

A low carb diet would be somewhere in the middle, such as where you would be on the Atkins Diet once you reintroduced many of the foods that were prohibited in the beginning stages. A high carb diet is one that has the recommended level of carbohydrates, such as the guidelines recommended by the USDA Food Pyramid.

Step 2: Determine Your Commitment

After looking at the plans and seeing what kind of meals and snacks you would be required to eat, think about what would work best for your lifestyle. If you think that you would like to cut back on carbs and the meal plans for the Atkins Diet (or other similar diets) look appealing to you, then that may be a good fit. If you absolutely love bread and don’t think that you will be able to survive without eating it, a low carb diet may not be right for you. Finding something that works with your lifestyle (that you can stick with over the long term) is the most important thing, so measuring what you can and can’t do early on is important.

Step 3: Assess Your Activity Level

Carbs contribute greatly to fueling your body’s overall energy. If you are particularly active or plan to add exercise to your diet plan, it is going to be very difficult to maintain a low carb diet for any length of time, as you will begin feeling very drained and tired. Your body needs the nutrition provided from whole grains, not just fruits and vegetables, to maintain a strenuous level of physical activity on a regular basis. If you plan on being active, you will want to consider a moderate to high-carb diet to maintian your workout. If you are not very active and just want to lose weight, the low carb diet may work well for you. Determine how much you plan on working out while on your diet to make a final decision.

Step 4: Decide on a Plan

After looking at your options and determine what will work best, you should be able to decide between a high or low carb approach. Once you decide, begin by writing down a meal plan for the first week. You should do this every week so that you stay on track and have the necessary foods on hand to keep you eating healthy in whatever plan you choose. By planning for your low or high carb diet (so that you have both healthy meals and snacks on hand and are not left feeling hungry), you are much more likely to succeed over the long term. 

Through a little research and being realistic about your goals and capabilities, you can decide what kind of diet would be best for you and begin your quest to lose that unwanted weight.


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