Carbohydrate-free diet

CARBOHYDRATE-FREE DIET

Carbohydrate-free diet, despite the fact that its name contains a restriction, is one of the most comfortable meal plans that help lose weight. Carbohydrates are not 100% excluded from the menu. Their amount is simply reduced to a minimum.

Such diet is used by athletes to prepare for the competition. Yet, those people, whose plans do not include the Olympic gold, also can take the advantage of this effective way to get rid of extra kilos.

Foods that run the show in this diet are

Meat

Eggs

Dairy products

*To cut it short, it’s a real prize for lovers of steaks and omelettes. At the same time, sweet tooth will have to find another weight loss method or to collect all their will in a fist, since cakes and sweets are strictly prohibited.

Carbohydrate-free diet for athletes, and not only for them

Carbohydrate-free diet is an eating plan that aims a controlled intake of available sources of energy, i.e. carbs. As a rule, carbohydrate-free diet is a synonym for the protein diet. Carbs deficit mode implies that proteins become the main food.

Their ability to break down slowly allow ranking carbohydrate-free diet as a comfortable one. Even small portions of food take long to be processed and provide satiety for along time.

Carbohydrate-free diet is often used by athletes for the so-called cutting phase, during which the subcutaneous fat reduces, while the muscles become beautiful and well-built, thanks to the abundant inflow of protein.

250 mg

Carbohydrates / Per Day

Carbonates formula

Carbohydrate-free diet is easy to follow. You have to remember just one number – 250. This is the maximum amount of calories that can be represented by carbohydrates in your daily nutrition. 

This meal plan gathered positive feedback from those who managed to get rid of the extra kilos through strict control of the carbohydrate component of their diet.

One can easily check the power “value” of the product, for example, via calorie tables or specific applications.

If you decide to stick with no-carbohydrate diet, be prepared for the fact that you have to exclude:

  • Pastries and other flour products
  • Sweets
  • Vegetables, rich in starch
  • Fruits and berries other than acidic

However, your intake of meat, fish and cheese products is not limited 

When keeping to the carbohydrate-free or low-carb diet, you will never feel hungry for sure, because,

  1. the caloric content of carbs-free food is not limited,
  2. the amount and the number of servings is also not measured.

However, through the lens of common sense, it is advisable not to overeat and not to give preference to fatty steaks, if you want to lose weight and improve your health. When developing a menu, you should focus on harmony between the protein-rich foods and non-starchy vegetables.

250 kcal Carbonates

Desirable to be “gained” not from chocolates and sweets

Instead you should add sources of slowly digestible carbohydrates:

  • vegetables,
  • cereals,
  • whole-grain products.

Sweet and pastries, consumed even in limited quantities, cause surges in blood sugar, which leads to bouts of hunger, caused by the insulin influx, as well as metabolic disruption.

You can keep to the carbohydrate-free diet as long as you wish. There are no limits, except for internal sensations of the person, who is trying to lose weight. In normal tolerance and well-being, you can control the carbs intake for an unlimited period.

Yet, there are two things to remember:

long-term carbs deficiency can affect your nervous system and brain, so it is desirable to increase the proportion of carbohydrates in your menu, when you finish the active weight loss phase;

excessive intake of proteins requires physical activity. It is not a mandatory thing to engage into professional sports, yet it is vital to load your body and avoid staying in place for a long time, when you are on a carbohydrate-free diet.

Drinking regime for the carbohydrate-free diet

Since the carbohydrate-free diet involves a selective approach to the use of such products, as fruits and vegetables, which are the main stimulants of intestinal peristalsis, a sufficient fluid intake is more important than ever.

dreenk

Not only water helps remove undigested food residues, but it also is an important part of a healthy formation and renewal of body cells that are going through an active weight loss process.

The daily amount of fluid, mandatory for the carbohydrate-free diet is 1.5 to 2 liters of clean non-carbonated drinking water. You are also allowed to have green tea (no more than 4-5 cups a day) and coffee without sugar. However, it is better not to abuse coffee, taking into account its diuretic effect.

Fruit juices both packed and fresh, as well as soda (including diet) are banned for the predictable reason of their high sugar content.

What kind of products should be avoided during the carbohydrate-free diet

In addition to the expected ban on any pastries, sugar and almost all cereals, carbohydrate-free diet involves the refusal (or substantial reduction) of the following products:

  1. Starchy vegetables (especially the popular ones, like potatoes, carrots, beets, and corn);
  2. Artificial sweeteners (in spite of the absence of sucrose in their composition, they cause a steady craving for sweets);
  3. Products marked “diet” or “low-fat” (they include a lot of questionable additives to improve their taste, including those that contain sugar and starch);
  4. Alcohol;
  5. Fruit (except citrus fruits and acidic berries. Some nutritionists also allow coconut, peaches and apples when on carbohydrate-free diet);
  6. Trans fats (hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated);
  7. Foods that were subjected to a serious industrial processing (frozen ready meals tend to contain significant amounts of carbs-containing additives).

If you made a decision to keep to a carbohydrate-free diet, make it a rule not to trust bright labels with such inscriptions, as “health food”, and do not be lazy to read the composition on the package.

Unfortunately, to reduce the cost, increase the shelf life and improve the appearance of food, many manufacturers nowadays added:

  • sweeteners,
  • starch,
  • fats.

At that, they are added not only to chilled or frozen meat or semi-finished products, but also to canned and dairy foods. These “bonuses” harm not only your figure, but also your health in general!

Carbohydrate-free diet and cereals: can I have at least a small bite?

As we know, carbohydrate-free diet for weight loss provides a sufficiently fast and stable effect that is explained by the fact that your body ceases to get energy from the available carbs, and is forced to spend its own fat reserves.

However, in the long-term perspective, such serious restriction of carbohydrates can affect the condition of your kidneys and cardiovascular system, as well as your brain, which “feeds on” pure glucose.

Dietary studies have already recorded an eating disorder that is called carbophobia. Having convinced of the simple action of protein diets, dieters “sit” on the steaks and scrambled eggs for years, fearing of a single breadcrumb, as of fire. The results are:

  • depression,
  • memory loss,
  • metabolic disorders,
  • gastrointestinal disorders,
  • violations of the excretory systems.

Just like any extreme, prolonged full ban on carbohydrates in daily menu bears little good.

 

Decisive and irrevocable waiver of carbs in any form makes sense at the initial stage of accelerated weight loss.

Yet, when you come close to the desired result and intend to maintain your current weight, rather than to continue losing weight, you must balance the protein, fat and carbohydrate component of your nutrition. Even keeping to a mostly protein diet, it is important to moderately, yet regularly consume foods that contain carbohydrates.

Cereals are an available source not only of slow digesting and, therefore, dietetically comprehensive carbs, but also of fiber and a number of important micronutrients. At the same time, if you found your happiness in protein carbohydrate-free diet, you can choose cereals that have a highest protein content.

Don’t forget to follow the rule of “no more than 250 calories from carbohydrates per day” and regularly consume a serving of the useful product.

The list of most protein-rich cereals includes:

Protein Grains

Protein

Carbohydrate

Buckwheat

12%
68%

Pea

21%
50%

Oatmeal

12%
65%

Quinoa

14%
64%

However, it should be remembered that the vegetable protein from the animal protein differs from their amino acid composition. In order to “supplement” set of amino acids, some nutrition experts recommend consuming cereals, together with:

  • milk,
  • cottage cheese,
  • organ meats.

You’re dying to pamper yourself cakes or pancakes, but do not have the slightest idea of how to cook them without flour, is so rich in carbohydrates? The trick is to replace it with finely chopped walnuts or bran.

Nuts are an excellent source of easily digestible protein and valuable vitamins. Bran, although containing a certain amount of carbohydrates are digested very slowly and play a useful role fiber “ballast”, which provides satiety and stimulates peristalsis.

Ideas of delicious dishes for carbohydrate-free diet

You can easily find a lot of options for the carbohydrate-free diet menu. Yet, monotony is the bane of any eating plan that involves limitation of any macronutrient income. It might seem difficult to develop a comprehensive menu without potatoes, pasta and flour.

However, a certain amount of fantasy and inspiration can help you enrich your menu with delicious and healthy meals that suit the carbohydrate-free diet perfectly well.

Carbohydrate-free diet menu: cheeseburger without the bun

  • Mince low-fat meat (beef or turkey)
  • Form burgers
  • Grill them or bake in the oven
  • Add a slice of cheddar on each portion
cheeseburger without the bun

Serve with tomato salsa or finely chopped fresh salad vegetables with herbs and spices.

Carbohydrate-free diet menu: Meazza or pizza-omelet

This dish resembles the usual pizza on a crust by its appearance and even taste. The only difference is that the floury crust is substituted by lean ground beef or omelet base.

Meazza comes from ‘meat’ + ‘pizza’. To prepare a delicious Meazza, you have to

  • Tightly cover the base of the pan with lean ground beef
  • Cover with vegetable mix (you can add some mushrooms, cheese).
  • Bake in oven at 160°C for 30-40 minutes (depending on the “crust” thickness).
Meazza

You can cook your pizza-omelet on an open fire in a slightly oiled frying pan with a lid:

Whisk eggs with yogurt and spices
Pour the mixture into a preheated frying pan
Add tomatoes, slices of boiled meat, herbs, cheese

You can cook this dish for a company of guests, as well, and cut it in triangles, like you would cut a traditional pizza.

Carbohydrate-free diet menu: spinach with egg in coconut oil

Stew some quick-frozen or fresh spinach in a small amount of first cold pressed coconut oil.
Add whisked eggs, and, optionally, a bit of pancetta or lean bacon.

spinach with egg in coconut oil

Carbohydrate-free diet: how to choose products

If  you made a decision to stick to the carbohydrate-free diet to achieve the weight loss effect, it makes sense to not simply erase bread and sweets from your life, but also to consider your fat consumption. Protein-rich foods, i.e. meat and dairy products, usually contain considerable amounts of lipids of different quality and origin.

Nutritionists refer to this peculiarity of the carbohydrate-free diet in two ways:

  1. Our body needs fat to function properly.
  2. Processing of protein itself becomes a serious burden for the body. If we add the problem of uncontrolled fats “delivery”, the situation becomes very serious for our vessels and cardiovascular system.

Therefore, both the quantity and the “reputation” of fat, obtained from food, require special attention during the carbohydrate-free diet. It is known that unsaturated fats are more useful and conducive to weight loss.

Saturated fats are also essential for life. The help our body get major fat-soluble vitamins. Yet, their excess provokes cholesterol deposits.

There are varieties of carbohydrate-free diet that are high in fat. Such diet plans are especially popular in the US, where the fast food culture is highly developed. Paradoxically, a complete ban on carbohydrates, combined with the approval of an unlimited fat consumption allows you to avoid gaining weight. Yet, it causes failures in digestion and stimulates cardiac disorders pretty quickly.

meat on diet

When choosing meat products for the carbohydrate-free diet, pay your consumer attention to the farm products, produced from conscientiously grown livestock in decent conditions. Avoid parts over-saturated with fat, and choose lean cuts. When cooking, avoid deep-frying, frying in oil, and resort to oven-baking, grilling and steaming.

Although all meat products have a zero index of carbs content (without considering sausages, pâtés and other processed meat foods that contain additives, it makes sense to pay attention primarily to lean meat and avoid lamb rump and the lard, if you want to lose weight on a carbohydrate-free diet.

It is believed that industrially skimmed dairy products bring more harm than good. However, they give you enough room for choice. Low-fat cottage cheese or granulated cheese is better for the carbohydrate-free diet than creamy, heavy to digest varieties of the same products.

The best foods for carbohydrate-free diet

Meat

Beef, veal, chicken, turkey, rabbit

By-products and eggs

Liver, heart, tongue, egg, poultry (chicken, duck, quail)

Fish and seafood

Fillet of sea fish, crabs, lobsters, shrimps

Dairy products

Granulated cottage cheese, plain yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream, with caution – whole milk

Vegetables

All leafy vegetables and salads, cabbage, bamboo shoots, artichokes, culinary herbs, bell peppers, zucchini, snow peas and beans, onions, with caution – mushrooms

Fruits and berries

Lemons, oranges, grapefruit, pomegranate, green apples, cranberries, currants, strawberries

Seeds and nuts

Pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin, sesame

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