Today I’m going to point out some ideas that I have about starting a new low carb lifestyle. These thoughts are purely based on my experince and from what I’ve seen other people do or experience.
- Start exercising like crazy.
This is a big no-no. Before starting a brand new lifestyle, you didn’t really work out, you weren’t really active. Your eating habits were totally different. Now you start with a different diet. It’s very new to your body as a system and it might want to fight you a little. Some people feel a little tired, have headaches etc. Give your body some time to adjust. Now, if you add working out several times and pushing your limits even more, you might put your body through a serious shock. You might feel down, lack energy or have a bad mood. Don’t rush with workouts. Once you are adjusted to your new diet, then start working out if you want to.
Weigh yourself daily or more often.
I know you might be tempted to weigh yourself all the time and see the progress. During the first week, you will lose weight (water first) fast. So you weigh yourself every day and are very happy because you are losing. But then a few weeks pass by and your weight will fluctuate if you compare it every day. This is caused by so many things, like what you’ve eaten, how much liquid you have consumed during the day, temperatures outside, hormones and a ton of other stuff. And then you start freaking out about gaining a couple hundred grams. Relax and don’t weigh yourself every day. I’ve analysed how often you should weigh yourself here.
I strongly suggest you don’t count calories in the beginning. Follow the instructions that are given (like the list of foods written by dr Eenfeldt in the Food Revolution, to find them click here), eat when you are hungry and until you feel that you are no longer hungry. Listen to your body. If you stick to the list of allowed foods and listen to your body, you will have success. Don’t mess around with counting calories, carbs or anything else in the beginning (at least). When you notice the diet isn’t working for you, then start with counting things.
- Overeat protein.
LCHF isn’t supposed to be a high protein diet. Don’t feel like now you can only stuff your face with protein. Overdoing protein can sometimes result in not losing weight or losing it slower than you would like. Eat as much proteins (meats, fish etc) as you feel like but don’t forget to eat plenty of allowed vegetables and fats with your protein. If you get a normal amount of fats and carbs from vegetables, your protein intake will be normal without even thinking about it too much.
Stress if you mess up.
So something happened and you didn’t eat according to plan. Analyse why this happened, what good and bad you gained from it, and put it behind you. Don’t stress about this slice of cake at a birthday party or a slice of bread at a buffet! It happened, it wasn’t great that it happened and that’s it. Put it behind you, don’t beat yourself up because of it. Just make sure to get back into your normal eating habits and try not to mess up often. If it occasionally happens, well… then it does. But releasing cortisol into your body because of it isn’t necessary. Learn from your mistakes and move on.
Ever give up!
The most important point is last. Whatever happens, keep going! Don’t give up!
Eat more fat.
In the beginning of your new lifestyle you are probably afraid of fat because that’s what you’ve known for years that fat is bad. Even if you think you are eating enough fat, add some extra. Get your brain used to the idea that fat is OK. This happens so often: a person starts low carb but doesn’t eat enough fat. Then he/she is hungry but can’t satisfy this hunger with carbs so he/she eats too much protein. Too much protein was discussed before, can result in weight loss plateau or weight gain. Eat more fat! Choose fattier pieces of protein, add butter, coconut oil or fatty sauces (like homemade mayonnaise or bearnaise or hollandaise), dress your veggies in some heavy cream of cheese, add good quality oils to your fresh greens. As I like to say: butter things up!
Am I contradicting myself now? No. Don’t work out like crazy but a little walk here and there will be good for you. Get outside, walk around, enjoy the weather and fresh air. Take some time to walk around, listen to music and think about things. That is time for you that you need to take sometimes. If you were mildly active before starting low carb, keep that up if you feel OK. Listen to your body! At some point in low-carbing, you will feel so much energy all the time that you need to release it somewhere. Then introduce workouts to your life.
Listen to your body.
That kind of sums up a lot of my points. If you are hungry, eat (right foods). If you feel tired, rest. If you feel like exploding from energy, do some activities. Listen to your body, it’s pretty smart.
You have made the right turn to a better life when starting with a low carb lifestyle. Enjoy yourself! You are losing weight, your health is improving and a lot of good changes are happening. Enjoy those things. Be happy when you reach goals and fulfill dreams. Happiness is definitely good for you and your weightloss.
- Seek for support and help.
If things aren’t going as the are supposed to, seek for help and support. There are great low carb forums and support groups or communities (like on Instagram) out there. Join them and talk to other people. There are so many of us doing low carb lifestyle that someone can sure help you with your problem or has gone through the same thing. Don’t be afraid to look for help! It’s OK.
Take advantage of all parts of the low carb movement.
Low carb is awesome. There are so many great new recipes, ingredients and tips around that you had no idea about. Take part in all of that. If you search hashtags #lowcarb, #lowcarbhighfat, #atkins, #primal, #paleo, #keto, #ketosis, #lchf on Instagram, you get millions of pictures of food that you can eat. And there is everything: cakes, cupcakes, pancakes, waffles, meats, fish, veggies, deserts, breakfasts, drinks, salads, stews… You name it. You will find interesting meal ideas and recipes. Have fun cooking new things and experiencing new flavours. And you start to be a part in the low carb movement, you will find great friends all over the world. Isn’t that great?
I think that’s it for today. If you have any other do’s or don’ts I should know about, enlighten me. Or if you think that some do’s should be in the don’ts section or vice versa, let me know.