Are you looking for weight loss success stories to inspire you? Find out how I lost 29 pounds in six months on a low-carb diet without increasing exercise levels.
I quit smoking in May, 2008. Over the next six months, I gained 45 pounds (20 kg) as I switched from one hand-to-mouth habit (smoking) to another (eating). The worst times were when I was at my computer. That was always when I smoked the most. Unfortunately, when I quit smoking, the urge to put things in my mouth didn’t go away. As a result I started eating candy, sweets, and snack foods while on the computer.
Over the past seven months I have successfully lost 29 pounds (13 kilograms) without increasing my exercise level while walking an average of more than 3 miles per day. This equates to approximately one pound per week. I achieved this with a low carb diet, or more precisely a low carbohydrate diet.
However, there are some things you need to know when using a low carb diet (or low carb diet).
There are three types of calories in food:
Reducing carbohydrate intake too much can be unhealthy. This is because carbohydrates meet most of our energy needs. Carbohydrates are the easiest for us to digest. Insufficient carbohydrate intake means the body may run out of energy. Since fats and proteins are not so easily digested and absorbed, there may come a time when the body does not receive enough energy. This can result in a person becoming dizzy and even losing consciousness… Imagine if this happened while you were driving? not good!
In general it is recommended that about 50% of our calories come from carbohydrates, about 25% from fat and about 25% from protein. The average person needs about 2,300 calories per day, although this figure varies according to weight and activity level. To calculate the amount of each ingredient needed it helps to understand that one gram of carbohydrate contains approximately four calories, one gram of protein contains approximately four calories and one gram of fat contains approximately nine calories. This means that on an average basis, a person needs 10 ounces (285 grams) of carbohydrates, 5 ounces (145 grams) of protein, and 2.25 ounces (64 grams) of fat per day.
It is recommended that you do not reduce your carbohydrate intake by more than 33%.
The second thing to keep in mind is that there are two types of carbohydrates: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. But what are they?
simple carbohydrate definition: Simple carbohydrates are those carbohydrates that are most easily converted into glucose for absorption and conversion into energy by the body. Sources of simple carbohydrates include sugar, candy, sweets, all baked goods made with white flour such as cakes, biscuits and white bread, pasta made with white flour, non-diet sodas and many packaged cereals.
complex carbohydrate definition: Refers to carbohydrates derived from starch and fiber. Complex carbohydrates are released relatively slowly into the bloodstream which prevents spikes or sudden increases in blood sugar levels. Sources of complex carbohydrates include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, brown rice and oatmeal. The main thing to remember is that the closer you are to nature, the healthier it is.
To lose weight, I reduced my carbohydrate intake. The carbohydrates I chose to reduce included mostly simple and processed carbohydrates including sugar (and sugar-containing products), baked products made with white flour such as cakes, biscuits, pasta and white bread, white rice and potatoes. . I generally reduced my consumption of these products by 50%, but increased my consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains (complex carbohydrates) to provide adequate carbohydrates and also increased my protein intake to satisfy hunger.
Here are some tips for reducing carbohydrates or replacing them with complex carbohydrates:
- Use artificial sweeteners or stevia powder instead of using sugar in coffee etc.
- If you have to drink soda, at least drink diet soda.
- Reduce the amount of potatoes, pasta or rice at meals and serve half as much… you can add extra vegetables if you want
- Eat whole grain breads and pasta and brown rice… fiber will slow down digestion and satisfy hunger for longer
- Use thin rice cakes (which are about 3 1/2″ wide and 1/4″ thick) in place of bread as they provide about half the carbohydrates.
- Increase intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- If you love candy and sweets, try sugar-free varieties like Wrigley’s Extra Gum, which satisfy cravings without adding calories.
I hope you have been inspired by my weight loss success story. Perhaps losing weight on a low-carb diet may be easier than you think.