No Carb Diet Plan For Weight Loss

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No carb diet plan for weight loss is the best way to shed pounds fast. Many people wonder what is the best recipe for weight loss, how to lose weight without exercise, or how to loose weight for teenagers.

What Is a Zero-Carb Diet, and What Foods Can You Eat?

A no-carb diet is an extreme version of low-carb dieting. It eliminates almost all carbs, including whole grains, fruits, and most vegetables.

While studies show that decreasing your carb intake can help you shed pounds and may have health benefits, completely eliminating carbs is highly restrictive and most likely unnecessary.

This article provides a detailed overview of a no-carb diet, including its potential benefits, downsides, and foods to eat and avoid.

What is a no-carb diet?

A no-carb diet is a way of eating that eliminates digestible carbs as much as possible.

Carbs are your body’s primary source of energy. They’re found in grains, beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, milk, yogurt, pasta, bread, and baked goods.

Therefore, someone on a no-carb diet must avoid most of these foods and instead eat foods that contain primarily protein or fat, such as meats, fish, eggs, cheese, oils, and butter.

There is no strict rubric for a no-carb diet. Some people who follow it eat nuts and seeds, non-starchy vegetables, and high-fat fruits like avocado and coconut.

Even though these foods have some carbs, they’re high in fiber. Therefore, they have only a minuscule number of digestible or net carbs, which is calculated by subtracting the amount of fiber from the total number of carbs .

A no-carb diet resembles a ketogenic diet, which limits your carb intake to fewer than 30 grams per day and encourages you to get 70% or more of your daily calories from fat .

Depending on what you choose to eat, a no-carb diet can be more restrictive than keto.

SUMMARY

A no-carb diet largely bans carbs, instead encouraging foods that are primarily comprised of protein and fat. In some cases, you can eat high-fiber foods as well.

How to follow a no-carb diet

Some online sources recommend keeping your net carb intake to 20–50 grams per day on a no-carb diet, but there are no specific macronutrient ranges or any set protocol.

Simply put, when you follow a no-carb diet, you avoid all high-carb foods.

Specifically, you should eliminate whole and refined grains, baked goods, fruits, milk, yogurt, beans, legumes, pasta, bread, sugar-sweetened beverages, and starchy vegetables like peas and corn.

Food and drinks allowed on a no-carb diet include meat, fish, eggs, cheese, butter, oils, water, and plain coffee or tea.

If you’re less stringent, you can also eat nuts, seeds, non-starchy vegetables, and high-fat fruits like avocado and coconut since these foods are low in net carbs.

Since this diet focuses on restricting a specific macronutrient, there are no recommendations for daily calorie intake or portion sizes.

SUMMARY

A no-carb diet eliminates all carb-rich foods like grains, baked goods, and fruits, instead encouraging foods high in protein and fat.

Foods to eat

Foods that are typically allowed on a no-carb diet include:

  • Meat and low-carb animal products: chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, venison, bison, pork, eggs, butter, lard, cheese
  • Seafood: salmon, tilapia, cod, shrimp, sardines, herring, crab
  • Seasonings: herbs and spices
  • Zero-calorie beverages: water, black coffee, and plain tea
  • Nuts and seeds (those low in net carbs): almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, cashews
  • Non-starchy vegetables (those low in net carbs): broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers, cauliflower, leafy greens, rutabaga, turnips, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, mushrooms
  • High-fat fruits: coconut, avocado

SUMMARY

A no-carb diet restricts foods that are high in carbs and relies primarily on meat, dairy, seafood, and low-carb plant foods.

Foods to avoid

A no-carb diet is highly restrictive and eliminates several food groups, such as:

  • Grains: rice, farro, barley, quinoa, wheat, bread, pasta
  • Sweets and baked goods: cakes, cookies, candy, sodas, sugary drinks
  • Fruits: apples, oranges, bananas, berries, kiwi, pears
  • Starchy vegetables: peas, corn, squash, potatoes
  • Beans and legumes: black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils
  • Dairy: milk and yogurt
  • Condiments with added sugar: ketchup, barbecue sauce, salad dressings
  • Alcohol: beer, wine, liquor, sugary mixed drinks.

Sample menu

Here is a sample five-day menu for a no-carb diet.

Day 1

  • Breakfast: eggs, bacon, sliced avocado
  • Lunch: romaine lettuce with ground turkey, cheese, and olive oil dressing
  • Dinner: salmon, zucchini noodles, side of sunflower seeds
  • Snacks: beef jerky, cheese

Day 2

  • Breakfast: eggs, steak, bell pepper strips
  • Lunch: tuna-fish lettuce wraps, carrots dipped in mashed avocado
  • Dinner: lamb chops, spinach salad with walnuts and olive oil dressing
  • Snacks: hard-boiled eggs, pistachios

Day 3

  • Breakfast: eggs, turkey sausage, avocado
  • Lunch: scallops, Brussels sprouts roasted with Parmesan cheese
  • Dinner: pork chops, roasted tomatoes, and turnips
  • Snacks: sunflower seeds, brie

Day 4

  • Breakfast: eggs with shredded chicken, jalapeño, cheddar cheese
  • Lunch: turkey burger patties with rutabaga fries
  • Dinner: meatballs and zucchini noodles with roasted tomatoes
  • Snacks: sardines, macadamia nuts

Day 5

  • Breakfast: cheesy eggs with broccoli, chicken sausage
  • Lunch: flank steak and arugula salad with olive oil dressing, cashews
  • Dinner: coconut-crusted shrimp, roasted asparagus, and mushrooms
  • Snacks: turkey jerky, avocado

Downsides of a no-carb diet

A no-carb diet may have a number of downsides.

May cause constipation and low energy

Since a no-carb diet restricts fruits, most vegetables, beans, and whole grains, it can be very low in fiber.

Fiber is important for digestion since it helps maintain bowel regularity. Because of this, a no-carb diet may lead to constipation and digestive discomfort.

What’s more, carbs are your body’s primary source of energy. Therefore, a no-carb diet may lead to low energy and fatigue, especially in the beginning.

The metabolic changes that occur in your body when you cut carbs can also cause poor mental function, nausea, and disrupted sleep in the short term.

May lack some nutrients

A no-carb diet may not provide enough vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, B vitamins, and vitamin C, which are abundant in fruits, vegetables, and other plant food.

Additionally, the increased urination that results from restricting carbs may lead to deficiencies in sodium and potassium over time.

Eating a balanced diet with a variety of foods can help ensure that you get enough of the nutrients you need. Additionally, it’s more sustainable than a no-carb diet in the long term.

Ten low-carb diet tips

Many people find following a low-carb diet challenging, particularly at the beginning of the diet. The following low-carb diet tips might help people stick to their diet and may help them lose weight successfully.

1. Knowing what foods are low-carb

Low-carb foods include:

  • lean meats, such as sirloin, chicken breast, or pork
  • fish
  • eggs
  • leafy green vegetables
  • cauliflower and broccoli
  • nuts and seeds, including nut butter
  • oils, such as coconut oil, olive oil, and rapeseed oil
  • some fruit, such as apples, blueberries, and strawberries
  • unsweetened dairy products including plain whole milk and plain Greek yogurt

2. Know the carb counts and serving sizes of foods

Most low carb diets only allow for 20 to 50 grams (g) of carbohydrates per day. Because of this, it is essential that people following low-carb diets choose foods that have a lower carb count but a high nutritional value per serving.

The foods in the quantities listed below all contain approximately 15 g of carbs:

  • 1 tennis ball sized apple or orange
  • 1 cup of berries
  • 1 cup of melon cubes
  • ½ medium banana
  • 2 tablespoons of raisins
  • 8 ounces of milk
  • 6 ounces of plain yogurt
  • ½ cup corn
  • ½ cup peas
  • ½ cup beans or legumes
  • 1 small baked potato
  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1/3 cup of cooked rice

While the foods listed above all contain roughly equal amounts of carbohydrates, they are not all nutritionally equivalent. The dairy products on the list contain protein and vital nutrients, such as Vitamin D and calcium in addition to the carbohydrate content.

The fruit and vegetables also contain essential vitamins and minerals. Choosing whole-grain varieties of bread and rice will provide more nutrients than white varieties, even though the carb content is similar.

3. Make a meal plan

meal plan
A meal plan can help a person organise their food for the forthcoming week.

A meal plan can help make things easier.

Anyone trying to follow a low-carb diet could try mapping out their week and plan all meals before heading to the grocery store.

Planning meals in advance can help people stick to the diet.

Knowing what they are going to eat for lunch and dinner can help a person avoid making unhealthful food choices, such as stopping at a fast food restaurant.

Meal planners are available for purchase online.

4. Meal prep

Planning is one thing, but preparing meals ahead of time can also help. Meal prep can help a person:

  • avoid making unhealthful food choices
  • save time during busier times of the week
  • save money

Some people like to prepare a week’s worth of breakfasts and lunches ahead of time and store the meals in containers, so they are convenient and ready to go. It is possible to freeze some meals too, meaning people can prepare even more food in advance.

Having lots of pre-prepared meals on hand can help people avoid choosing less healthful options.

Popular low-carb meals to prepare in advance include:

  • egg muffins
  • Greek yogurt bowls
  • protein pancakes
  • chicken lettuce wraps
  • protein and vegetable stir fry with no rice

5. Carry low-carb snacks

Low-carb snack options for between meals include:

  • hard boiled eggs
  • unsweetened yogurt
  • baby or regular carrots
  • handful of nuts
  • cheese

It is essential to regulate portion size of any snacks to avoid overeating.

6. Consider carb cycling

Carb cycling involves eating very low-carb foods for a set amount of days, followed by one day of eating higher carb meals. This helps the body avoid fat-burning plateaus that can develop after weeks of low-carb dieting.

Carb cycling is not for everyone, and anyone considering it should talk to their doctor or nutritionist first.

7. Not all carbs are created equal

Carbs come in different forms.

Simple carbs consist of easy to digest sugars. Refined and processed carbs, such as white sugar and white flour, are simple carbs.

People who are starting on a low-carb diet need to think about reducing their intake of refined and processed carbs. Avoiding these carbs will be beneficial for reaching an ideal weight and for health in general.

However, not all simple carbs are created equal. Fruits include fructose, which is a simple carb, but eating fruit is recommended in a low-carb diet, as it is loaded with nutrients and is a whole-food source of carbs.

Complex carbs take longer to digest than simple carbs, as they need to be broken down into a simpler form. Complex carbs are found in more nutrient-rich foods, such as beans, whole-grains, and fiber-rich fruits, such as bananas.

Complex carbs also have the added benefit of making a person feel full faster, which might prevent them from overeating. Complex carbs also make people feel full for longer, which might help them avoid snacking between meals.

8. Be aware of alternatives

lettuce leaf tacos
Lettuce leaf tacos are a recommended low-carb alternative.

Substituting low-carb or no-carb foods for high-carb foods can help reduce carb intake.

Some low-carb substitutions include:

  • lettuce leaves instead of taco shells
  • portobello mushroom caps instead of buns
  • baked butternut squash fries
  • eggplant lasagna
  • cauliflower pizza crust
  • spaghetti squash instead of noodles
  • zucchini ribbons instead of pasta

9. Exercise appropriately

Exercise is an important part of overall health. People should avoid a sedentary lifestyle but refrain from excessive exercising.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source recommend that adults do moderate exercise for 150 minutes a week for a minimum 10 minutes at a time for moderate health benefits. For optimal health benefits, the CDC recommend 300 minutes of exercise. The CDC also suggest that people lift weights or do other strength training exercises to improve overall health.

Those on low-carb diets may want to avoid long periods of intense activity such as distance running. This is because people who are doing a form of exercise that requires extra endurance, such as marathon training, will need extra carbohydrates to fuel their bodies.

10. Use common sense

People should know about potential health risks before starting a low-carb diet.

Short-term health risks caused by a low-carb diet may include:

  • cramping
  • constipation
  • palpitations
  • high cholesterol
  • headaches
  • brain fog
  • lack of energy
  • nausea
  • bad breath
  • rash
  • reduced athletic performance

Long-term health risks caused by a low-carb diet may include:

  • nutritional deficiencies
  • loss of bone density
  • gastrointestinal problems

Some people should not follow a low-carb diet unless instructed to do so by a doctor. These groups of people include those with kidney disease and teenagers.

Not everyone will benefit from, or should even consider, a low-carb diet. Anyone thinking about doing a low-carb diet should speak with a doctor before starting.

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