Many people are getting into the fitness craze now that studies have linked many potentially deadly health conditions to having an unhealthy lifestyle and diet. Obesity has been linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer, which is why many people are getting out of their couches and hitting the gym. Many diet plans have emerged, and most of them involve limiting or even eliminating carbohydrates or carbs from your diet.
We know that carbohydrate is an essential macronutrient, along with protein and fat, which plays an important role in your overall health. However, improper consumption and utilization of carbohydrates can often lead to being converted into sugar and getting stored in the body as fat. Thus, altering our dietary patterns is one effective solution to losing weight and getting our bodies back in shape.
Here, we will discuss how you can stay fit without the presence of carbs in your diet.
Adopt a Keto Diet
A ketogenic or keto diet is a low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet. This diet plan stimulates ketosis – a metabolic process where the body uses fats and ketones stored as a source of energy, instead of carbohydrates. Cutting back on your carb intake will force your body to look for an alternative source of energy, which is now fat due to this diet. This is what makes this diet popular among those seeking to lose weight and those who want to maintain a lean physique.
The keto diet might be a promising weight-loss strategy, but about performing everyday tasks? Many people doubt that going on a keto diet can be detrimental for workout and athletic purposes as carbs can readily provide the needed energy for doing intense physical activities. The good news is that with proper training, your body will eventually be able to utilize ketones as a source of energy from your body fats, rather than utilizing glycogen from carbohydrates. There are several diet and training hacks, but quite remarkable is this guide for running a marathon on keto by a British sports coach and marathoner that gives simple steps to follow to get your body immediately adapted to fat as an energy source. When you are training while on a keto diet, it is recommended in this guide that you do training runs on an empty stomach to make your body get used to utilizing ketones for energy. The good thing about training for an endurance sport like marathons on a keto diet is that you are not restricted from taking fats, but there are certain fruits and vegetables you can still eat to meet your five-percent carbohydrate intake. Also, you can’t leave carbs out of the picture just yet, as you may still need carbs during the race day to give you a much-needed boost without disrupting your fat utilization.
Go For a Paleo Diet
Tipping the macronutrient balance in favor of proteins can also give you a fit and sculpted physique. Many people are getting an idea from our prehistoric ancestors when it comes to a healthy diet. The proponents of the paleo diet noticed that our hunter-gatherer ancestors were generally healthy and robust, which is most likely due to eating natural food sources, particularly unprocessed meat and freshly picked fruits and vegetables. The carb intake in this type of diet isn’t as restrictive as the keto diet, but going for natural and unprocessed carb sources can limit the carbohydrates you can take. Grains (including whole grains), bread, and pastries are a no-go for this diet, as are legumes (beans, peas, lentils, etc.). Having a diet that’s high in protein, moderate in fats, and low in carbohydrates can make you lose fat easily and maintain a leaner physique by building and maintaining muscle mass. An added benefit of a paleo diet is it is the high fiber from the fruits and vegetables, which helps in maintaining digestive health, stabilizing cholesterol levels, aiding in proper metabolism, and maintaining bowel health. Dietary fiber also helps you lose weight by making you feel fuller and less likely to get hungry between meals.
Try a Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet
Another popular diet program that many fitness enthusiasts are adapting is the Mediterranean diet. Studies conducted on the pre-20th century diet of people in the Mediterranean countries have found a link with lower cases of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and breast cancer in these countries compared with countries outside of this region. While the typical Mediterranean diet consists of abundant fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and grains, tweaking this setup to make it a low-carb one can give the added benefit of weight loss aside from having good overall health. Ramping up on fatty fish, poultry, and dairy intake and using olive oil as a primary fat source can help you manage your weight efficiently. This type of protein source is a healthier option than red meat and it helps satiate your hunger more satisfactorily and leaves you with a full feeling for a longer time. Olive oil prevents high blood pressure and stroke by promoting proper blood circulation, maintaining normal blood pressure levels, and preventing inflammations among other benefits. Taking the Mediterranean route of dieting and reducing carbs to go along with it will get you satisfactory weight loss results.
Create a Personalized Low-Carb Diet
Getting rid of carbohydrates entirely from your diet is not advisable, according to doctors and nutritionists. You can skip carb intake for a day or two, but you cannot eliminate it from your diet without suffering health consequences. If the low-fat diets given here are too restrictive or too hard to maintain, you can always create a personalized low-carb that fits your lifestyle and your unique physical and metabolic makeup. Some diet plans may work for others but not for you, so you have to improvise or be innovative with your dietary approach. Remember that a proper diet is only half of your fitness program. You also have to complement it with regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle by avoiding excessive stress and vices. As much as possible, keep complex carbohydrates in your diet and eliminate simple or refined carbohydrates to keep your energy levels stable even on a low-carb diet.
Staying fit should no longer be a temporary measure for you to take. It should be part of your daily life for you to benefit from its lifetime rewards. There are many ways of getting healthy and fit, and carbs should not be erased from the equation. It is still a valuable macronutrient, after all, so you can only limit your intake of it. Balanced nutrition is best achieved from the harmony of nutrients.