Want to lose weight and stay away from killer diseases like diabetes, heart disease, or cancer? Then, you must start being on a low-carb diet. Research suggests that people who follow a low-carb diet have better health and may have enhanced brain function (1) (2) (3) (4). A low-carb diet specifically means a diet low in refined sugar, processed foods, high GI foods, etc., and high in proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs, such as whole grains, veggies, and fruits. Two of the most popular low-carb diets are the Ketogenic diet and Atkins diet, and many fitness experts swear by them. In this article, you will find a 7-day low-carb diet plan, low-carb recipes, foods to eat and avoid, and much more. But first, let’s see why you should avoid carbs and if all carbs are bad.
Carbohydrates are broken down into sugar in the body, which gets stored as fat if not used as an energy source. Moreover, simple carbs (refined sugar, cakes, pastry, milk chocolate, etc.) are digested and absorbed quickly, which leads to blood sugar and insulin spikes. And after a period of overconsumption of simple carbs and regular spikes in insulin levels, the insulin stops signaling the cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. This leads to high blood sugar levels, making the body insulin resistant and prone to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, etc. This entire process can be reversed by following a low-carb diet. When you consume less simple carbs, your blood glucose levels are in check, and your body starts to become insulin sensitive. This helps keep the metabolism running, prevents fat storage, and protects from obesity-related diseases.
Don’t think that a low-carb diet means you will be completely off carbs. You will consume a lot of complex carbs that are found in fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
Complex carbs are digested and absorbed much slowly and hence do not cause sudden blood sugar or insulin spikes. Also, they aid in proper bowel movement, thereby preventing constipation and slow metabolism.
Reducing carbohydrates drastically causes the body to go into a different metabolic state called ketosis, where it burns fat for providing fuel. Reduction in carbs results in lower insulin levels as the person is getting energy from ketones, little carbon fragments that are created by the breakdown of fat stores. This causes you to feel less hungry and shed excess weight since the body burns fat instead of burning carbohydrates.
Finally, a low-carb diet allows you to eat a lot of proteins and healthy fats that help build lean muscle mass, increase the transition time of the digested food, and help reduce inflammation.
So, this is how a low-carb diet works.
Here’s a 7-day low-carb diet plan for you. Adhere to this plan if you want to lose weight.
|Days||Early Morning (6:00 – 7:00 am)||Breakfast (7:00 – 7:45 am)||Mid morning (10 – 10:45 am)||Lunch (12:30 – 1:30 pm)||Evening Snack (3:30 – 4:30 pm)||Dinner (7:00 – 7:30 pm)|
|Monday||2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in 1 cup water||2 boiled eggs + 1 cup grapefruit juice + 4 slices of avocado||1 cup green tea||1 cup blanched veggies (spinach, carrot, broccoli, green peas) + 1 wheat pita bread + 1 grilled chicken breast/ 1 cup lentils||1 cup green tea + 10 in-shell pistachios||1 cup chicken or mushroom clear soup + 1 slice of whole wheat bread + 1 cup warm milk/soy milk before bed|
|Tuesday||2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in 1 cup water||Oatmeal with blueberries + 2 almonds||1 small bowl cucumber||Tuna or vegetable salad with light dressing||1 cup green tea + ½ cup celery||1 cup sautéed veggies + 3 oz grilled fish/ ½ cup grilled mushroom with cheese|
|Wednesday||2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in 1 cup water||Vegetable quinoa + ½ grapefruit||1 cup coconut water||1 Cucumber boat with veggies or grilled chicken/mushroom with cheese + 1 cup buttermilk||1 cup green tea + 1 multigrain biscuit||Brown rice with stir-fried veggies + 1 cup warm milk/soy milk before bed|
|Thursday||2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in 1 cup water||Spinach and mushroom egg omelet with cheese + 2 almonds + ½ cup watermelon juice||1 cup green tea||1 cup mixed pulses soup with cauliflower + 2 oz grilled fish||1 cup freshly pressed juice without sugar||Chicken or vegetable stew + 1 whole wheat pita bread|
|Friday||2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in 1 cup water||Vegetable semolina + 1 kiwi||1 cup freshly made lemonade||Tofu lettuce wrap + 1 cup buttermilk||1 cup green tea + 10 in-shell pistachios||Butternut squash soup + 1 piece of dark chocolate + 1 cup warm milk/soy milk before bed|
|2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in 1 cup water||2 pancakes with maple syrup and 2 tablespoons Nutella + 1 cup grapefruit juice||1 cup black coffee (without sugar)||Spinach stuffed grilled chicken breast with grilled sweet potato, asparagus, and broccoli||1 cup green tea + 1 cup plain popcorn||Whole wheat pasta with chicken/mushroom, tomato, olive oil, and basil + 1 piece of brownie|
|Sunday||2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in 1 cup water||2 scrambled eggs + 1 slice whole wheat bread + 1 cup papaya smoothie||1 cup green tea||Chicken/mushroom stew||1 cup freshly pressed juice without sugar||1 cup vegetable quinoa + 2 oz grilled fish/ boiled beans + 1 cup warm milk/soy milk before bed|
You can follow this diet plan for as long as you want, but make sure that you take care of the following points.
Now, let me tell you what you can eat and which foods you must avoid while you are on a low-carb diet.
Vegetables – Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, red cabbage, bell pepper, okra, eggplant, peas, French beans, bottle gourd, ridge gourd, bitter gourd, squash, onion, tomato, cucumber, celery, banana flower, green chili, carrot, beetroot, baby corn, sweet potato, potato with peel, etc.
Fruits – Figs, watermelon, muskmelon, honeydew melon, apple, pear, plum, pluot, pineapple, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, papaya, grapes, orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangerine, etc.
Protein – Fish, chicken breast, eggs, lean cuts of pork and beef, mushroom, legumes, tofu, soy chunks, etc.
Dairy – Milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Grains – Brown rice, quinoa, barley, oats, etc.
Fats And Oils – Olive oil, rice bran oil, ghee, sunflower butter, peanut butter, and almond butter.
Nuts And Seeds – Almond, walnut, pistachios, macadamia, pine nuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Beverages – Freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juice, coconut water, buttermilk, milk, soy milk, and almond milk.
Herbs And Spices – Ginger, garlic, turmeric, clove, nutmeg, rosemary, cilantro, dill, fennel, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, mace, bay leaf, oregano, basil, etc.
Vegetables – Potato without the peel.
Fruits – Jackfruit and mango (eat them in minimum amounts).
Protein – Chicken with skin, red meat, sausage, salami, and pepperoni.
Dairy – Low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, flavored yogurt, and flavored milk-based drinks.
Grains – White rice (you may eat white rice provided you eat at least 5 veggies with it).
Fats & Oils – Animal fat, vegetable oil, butter, and margarine.
Beverages – Alcohol, packaged fruit and vegetable juices, soda, and energy drinks.
Others – Candy, sweets, milk chocolate, junk food, salty food, wafers, etc.
So, it’s clear that you should steer clear of foods rich in sugar, salt, and starch. But, merely following a good diet will not help you lose weight. You also need to be active and keep your mind and body fit to reap the best benefits of a low-calorie diet. Here’s a workout plan for you.
Remember, you must workout at least three hours per week. You can start by working out every alternate day and then three consecutive days, with two days rest in between. When you are comfortable enough, you must workout five to six days a week, with one or two days of rest. Working out will keep your metabolism active, create a negative energy balance in your body, improve brain function, and build muscle power and strength.
Like working out, eating healthy yet tasty food is also important so that you don’t drift away from this diet plan. Here are a few low-carb diet recipes for you.
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 7 min Total Time: 17 min Serves: 2
Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time: 2 min Total Time: 7 min Serves: 2
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 15 min Total Time: 30 min Serves: 2
Let me tell you what benefits you can reap if you follow a diet that is low in carbs.
A low-carb diet can do a lot good, but it has temporary side effects. Let’s find out what they are.
To conclude, a low-carb diet is good for you – provided you consume good carbs along with lean protein and healthy fats. The key is to strike the right balance of different food groups that are apt for your body. So, consult your doctor or dietician today and start following a customized low-carb diet plan. You will see results in just a few days’ time. Good luck!