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How Does Low Carb Diet Work For Better Health And Weight Loss?

How Does Low Carb Diet Work For Better Health And Weight Loss?

Going on a low carb diet is something almost everyone has either tried, considered, or heard about at some point. However, low carb diets may mean many different things to different people. The old style low carb dieting meant you ate butter and bacon all day. Most of us know that’s not the quickest ticket to good health, despite that the well-known approach might help you drop weight in the short term.

Thankfully, low carb diets have meant something much different these days. Low carb diets are now usually much more healthy for you and help you eliminate the most harmful carbs from your plate: refined (processed) grains, all added sugars and refined sugars, fast food, and junk food. Most also limit how much starch you have from foods like potatoes and sugars from fruit.

If you want to know more about weight loss, you can’t miss the following article that provides all useful tips you need:

Weight Loss Plan And Program: Create Your Own One

Steamed-Turmeric-Salmon-and-Peppered-Veggies-The-Soulful-Spoon-by-Heather-McClees

    Image Source: The Soulful Spoon

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    Well, there are many reasons why one might adopt a low carb diet. I have actually lived on a technically low carb diet for the last 10 years. At that time, it helped me overcome two serious medical conditions: chronic acne and food addiction. Here’s my experience with a low carb diet:

    • I don’t count grams per day like some diet advice suggests.
    • I don’t eat bacon and butter (or even meat), if you’re wondering.
    • I eat well-balanced meals rich in clean protein, ample amounts of greens, and any veggies I want.
    • I always include some healthy fats in my day.
    • I enjoy produce sources of carbs like berries, green apples, sweet potatoes on occasion, winter squash, pumpkin, and any kind of vegetable I want.
    • Fermented foods are also a daily part of my routine for optimal gut health and mood function.
    • I eat most of my fermented foods in the forms of kimchi, sauerkraut, plain (non-fat) Greek yogurt, coconut kefir, and 100% dark chocolate (which, yes, is a probiotic-rich food!).

    What about whole grains and nuts? Generally, I even eat whole, gluten-free grains such as oats and wild rice if my body tells me it desires or needs them. This style of eating has helped me learn to crave healthier foods and realize just how much better my body feels on real food versus sugar and flour any day. I also find my blood sugar levels are better and my overall focus at work is tenfold what it used to be.

    Besides what I eat, though, what could someone else gain from a low carb diet? Can’t these diets be dangerous? These are things you might be wondering, and with good reason.

    Low-Carb-Diet

      Here is why a (responsible) low carb diet can help you lose weight and improve your health:

      1. It can reduce the amount of sugar in your bloodstream, which is more beneficial for your blood sugar and heart health.
      2. Eating a heart-healthy diet rich in produce, lean sources of protein, and heart-healthy sources of fats (in moderation) can prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
      3. It reduces insulin swings throughout the day due to better blood sugar levels — but don’t cut carbs too much or you may feel lightheaded and dizzy.
      4. It allows for individuals to see how carbs affect them more closely, which can help them tap into their hunger needs more than just giving into sugar and junk food cravings.
      5. It can help you drop weight either temporarily, through water weight when glycogen levels are depleted due to a reduction of carbs, or long-term, when the body starts to burn its own fat as fuel.

      Here are some other things you should know about low carb diets:

      1. If you cut carbs back too much (from produce, especially), you may get sick and even feel like you have the flu. It’s better to take things slow and work on cutting out the added sugars, refined grains, and all processed and fast food before you go worrying about the carbs in berries and vegetables. Seriously, take it slow and focus on whole foods first.
      2. These diets can cause tendencies for disordered thoughts around food if taken too far. Once again, balance is key here.
      3. It is easy to consume too much fat, which even though is beneficial in small amounts throughout the day, is not always beneficial for everyone in large amounts and can lead to weight gain over time. This is especially true when talking about saturated sources in excess of what your body can process.
      4. You may have increased levels of thirst as your body begins to eliminate sodium and water via the kidneys. Drinking enough water as the body adjusts is essential.
      5. A low carb diet can be hard to stick to if you cut back too much on carbs. Once again, whole foods are carbs you should not be eliminating in the beginning unless you have a doctor’s orders.

      How to set yourself up for a successful low carb diet:

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        Image Source: Amy Selleck/Flickr

        Focus on produce, lean protein, and small amounts of  healthy fats at each meal. Even if you’re vegetarian or vegan, this is simple enough to do. What about whole grains, you may be asking? Moderate-style low carb diets can include small amounts of whole grains throughout the day if your body tolerates them well. Some whole grains (especially steel-cut or rolled oats, wild rice, and quinoa) all have many health benefits that you can take advantage of if your body tolerates them. They are also excellent for lowering blood pressure levels and are rich in heart-healthy magnesium, potassium, and are good sources of iron. However, don’t overdo it on them and eat moderate portions (1/4 – 1/3 cup) once a day instead of relying on them at all your meals.

        Lean protein and produce are your friends for weight loss and lean muscle mass, but you still need some healthy fats and whole food sources of carbs to thrive long-term. Just be careful not to eat lots of carbs and fat in one meal if you’re trying to lose weight. The body relies on either fat or carbs for fuel, but it can’t use both. If you’re trying to gain weight, however, here are some safe ways you can do that in a slow and steady manner.

        Supplement tips and recipes to try on a low carb diet:

          Image Source: Cotter Crunch

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          Finally, please don’t rely on diet bars, processed low-carb shakes, and pricey supplements. Get yourself a good multivitamin from a quality brand, a Vitamin D3 supplement, and a probiotic to support your gut health. Take these daily, and if you have issues with constipation or irregularity, eat more vegetables and add some chia or flax seeds to your routine (which you should be eating anyway since they’re great sources of fats and fiber!).

          Here are some recipes you may enjoy on a low carb diet:

          1. Steamed Turmeric Salmon With Lemon Peppered Veggies

          2. Power Asian Crab and Avocado Spiralized Cucumber Power Salad

          3. Grain-Free Lemon Coconut Breakfast Porridge

          4. 2-Minute Low Carb English Muffin

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          5. Veggies in the Raw Bistro Bowl

          Also, you may enjoy these 20 Low-Carb Recipes to Make You Healthier for even more ideas.

          Optimize real foods, kick the sugar and refined foods, and you’ll be on your way to a naturally healthy, low carb diet in no time — without deprivation!

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          Last Updated on May 22, 2019

          10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

          10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

          There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

          One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

          In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

          Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

          1. Cat Camel Stretch

          Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

          Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

          Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

          Here’s a video to guide you through:

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          2. Go for a Walk or a Run

          This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

          Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

          The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

          Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

          Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

          3. Jumping Jacks

          Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

          Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

          4. Abductor Side Lifts

          Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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          Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

          5. Balancing Table Pose

          This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

          Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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            6. Leg Squats

            Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

            Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

            The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

            7. Push Ups

            You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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            An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

            Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

            This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

            8. Bicycle Crunches

            There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

            Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

            9. Lunges

            Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

            Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

            This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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            10. Bicep Curls

            You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

            Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

            Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

            Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

            Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

            These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

            You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

            Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

            More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

            Reference

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