Choosing to rely on a low carbohydrate diet for weight-loss is more than just a dietary change, it is actually a life-style choice. It involves making the conscious decision to reject the proliferation of packaged and heavily processed foods. These are substituted with fresh whole foods that are less fatty and more nutritious.
The hardest and most challenging part is getting started. At the start, most people are overwhelmed when their favourite foods suddenly become off limits. In this article you will learn 5 simple but effective tips that will help you get started and keep on track in maintaining a low carbohydrate diet.
Thoroughly research and make a plan early on what foods will be part of your diet
Making a plan not only ensures you are organised but also psychologically prepares you to begin the transition to a low carbohydrate lifestyle. Once you are psychologically prepared and also armed with the right information it will be easier to stay on track. A clear and organised plan also ensures that you do not occidentally eat foods you should be avoiding out of ignorance.
The most reliable way of ensuring that you are on track with a low carbohydrate diet is planning your meals in advance. Take the prerogative t plan out menus and go grocery shopping for healthy fresh snacks and ingredients. This is the best way to avoid ‘cheating’ on your diet. When trying to adapt to a low carbohydrate diet, failing to plan is planning to fail.
Make your priority living healthy and avoid obsessing about shedding off the pounds
While loosing weight is a great side effect of a low carbohydrate diet, focusing and obsessing about the pounds you loose can discourage you quickly. This is because a low carbohydrate diet is a slow and steady weight loss plan that aims at sustainable weight loss; it is not the fastest way to shed off those extra pounds.
Keep yourself motivated by looking at the lifestyle changes you make as a way to healthy way loose weight while reducing the risk of diseases associated with unhealthy eating such as heart ailments. The trick is to always think in terms of long-term goals.
Since a low carbohydrate diet only works when done consistently for a long time, you will need to make it fun and enjoyable
Making a lifestyle change will be more successful if you make the experience enjoyable hence easy to adapt to. Keep in mind that it is extremely difficult to adapt to a habit that is painful and hard to adhere to. Be creative with your meals and make them as delicious as possible.
This will require taking sometime to research and develop simple but healthy recipes that are fun to prepare and even more fun to eat. You will realise overtime that contrary to common misconception, there are numerous healthy and delicious low-carb substitutes for high carb foods that most of us are addicted to.
Always carry a bottle of water and a fresh snacks with you
Adapting to a low carb diet means getting over sugary cravings and unhealthy snacking. Having water on the go helps you create the illusion of fullness hence helps you fight off cravings. Healthy snacks also come in handy whenever the hunger pangs hit!
Its not rocket science so try not to be too hard on yourself
Since a low carb diet is a total lifestyle change, the only way to adhere to it is not to put too much pressure on yourself. Apart from having a detrimental impact on your body, stress also makes it physiologically harder to loose weight. To reduce stress and worrying, simply don’t think of it as a diet and instead view it as an effort to maintain a healthy relationship with food. With time your body will adapt to it and your carb cravings will significantly reduce. You will be surprised that in time you will start craving healthy fresh foods that you once shunned.
A low carb diet requires total lifestyle change, this does not necessarily mean that is has to be a difficult adjustment. With these 5 simple but effective tips, you will significantly boost your chances of strictly adhering to a low carb diet.
Changing your diet tends to be extremely stressful therefore it is best to understand how stress affects your body so that you can remain stress free no matter how challenging the new diet is.
How stress affects the body; the brain and body connection
It is a little known fact that the human body responds to the way you act, feel and think. Whenever you are stressed, upset or anxious; your body will react in a way that might tell you something is wrong or something is not right. Sometimes physical signs are indicators or emotional distress. Being free from stress implies having good emotional health which enables you to be fully aware of all your feelings, behaviors and thoughts. Stress-management techniques are essentially ways to enable a person have increased control over their emotional wellbeing by learning to cope and manage stress. The connection between the body and mind is what makes treatments such as relaxation, hypnosis, visual imagery and yoga effective in alleviating and managing emotional stress. Stress affects the body and mind in several ways; here is a brief but detailed outline of some of the ways stress affects the human body specifically the brain.
How Stress affects the brain
When the brain is constantly and consistent exposed to elevated negative stress levels, it shuts down to protect itself. Although it continues working and functioning normally, the rate of growth slows down creating susceptibility to depression, anxiety and less resilience and tolerance to handling stressful situations. Unmanaged stress can have detrimental effects on the brain and this can manifest in the following ways;
Exposure to consistent toxic levels of stress negatively impacts learning, memory and emotion
Exposure to stress particularly at a young age or during adolescence when the brain is still developing can impair learning, memory and emotional stability. Essentially, consistent and unmanaged stress compromises the architecture of the brain and weakens the foundation upon which behavior, learning and health are built.
Increases susceptibility to addiction
Addiction helps to distract yourself from emotional pain and is used as an escape. Ever wondered why stressed is accompanied by addiction to alcohol and pain medication? The answer is simple! Addictive behaviour provides a temporary relief from physical pain and also helps to blunt physiological and emotional pain. Extensive and reliable scientific research has ascertained that there is a strong link between addictive behaviour and toxic stress or even depression.
Consistent exposure to stress cause hypersensitivity and over-reactivity to any potential threat
Being overly exposed to stress for a long time has a significant impact on the brain. The more a particular section of the brain is activated, the more permanent it becomes overtime. This means that when the threat response is continuously triggered, a person develops a hypersensitivity to threat and danger. With time it will lead to a tendency to misread non-threatening and ambiguous situations as dangerous. A person also develops a greater likelihood to sense hostility and anger even when there is none at all. Continuous exposure to stress leads to a constant state of high alertness even in the absence of a real threat or stressor.
Exposure to continuous stress causes greater vulnerability to mental illness
Research from Harvard University proved that subjects who were exposed to chronic stress in childhood were more likely to develop depression in adulthood. This means that chronic childhood stress has the potential to cause depression in adulthood. One of the reasons to explain this maybe learned helplessness-when you are constantly stressed, your mind learns that there is nothing you do that will improve your situation or make a difference. This attitude is a definite precursor for depression.
Exposure to elevated stress levels makes a person susceptible to physical illness
Chronic stress triggers the overproduction of stress hormones which significantly interfere with the normal functioning of the immune system and the endocrine system. This has been associated with increased vulnerability to autoimmune ailments such as asthma, allergies and arthritis. Additionally, it is also associated with elevated inflammatory responses.
Research unequivocally ascertains that consistent exposure to chronic stress increases the chances of developing migraines and pain conditions
Toxic stress particularly during the early developmental years is a significant risk factor for migraines. People exposed to stressful conditions such as abuse and neglect are likely to have pain conditions compared to those who are emotionally healthy. Research has specifically shown a link between emotional distress and irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Effective stress management techniques help you healthily cope with stress so that you can decrease the harmful effects of stress. By inculcating stress-alleviating techniques into your daily routine, you are consciously preventing the effects of stress from spiraling out of control.