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Low carb diet or low glycemic diet is a broad term, encompassing many popular diet books as well as eating plans that advice limiting the consumption of high carbohydrate foods usually for weight control or for the treatment of obesity.

Some diets limit the amount of overall carbohydrate, while others focus on certain types of foods, generally ones high in starch and sugars. Still others focus on how glycemic the diet is.

A common mistake is to equate low carb with the very low carb phase of some popular diets, such as the Induction Phase of the Atkins Diet. These phases are usually meant to be quite short, with more carbohydrate phased in after that.

Medical research related to low carb diets

Until recently a significant criticism of the diet trend was that there were no studies that evaluated the effects of the diets beyond a few months. However, studies are emerging which evaluate these diets over much longer periods, controlled studies as long as two years and survey studies as long as two decades.

In addition to research on the efficacy of the diets some research has directly addressed other areas of health affected by low-carbohydrate diets. Contrary to popular belief that low-carbohydrate diets damage the heart, one study found that women eating low-carbohydrate, high-fat/protein diets had the same or slightly less risk of coronary heart disease, compared to women eating high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets.
Other studies have found possible benefits to individuals with diabetes, cancer, and autism. The ketogenic diet, with 90% of energy from fat and much of the remaining from protein, has been used since the 1920s to treat epilepsy. Nevertheless some studies demonstrate potentially harmful effects of low-carbohydrate diets including various metabolic and emotional side-effects.

Top 9 low carb diet mistakes

Eating unbalanced low carb diet

Many people go on "low-carb" nutrition plans, yet seemingly have no idea which foods are full of carbohydrates and which aren't. One of the most common misconceptions is dairy products. Several people drink milk and eat yogurt on their low-carb plans. Unfortunately, both of these foods are very high in lactose, a simple sugar. Even certain fruits and vegetables are loaded with carbs. Some low carb foods and drinks are marketed that way but actually do have carbs. The point here is to be educated on what you are eating if you expect to reap the full benefits of a low-carb approach to dieting.

Some people also use a low-carb diet as an excuse to eat foods that are horrible for their bodies. People make the carbohydrate levels of a food the only determining factor for whether they can eat it. Bacon, pork rinds, cheese, etc are all low-carb foods, but it doesn't mean they are healthy for you. Don't use low-carbs as an excuse to eat foods that are high in saturated fats and preservatives. A low-carb lifestyle requires you to go easy on refined carbohydrates such as alcoholic beverages, cakes, fast food, pasta, white bread, white rice, sugar and sweets. Indeed, about every low-carb diet should include ample amounts of vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.

Giving up because of carb crash

There are several approaches to low carb eating, and there are often slips at initial stages, as you try to find one the one that works best for you, or try to modify an existing one. There is a tendency to go over the top when everything doesn't go perfectly, and give up.

A prime example is eating too little carbohydrate at first and suffering a carb crash, a condition wherein glucose in the body becomes used up because of low carbohydrate level but protein and fat are not yet being used up by the body, leading to irritability, fatigue or shaking. It is not the right time to decide that low carbs aren’t for you. This is a shame, when a simple adjustment can usually get you through the first week comfortably, to the great rewards at the end of it.

Eating no vegetables and fruit at all

Some people don't feel good eating low carbs, and it turns out they are eating almost no vegetables or fruit. Fruits and vegetables also need to be a part of a good low carb diet. Fruits and vegetables help prevent heart disease and some cancers, and studies show that people who consume more produce tend to be thinner than those who do not. Another advantage of fruits in particular is that they provide a mouthful of sweetness that is much more satisfying to a dieter than a cookie or candy bar.

Most low-carbohydrate diet plans easily accommodate most vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, avocado, peppers, etc. It is advised to stick with green vegetables and avoid fruits like bananas and pineapple that are higher on the glycemic index.

Eating no fibers

Eating enough vegetables and fruits ensure enough fiber in your diet. High fiber foods are generally low in calories and fill you up, so eating more of them means you’re eating fewer calories and leaving less room for calories from other foods. Fiber also cuts calories by attaching itself to some of the other proteins and fats that you eat and eliminates them as well. The average person consumes about 8g of fiber per day, but many experts recommend 25g. Start your day with a high fiber cereal and keep eating fiber throughout the day.

Eating too much

Some people make the mistake of thinking that they can just keep eating and eating, and still lose weight as long as the food is low fat. So it is wise to eat when you are hungry, and stop when you are comfortable.

Also, most people experience less satisfaction when eating a low-fat meal, so they tend to overeat on low-fat/high-carbohydrate diets. That makes it really hard to keep the calories (and weight) down.

Eating same food all the time

There are people who eat the same things day after day, and like it that way. But most of us like variety, and get bored very quickly with the monotonous food items. In fact, a varied diet provides us the widest array of nutrients. Every cuisine has low carb options - just be careful to skip the starch and sugar.
Problem ingredients in low carb package foods

Be cautious of meal replacement bars, ice cream, and other treats labeled low carb or sugar-free. They often contain ingredients such as maltitol which are just as bad as sugar. In general, products that talk about their net carbs or impact carbs deserve close analysis of the ingredients, and careful experimentation.

Carb creep

Even those of us who have been eating low carb for many years sometimes find ourselves with "carb creep" wherein all of a sudden, you start getting carb cravings again, little by little your carb level creeps up and you get over our limit. This hits you when you expect it the least. It causes havoc especially when you're under stress.

No exercise

Some people may think that a low-carb diet means they can skip the exercise, which is not true. While you can lose weight by diet alone, it is very unlikely to be able to maintain a significant weight loss without exercise. So to maximize the weight loss, long-term success, and health benefits, you should exercise and aim to do it for 40 minutes or more at least 2 to 3 times a week. A combination of resistance training and aerobic work produces the best fat loss results.

So above explained are some common low-carb diet mistakes that hurt your progress. Follow the steps to identify and avoid carb mistakes so that you can shed the pounds faster.

  • lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/faq/f/lcdfaq1.htm
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-Carb_Diet
  • lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/lowcarb101/a/lowcarbmistakes.htm

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