There are many options in the field of low carbohydrate diets. The Keto diet is probably one of the most popular. With this diet, you restrict you carbohydrates and sugar intake but increase the healthy fats in your diet. There are several plans you can follow. These four top low-carb diets are trending right now. Check out these diets and see if one is a good fit for you.
Whole30 is not a lifetime diet. It is more of an elimination diet meant to be followed strictly for 30 days. There is no cheating within that time for it to work properly.
The idea is to rest your metabolism, rebalance hormones, eliminate digestive issues, remove allergens and boost immunity and energy. This is accomplished by cutting out all grains, sugar, legumes, dairy, and alcohol for a period of one month. Basically, you are eliminating carbohydrates so that when you introduce them back into your diet you can take note of which of these foods cause specific health issues for you and avoid eating them indefinitely.
One of the bonuses of removing trigger foods is that you are likely to lose some weight. You may also find that your concentration and focus have improved.
The Atkins Diet has been around a long time. It is still quite popular for weight loss. Much of its popularity is due to some very smart branding and marketing of convenience foods developed by the Atkins team. One could follow the Atkins diet without spending hours meal planning and cooking.
The premise of the diet is to limit your carbohydrate consumption and increase the amount of protein and fats you eat. There are 4 steps or phases that are to be followed.
- Induction Phase: Eat 20 grams or less of carbohydrates per day for the first 2 weeks. This includes restricting fruit intake.
- Balancing Phase: Add small amounts of fruits, nuts and seeds, and non-starchy vegetables. Allow yourself up to 30 grams of carbohydrates per day. Eat this way until you have achieved the desired weight loss.
- Transition Phase: Increase your carbohydrates by 10 grams a week, as long as you are not gaining any weight back. Carbs should be healthy, such as fruits, vegetables, and some whole grains.
- Maintenance Phase: This is how you will eat for the rest of your life to maintain your goal weight. Eat as many healthy carbohydrates as your metabolism can tolerate without gaining any weight back.
The Paleolithic (Paleo) Diet may be the most popular way of eating currently. The idea behind the Paleo Diet is that you eat in much the same way that our Paleolithic ancestors ate. Early humans were hunters and gatherers because agriculture was non-existent 10,000 years ago.
It is believed by the designers of the diet that our bodies are not capable of properly digesting grains, grasses, legumes, and dairy. It is thought that these foods contribute to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and serious inflammation.
The diet encourages free-range protein and organically grown produce that is non-GMO. It discourages eating any processed foods. Here is what you can eat:
- Animal proteins: beef, pork, lamb, poultry
- Wild-caught fish and sustainably sourced shellfish
- Fresh or flash-frozen non-starchy vegetables
- Fresh or flash-frozen non-starchy fruits
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthy fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
- Pure maple syrup
- 24 hour fermented plain yogurt
The Ketogenic (Keto) Diet aims to aid your body to get into a state of ketosis. Ketones are chemicals that your liver makes to enable your body to transform stored fat into fuel for energy. This can only happen when you are lacking in stored glucose that the body would normally burn for energy.
To get into a state of ketosis, you need to restrict carbohydrate and simple sugar intake. This includes all grains, sweeteners, legumes, many fruits, and all starchy vegetables. When your body is forced to metabolize fat for fuel, you will naturally shed pounds in the form of excess body fat. Some followers take this to the extreme by eating only animal protein and fat. This version is referred to as the Zero-Carb Diet.
Similar to the Paleo Diet, the designers claim the Keto Diet may help individuals with type 2 diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels. It may also help to improve cardiovascular health, achieve better mental clarity, improve mood, and reduce overall inflammation.
Each meal on the Keto Diet is comprised of approximately 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates in the form of vegetables and fruits. Here is what you can eat on the Keto Diet:
- Animal proteins: beef, pork, lamb, poultry
- Fish and shellfish
- Fresh non-starchy vegetables
- Fresh non-starchy fruits (very limited)
- Healthy fats: pastured butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
- Various cheeses, cream, and plain yogurt
- Nuts and seeds in moderation
- Soy products in moderation
A Brief Synopsis
Eating a low-carb diet is popular and has been shown to be helpful with weight loss and certain health conditions. You might give Whole30 a try to get your feet wet when starting to eat fewer carbohydrates. It will allow you to see if this way of eating agrees with you. If you aren’t fond of cooking, perhaps Atkins is right, as there are many prepared food options. Paleo and Keto are great for those who enjoy preparing fresh and healthy low-carb meals. Keto might be better if you simply can’t live without cheese.
Transitioning to a diet with few carbs can take a little getting used to. Cravings will come and go while your body acclimates to fewer grains and sugar. Eventually, things will even out and you may find you feel better and have shed a few pounds.