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When it comes to diets most people who know a little about losing weight understand that a low carb diet can be a "good" diet. The problem is that a low carb diet is more involved than you'd think. This is not a diet plan that encourages you to simply drop carb consumption as there is a fine art to it.

If you choose a low carb approach it is important to do it properly in order to see and feel real results.  

A Ketogenic Diet

If you restrict your carbs too strictly, for example taking less than fifty grams a day you will find yourself on a ketogenic plan. When your body reaches this stage it changes the way in which it fuels itself, choosing to use fat for conversion into ketones to be used for energy. While this might sound great to those who are trying to lose weight / fat the reality it that this is a very difficult way of eating to maintain and so it is easy to fall off the wagon as such and come out of your ketogenic state. 

A Better Low Carb Diet

Working to keep your carb intake down to around 70g to 130g a day is much easier to maintain, does not tip you in and out of a ketogenic state and is more likely to keep your weight loss going longer term. It is important to focus however on getting rid of refined carbs (where the whole grain element is removed during processing) and that you limit the number of dense unrefined carbs such as potatoes, many whole grains and even some beans / legumes. 

In order to get it right it may be worth doing some more in-depth research on carbohydrates and what does and doesn't contribute to a balanced and healthy low carb diet that is effective when it comes to weight loss. As someone trained in nutrition I regularly put together food plans / dietary advice for clients base on their goals, individuals circumstances and what they want to achieve. It may be worthwhile thinking about this yourself. I firmly believe that restricting a diet too closely, such as dropping to less than 50g of carbs as described is not helpful long term and "failing" to maintain such a diet may be highly demotivating.

The Fat Trap

Many people choosing to adopt a low-carb diet believe they need to bridge the "gap" on the plate with protein. This actually isn't true as a low carb diet does not necessarily mean  high protein one. More so many find themselves going all in and couple a low carb plan with a low fat one, falling into the fat trap of believing that all fat is bad. 

Anyone on this type of low carb, high protein and low fat diet combination is likely to suffer sweet /sugary craving , mood swings, being irritable and more negative side effects besides. The longer this very restrictive diet continues the worse these effects will be. 

Not all fats are bad and incorporating healthy fats into your diet offers a wide range of benefits and will not negatively affect your weight loss if done properly. Examples of healthy fats to eat alongside your low carb diet includes coconut oil (read more on coconut oil on my blogabout the wonder stuff), olive oil, avocado, nuts (not peanuts and small amounts), whole eggs, fresh cold water fish such as salmon, ghee, fatty good quality organic meats including organ meat (in moderation) and more.

In Summary

When looking to alter your diet significantly in order to make a real impact on your health and well-being it is important to understand what different types of food do, why you need them, what they offer and what appropriate portion sizes actually are. From this brief overview on what a good low carb diet includes or rather doesn't include it is clear to see that with all the wonder diets  floating about that you need to brush up on your nutritional know-how or talk to someone who is trained and able to help you before taking the plunge