For those looking to lose weight, banish belly fat, and feel healthier and more energetic, a low carb diet has become a very popular option. What does it really mean to eat a low carb diet? What are you allowed to eat? Since carbohydrates are your body’s source of energy, how do you make sure that you still have plenty of energy to live the active life you love while cutting back on carbs?

What are Carbohydrates?

There are three macronutrients that a body needs in order to function effectively and maintain energy levels: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. When balanced well, all three of these macronutrients are an important part of a healthy diet. Problems tend to arise, however when our consumption of these three nutrients is unbalanced, or when we get them from unhealthy, heavily-processed foods.

Carbohydrates are merely the sugars, starches, and fibers that we find in many foods. When chosen wisely, there is nothing inherently unhealthy about carbohydrates. They are even found in your favorite fruits and vegetables and provide energy that your body needs. This assumes, however,  you are consuming them in moderation.

Why Should I Try a Low Carb Diet?

The problem with carbohydrates is that we tend to consume more of them than our bodies actually need. Because of this, the carbohydrates that are not burned off as energy are converted to sugars and stored as fat in the body. This is why you may feel sluggish after the initial burst of energy from a carbohydrate-packed meal has worn off.

A low carb diet doesn’t ask you to cut carbohydrates out of your life completely. Rather, it asks you to limit the number of carbs that you consume to what you realistically burn through physical activity, and to be thoughtful about where the carbs you do consume are coming from. Nutrient-rich, minimally-processed fruits and vegetables do contain carbohydrates, but not the same kind or number as a stack of pancakes with maple syrup, for instance.

What Can I Eat?

The issue that many people have with living low-carb is that they feel like their food options are limited, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A healthy low carb diet will include meats, fish, and eggs in addition to plenty of delicious vegetables. A low-carb-diet doesn’t have to get boring because you can also include nuts and berries, as well as some healthy fats. Because of this, many people who are living low-carb find that their diets are actually more varied, diverse, and interesting than before adopting a low-carb diet.

A low carb diet may be worth a try for those wanting to lose weight and are willing to cut down on carbs in order to do so. A low-carb diet can be healthy, balanced, and delicious when you choose lean proteins as well as some fruits and vegetables, and even some fats and whole grains to make it a diet you can sustain and even love.

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