(Low-Carb High-Quality) – You have chosen a low-carb diet to successfully lose weight? Nevertheless, there’s no change on the scale and the body doesn’t alter in a positive way?
As mentioned in the low-carb introduction, there are not just different low-carb dietary forms, but also varied myths. This variety and different ways of low-carb nutritions can quickly lead to mistakes.
To not get caught by these low-carb traps, I have compiled some of the worst mistakes.
Low-Carb Mistake # 1 – You Eat Too Little
For many people, losing weight means eating less. In essence that’s true. However, most people want too much and exaggerate the dietary restrictions. In principle, two different values are considered for your calorie calculation.
The first is the basic metabolic rate, the other is the active metabolic rate. Depending on the respective rates, you have to consume different amounts of calories. However, while you are allowed to remain below your active metabolic rate, you shouldn’t be permanently below your basic metabolic rate.
The basic metabolic rate is the rate which your body needs to maintain the basic body functions while at absolute rest and empty stomach. So, if you stay permanently below your basic metabolic rate, you inflict damage to your body. You can also lose weight if you stay below the basic metabolic rate, but at a high price.
Your body will change into the catabolism and saves as much energy as possible, thus it tries to preserve as much reserves as possible. Your muscles are the biggest energy consumers, so your body will break them down first.
The largest portion of the basic metabolic rate in the human body is provided by the liver and skeletal muscles with 26%, followed by the brain with 18%, the heart with 9% and the kidneys with 7%. The remaining 14% are attributable to other organs. (Source: Wikipedia)
Low-Carb Mistake # 2 – You’re Doing Low-Carb & Low-Fat
For decades, it was preached that during a reduction diet fat should be avoided like the devil avoids holy water. Meanwhile, there are various studies that prove low-carb achieves better results in weight loss than low-fat.
However, most people are still heavily conditioned to be afraid of fat. This often leads to the avoidance of fats during a low-carb diet. This however is a very big problem. Basically, there are three macronutrients that your body utilizes for energy. These three macronutrients are proteins, carbohydrates and fat. While proteins and fat are essential for your body, carbohydrates aren’t. So, to survive, your body doesn’t need carbohydrates.
If you combine low-carb with low-fat, you will not only omit your body two macronutrients but also an essential one. Often the restriction of carbohydrates in combination with the restriction of fats can lead to massive ravenous hunger and malaise. Generally, in a low-carb diet isn’t fat your enemy.
Low-Carb Mistake # 3 – You Eat The Wrong Fruits
Fruit is healthy! I’m sure we’ve all got told since we were toddlers. However, in a low-carb diet it is important to be cautious of the choice of fruits. Not all fruit varieties are suited for a low carbohydrate diet.
As a rule of thumb, you can eat any kind of berries. Of course, there are also exceptions here. It always depends on the type of low-carb diet. There are after all various stages or phases and thus various permitted foods.
In general, it is a difference whether you are doing the Atkins diet in phase one, or just a moderate low-carb diet. It is principally useful to forgo fruit varieties with a high proportion of fructose. The same also applies to certain vegetable varieties. Decide individually what and what not suits your nutritional plan.
Low-Carb Mistake # 4 – You Confuse Low-Carb With No-Carb
I do not know why, but people always seem to fall into extremes. This behavior is especially noticeable in the area of a low carbohydrate diet. While the average citizen consumes about 350 g of carbohydrates per day, obese people sometimes eat more than doubled that amount.
When the diet is switched to a low-carbohydrate diet, I always read that all kinds of carbohydrates are suddenly omitted. So, instead of reasonably engaging oneself to low-carb, the sledgehammer approach is used.
However, you just harm yourself again. It is not possible to eat healthy and completely abstain from carbohydrates at the same time as almost every food contains carbohydrates.
Low-Carb Mistake # 5 – You Eat Too Little Fiber
Dietary fibers are also an important component of a low-carb diet. They are by definition carbohydrates, but dietary fibers are not, or only rarely, utilized by the body.
However, fibers are important supporters in many aspects. Dietary fibers ensure that you are quickly full and also keep your sense of saturation for longer. In addition, dietary fibers help improve bowel activity and prevent constipation.
Particularly constipation can occur in a low-carb diet, even if this topic doesn’t like to be discussed. This happens especially when green vegetables are removed from the menu, because the carbohydrate limit is already reached through other foodstuffs.
Notably these green vegetables and other vegetables with a low carbohydrate content should be a regular ingredient for low-carb. If you eat too few vegetables – linseeds or chia seeds can be a huge enrichment in your daily food intake.
Low-Carb Mistake # 6 – You’re Giving Up Too Fast
The Internet is full of great experiences and extraordinary success stories when it comes to low-carb. Many stories are so impressive that your own progress is fading and depressing. I mean, of course, it sounds fantastic when someone lose 30 kilos in just five months – without question. But such successes are also dependent on different starting situations.
- What was the initial weight? A slimming of 30 kilos with 160 kilos at the start is quite different than slimming 30 kilos with an initial weight of 90 kilos.
- What about the general health? Maybe it exists the possibility of a metabolic disorder or a disturbed eating habit?
- What were the general expenses? Was the dietary change coupled with a sports program? Or even professional help?
Apart from that, every human being thinks differently. Not everyone is without faults on his way to weight loss. It is well possible to stumble in between but still go on. Some bodies also reduce the cursed fat reserves simply faster than others.
A very important point, which you should consider with all the experience reports on the Internet – people tend to exaggerate. One year quickly turns into a few months. Or providers of products and slimming programs lie through their teeth. Unfortunately, often with success, since few people question these statements and are impressed too quickly.
Low-Carb Mistake # 7 – You Eat The Wrong Fat
As mentioned before, fat is not your enemy in a low-carb diet. You will usually automatically increase your fat intake significantly but that’s a good thing. However, you should be careful to consume the right fats. It’s not useful to drink whipped cream and spoon butter daily. In particular saturated fats should be avoided as much as possible or consumed only in small quantities.
Saturated fats should account for about 10% of your daily requirement of fatty acids. Are saturated fats now bad? No of course not! Saturated fatty acids are also often referred to as bad fat, but here the amount is also responsible for the poisonous effect.
Saturated fatty acids also have their own right to exist, have a positive effect on your immune system and take over important biological functions. You will find a higher content of saturated fatty acids in:
- hemp oil,
- safflower oil,
- rapeseed oil,
- sunflower oil.
Besides the saturated fatty acids, there are the unsaturated fatty acids. These in turn are divided into monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The monounsaturated fatty acids, like the saturated fatty acids, are not essential and can be synthesized by the body itself. These fatty acids are easier to digest than saturated fats. Monounsaturated fatty acids are contained in a high proportion among others in the following foods:
- rapeseed oil,
- olive oil,
Since the simple unsaturated fatty acids also serve as an energy supplier, they should also be contained in the daily diet.
In addition to monounsaturated fatty acids, there are also the polyunsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids cannot be produced by the body itself and must absolutely be absorbed with the food. These are also referred to as essential fatty acids. Meant is the linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid) and the α-linolenic acid (omega-3 fatty acid).
You will find a rich occurrence of polyunsaturated fatty acids inside of:
- walnut oil,
- maize-germ oil,
- safflower oil,
- chia seeds,
- sunflower oil.
The polyunsaturated fatty acids play an important role in the human body and should be regarded in the daily low-carb diet.
In general, the subject of fats can be used to write entire essays which would clearly break the framework of this article. That’s why there is only a brief outline on the subject. A sufficient supply of the appropriate fatty acids by good food should be ensured without exception. Even if the amount of fat in low-carb is usually increased significantly, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay attention to fat – quite on the contrary!
Low-Carb Mistake # 8 – You Eat Too Few Proteins
Proteins are another important part in your diet. Proteins are the most important building materials that are available to your body. Proteins are responsible for cell growth, support your immune system, transport oxygen and are involved in many other processes inside your body.
In particular during a reduction phase, proteins help to maintain muscle while simultaneously losing weight. If you omit proteins to your body or keep the consumption of food below your daily needs, your body automatically starts to deplete his reserves.
In contrary to the macronutrients fat and carbohydrates that are mainly used for energy production, the proteins are mainly for the anabolism and the preservation of the metabolism. A protein deficiency will not only weaken your immune system but will also lead to a muscle degeneration. You may be able to recognize a weight loss, alas at a high price – after all, you want to lose fat and not muscle.
Low-Carb Mistake # 9 – You’re Drinking Too Little
I cannot repeat it often enough – drinking a lot is essential. A lot of people, especially those who are overweight, have simply forgotten how to drink over the years. The result is a chronic, thus permanent, dehydration with various negative health consequences such as:
- high blood pressure,
- headache (migraine),
- type 2 diabetes.
The list of possible physical and health impairment caused by water deficiency can be continued almost endlessly. However, many people don’t know that long-lasting water deficiency is also to blame for overweight and even obesity.
The problem lies inside the brain, or more precisely in the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus has many functions inside the brain. Here, among other things, our body temperature is adjusted, the water balance is regulated, the blood pressure is coordinated and the food intake regulated.
The problem, however, is that the signals for hunger and thirst are easily confused. Since the body draws necessary liquids from the food when needed, latent dehydration can also occur as a feeling of hunger. The result is that most people eat something rather than drink. Often these people only drink when thirst occurs in the form of a dry mouth, but then the body has likely lost more than 10% of its fluid.
Why do you have to pay more attention to your fluid balance in a low-carb diet? Well, carbohydrates have the habit of storing water. Specifically, one gram of carbohydrates can store up to 3 grams of water.
If you switch your diet to low-carb, your body will not only store less water but also lose some of it as well. Incidentally, that’s a reason for the rapid weight loss during a carbohydrate diet in the first weeks.
It’s also a general rule in a low-carb diet – if you’re hungry, drink enough water first, then wait and see if you’re still hungry.
Low-Carb Mistake # 10 – You Eat Too Much
While fats once were the source of all overweight, today it’s the carbohydrates. Quite a few people claim that carbs make you fat. In conclusion, many people restrict their carbohydrates and hope to lose weight.
However, it’s not that simple, quite the opposite. Because even if you reduce your carbohydrates, you can consume so many calories through the energy carrier fat that you don’t lose weight – or even gain some.
Low-Carb is therefore not a free ticket to eat as much and often as you like, but low-carb can help you lose weight during a weight reduction diet. Fat and proteins not only provide a constant sense of saturation, but, in contrast to carbohydrates, are used by the body in other ways.
While most energy of carbohydrates can be utilized by the body and stored accordingly, a large portion of the energy from proteins and fats are used up by the digestion process.
Even so, you can still ingest too much energy during a low carbohydrate diet, which can lead to a weight increase or, at least, to a stagnation. So as always – the amount of food is at fault for the extra fat around your hips.
Low-Carb Mistake # 11 – You Cheat Too Often
In some low-carb diets a so-called Cheat Day is an integral part. If the Cheat Day makes sense or is complete nonsense will be discussed in due time.
Fact is, that the Cheat Day does support a lot of people in their weight loss endeavour. Others use a so-called Cheat Meal instead of the Cheat Day. Some people want to boost their metabolism, others want to simply reward themselves.
Wherever the motivation for the Cheat Day comes from, you shouldn’t exaggerate the cheating. It’s no use if the Cheat Meal is suddenly enjoyed every day, resulting in a calorie surplus. On a Cheat Day you shouldn’t become excessive and stuff every crap inside of you.
In general, you should also eat smartly and healthily on the Cheat Day. Tons of chocolate, chips in masses or literal sugar water in form of Coke & Pepsi should not belong here.
Low-Carb Mistake # 12 – Not Enough Excercise
Let’s be honest, in essence humans are lazy as hell. We save our energy as much as possible, and for a lot of people movement is a necessary evil to get from point A to point B. Especially topics such as weight loss without sports are always very popular.
Of course you can also lose weight without any major physical activity. That’s without question. At the end, a (semi) slender body is actually made to 70-80% in the kitchen and only to 20-30% by exercise and sports.
Nevertheless, these 20-30% should also find their place in a healthy lifestyle. Sport and exercise provide further support for fat burning, shaping the body and have a positive impact on the overall well-being.
Did you know that even lean people can have too much fat? This is especially the case for people who primary rely on a diet for weight loss or just simply eat wrong. The result is a low muscle mass and a high proportion of visceral fat.
Certainly, it is nice to lose weight without exercise and it is still better than doing nothing at all, but it also carries risks and is often only half the job. And who wants to do half things?
12 Mistakes That Should Be Avoided In Your Low-Carb Diet – The Conclusion
A diet change is not always easy and can contain a lot of pitfalls. In general, it is important that you educate yourself thoroughly before you attempt a nutritional change. No matter whether it is low-carb or another diet. The information should come from different sources and should be compared with each other. Reports from forums, Facebook groups or other areas should always be checked in relevance to specialist literature.