With all the adverse publicity on high protein low carb diet, how do you know what is a healthy diet to follow?
The new diet research says that rather than just limiting the amount of carbohydrates in your diet, you should be looking to eat only those that have a low GI index. The GI Index measures the speed at which glucose is released into your blood stream following consumption of a specific food. If you do not use all the glucose you consume, your body converts it to fat and stores it. Not ideal when you are trying to lose weight.
So how do you know if a food is low GI or not? Most supermarkets have now started coding their foods so you should be able to see from the packet. The foods that you would normally avoid on a diet also tend to be high GI i.e. cakes, biscuits, white bread, white pasta etc.
The good news is that chocolate is a low GI food but this doesn't mean that you can eat loads of it! Avoid any added sugar based ingredients and opt for a plain bar of dark chocolate if you want to treat yourself.
Barley, quinoa, new potatoes and yams are all low GI foods so would be good staples for your healthy low carbohydrate diet. Apples, dried apricots, citrus fruits, plums and tomatoes are all good low GI fruits but avoid Watermelons, peaches and bananas.
You should increase the quantity of water you drink especially as most slimmers increase the amount of fiber in their diet by eating more vegetables. You should aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Drinking water helps to lose weight as we often misunderstand our body's signals and eat when in fact we are thirsty.
When you are trying to follow a healthy low carb diet, it is useful to watch your portion size. As a nation, we are used to consuming large portions of everything. Reducing the size of our meals will help you to lose weight as will eating a little and often rather than one large meal a day.
Never skip breakfast as countless studies have shown that you re likely to consume more calories later in the day than you save by not eating this important meal. Eating soup – the old fashioned kind not the instant microwaveable variety, will help to keep your energy levels stable and lead to less cravings.
Drink skimmed instead of full fat milk. Eat low fat yogurts but watch for hidden sugars and sweeteners. Keep alcohol intake to a minimum as not only does it contain empty calories but also lowers our inhibitions leading us to eat the wrong foods.
Keep yourself busy. We often eat due to boredom rather than hunger. Get moving every day to increase the amount of energy you consume. Reducing your food consumption while increasing your activity will help you lose weight as will following a healthy low carbohydrate diet.