How to begin?
Are you thinking of starting a low-carb diet but a bit lost on how? You can check out this post with a summary of low-carb diets, but let me tell you a bit of my story and suggest what worked for me.
I was a slim teen (even though at the time I thought I was fat....), and midway through university, some unwanted weight started piling up, but I was never severely overweight. Several life changes impacted my eating habits - moving out to go to university, living in different countries, marriage, and the ultimate one - kids! In my 20's and 30's my weight yoyoed, and I tried different diets (soup diet, points diet, counting calories, weight watchers, and many others that were hype and faded away). Many did work - at least for a while, and always with immense sacrifice.
My biggest challenge (weight-wise) was having children. I was an ultra-active gym-goer person prior to my first pregnancy, and during it, I stopped it all. I gained so much weight that I wouldn't even disclose it - and what's with people asking a big pregnant woman how much weight did she gain?? Well, after giving birth I started losing weight very slowly, but never had a chance to get back to my pre-pregnancy body since, 10 months later, I was pregnant again!
The second pregnancy was pretty similar, I became ginormous. And the pattern was the same - I lost some weight, but getting back in shape seemed pretty impossible. Then I heard about the Paleo diet. The more I read about it, the more it made sense, so I decided to give it a try. It was simple, without a lot of rules, and more importantly: I was never S-T-A-R-V-I-N-G. And it worked wonderfully (for me), so here's what I did:
- No sugar
- No grains (especially soy and wheat)
- No artificial fats (such as margarine) and avoid refined seed oils
- Avoid root vegetables during weight loss phase
- Eat real food
- Eat only when hungry, and until full (satiated)
This was a simple approach, it didn't require logging in food, counting calories, counting carbs. It was the first time in my life I was losing weight without suffering! I thought it would be hard to live without bread or pasta, but the benefits were so amazing that I didn't miss it! I lost weight even though I ate chocolate daily (75%+) and baked with honey (I was not familiar with sugar alcohols back then).
One relevant point to mention is that we have been so conditioned to believe eating every 3h is a given that our bodies have grown accustomed to it. At the beginning of the diet, it can be hard to identify if you are hungry or just wanting to eat. So I did the following: whenever I thought I was hungry (especially mid-morning or mid-afternoon), I would drink a full glass of water and wait 20 minutes. If, after that time, the sensation was still there, then I was really hungry and I would eat something. Amazingly enough, most times I was not really.
So if you are tired of trying countless diets and struggling to lose weight, give this a try. And more importantly: adapt to your needs along the way.
Good luck and count on us!