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04/30/15

Carb counting: Elimination of carbohydrates helps weight loss but isn't total salvation

When you think drastic, hardcore weight loss, your thoughts most likely turn toward adopting a low carbohydrates diet, known primarily as the Atkins Diet, and increasing the amount of protein you intake.
The downfall of the Atkins Diet, however, is the propensity for the masses to go overboard with it. Yes, cutting your carbohydrates is going to result in weight loss to some degree, but if you begin implementing a diet that is rich in fatty proteins, you're not going to see the drastic results you think. Furthermore, a lack of carbohydrates can alter your mood and transform your energy from adequate to barely functioning.
In addition, the Atkins Diet lost some popularity when people who started on it lost weight but then began to battle high cholesterol and other ailments because someone convinced them it was perfectly acceptable to skip the bread and exchange it for fatty luncheon meats, bacon, sausage and other protein rich meats that have a high fat content.
The trick to Atkins or something similar is to reduce your fat intake and ingest a modest amount of carbohydrates. The kind of carbohydrates you eat is much more important than the totals. You want to schedule carbohydrates before and after workouts and focus on the "good" carbs, such as sweet potatoes for example.
If you're still intent on a more serious Atkins type diet, then you should be cognizant of your fat content and look to eat foods that help with weight loss. Low fat cheeses, raw vegetables, greens and fruit. You want to focus on foods that retain and are full of water, carrots and watermelon come to mind immediately. Drinking water is the key to weight loss, so eating foods that have a high water content help that cause immensely.

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Nuts also pack plenty of protein as a perfect snack and plenty of healthy fats. The same could be said for the summertime favorite, avocados, along with certain breakfast spreads such as hazelnut or almond butter. They're high in fat content at first glance but it is the kind of fat that is fine in moderation.
Eliminating the misconception that weight loss has to be drastic, such as cutting carbs completely, or starving yourself on foods that aren't very tasty is the start to finding that happy medium with your diet. A low carb diet isn't going to hurt your odds of dropping pounds, if it is done correctly from the start.

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