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The Biggest Mistakes People Make on Low Carb Diets

By on July 10, 2014

Every diet has its own list of common mistakes or misunderstandings. From breaking the diet to just following the wrong procedures, they aren’t easy to figure out. Low carb diets are one of the most misunderstood diets out there because there is no real definition of what “low carb” entails — and it varies person to person — people trying this diet are bound to have a few issues along the way.

While low carb diets can cause significant weight loss, they do carry their own risks. And, those risks go up when the diet itself isn’t followed properly. So, before you go low carb, make sure you don’t commit some of these common mistakes.

Eating Too Many Carbs

Not a lot of people understand what a low carb diet actually is. Therefore, a person may assume they’re on a low carb diet, but eat too many carbs, which means they won’t lose weight or reap the benefits of the diet itself.

Starting the Diet Off Wrong

Before you go low carb, you should research it entirely. It’s best to speak to a physician too — and make sure your body can physically handle a low carb diet. Some people assume a low carb diet just means eating meat all day (wrong) or don’t understand what foods and drinks have carbohydrates in them. Before you go on the diet, research it and read up on what a low carb diet really is.

Not Preparing Yourself for Withdrawals

If you are a heavy carbohydrate eater now, cutting back to a low carb diet is going to give your body a shock. You could feel tired, cranky and even sick. While some people can have normal withdrawal symptoms, other people could be having hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) from not getting adequate sugar. You need to prepare yourself for the effects of lowering your carbohydrate intake. If you’re dropping dramatically low, consider slowly lowering your carb intake each week until you reach your goal — this will also lessen the withdrawal symptoms.

Ignoring Fruits and Vegetables

Yes, low carb means cutting out as many carbs as possible, but if you’re feel crummy on your diet, think about your fruit and vegetable intake. A lot of people feel crummy on a low carb diet because they aren’t getting adequate fruits and vegetables. You should be eating more fruits and vegetables than any other type of food — and fruit has sugar, which helps replace what you would get from eating carbohydrates. But make sure you eat less fruit and more vegetables.

Overeating

Yes, you don’t have to count your calories as closely with a low carb diet, but that doesn’t mean you should binge on everything else.  Make sure to monitor your caloric intake to make sure you aren’t over or under eating.

Eating Low Carb Substitutes

The only successful low carb diets are those that eat whole, real foods. If you’re eating processed low-carb alternatives, you’re not getting the maximum benefits of the low carb diet. Don’t just continuously eat because you’re on a low carb diet. Make sure you’re eating healthy portions.

Ignoring the Risks

Some research shows that low carb diets, especially long-term, put people at risk for heart arrhythmias, osteoporosis, kidney disease, cancer, etc. While further research is needed to verify these claims, it is something to consider. Check with your physician before trying a low carb diet. Underlying medical conditions and prescription medications you are taking could prevent you from being on a low carb diet in the first place.

Readers: What are your thoughts on low carb diets? Do they work? Are they worth it?

 

Resources:

authoritynutrition.com/5-most-common-low-carb-mistakes/

www.webmd.com/diet/features/down-low-on-low-carb-diets

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14672862

lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/lowcarb101/a/lowcarbmistakes.htm

 

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