Several diets were invented after people began seeing weight and fat loss results using the low carb approach. Although the selected foods, time of consumption and amount may vary, the main idea remains very clear: reduce intake of carbohydrates to reduce glucose absorption to reduce calories and fat. Here are some very popular meal plans.
The Atkins’ Diet
The Atkins’ Diet uses a system with a number of phases that help individuals lose extra weight. The philosophy indicates that people should restrict consumption of processed and refined carbohydrates like bread, pasta and starchy fruits and vegetables. It also encourages people to eat more nutritious and unprocessed foods and healthy supplements.
Phase 1 is the called the Induction Phase which lasts for 2 weeks. A maximum of 20 grams of carbohydrates is indicated during this phase. The limited carb intake will induce benign dietary ketosis leading to fat mobilization substance. Fat mobilization substance then expels and burns up unwanted body fat causing weight loss.
Phase 2 is called Ongoing Weight Loss which aims to continue burning fat. Phase 3 or Pre-Maintenance Diet Phase begins if the individual is already 5 to 10 pounds away from his or her ideal weight. The fourth and final phase is Maintenance Diet Phase wherein the individual continues to consume the right amount of type of carbohydrates that will maintain healthy and vibrant condition. The person at this stage should have a list of acceptable carbs.
The South Beach Diet
The South Beach Diet advocates eating 3 meals and 3 snacks daily. The person should never count calories or feel hungry. Phase 1 restricts whole grain carbohydrates but there is still no limit to calorie count. The person is advised to feel full but not stuffed. Phase 2 involves the addition of nuts, whole grains and fruits. Phase 3 has no food restrictions and is considered to be the maintenance plan that the person needs to follow to stay fit and healthy for life. The South Beach Diet aims to balance blood glucose levels, insulin and cholesterol through small frequent feedings of 6 meals and snacks everyday.
Compared to the Atkins’ Diet, most nutritionists prefer the South Beach Diet because it doesn’t restrict individuals from counting calories or feeling full. There is less risk for hunger pangs and glucose drops and spikes. It also involves proper timing of introduction of new foods to put less stress on glucose. People will then have an easier time shifting through the phases and reach their ideal weight.