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Low Carb & Weight Loss

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A low carb approach to weight loss is popular because it works for a lot of people. But referring to a dietary pattern as “low carb” or “keto” is really not useful because it’s not specific enough. Additionally, diet is only one determinant of weight. Other important components are stress reduction, getting quality sleep, and being active. To some extent, some form of fasting is also likely to be beneficial.

With that said, here are some tips to help you figure out the optimal way to reduce carbohydrates for weight loss and health, especially if you’re looking to lose a few pounds of vanity weight.

  1. If you have medical condition like type 2 diabetes and/or are significantly overweight/obese, a greater carbohydrate reduction will probably be very beneficial for you. Definitely discuss with your doctor, especially if you are on any kind of medication.
  2. If you are BELOW a BMI of 25 and are primarily looking to lose vanity weight, excessive carbohydrate reduction as advocated by keto proponents is probably not necessary. This post is for you especially!

My top three tips for healthy eating/weight loss apply whether you fall into the first category or the second:

  1. Eat a lot of plant foods, especially non starchy veggies.
  2. Avoid sugar and added sugar as much as possible.
  3. Don’t eat a lot of animal protein.

If you don’t have a lot of weight to lose, you can probably tolerate more real food healthy carbohydrates. These are foods like cooked/cooled sweet potatoes, green bananas, some fruit, legumes, and even some grains. I personally eat large amounts of non starchy veggies as well as higher carb whole food and have lost weight. I do not eat a lot of added fats; I don’t find oils particularly satiating and prefer instead to add small quantities of higher fat foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, wild fish, and eggs. I am also very mindful of my animal protein intake.

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