When you’ve decided to lose weight, you can structure an eating plan on your own or you can find a low carb diet that you can customize to your lifestyle. Having a diet that’s tailored to suit your needs and preferences will make dieting easier.
With all of the numerous diets you hear about, knowing which diet is the best one for you can be tough. But you can compare the 5 best low carb diets to see which one will suit your lifestyle to help you lose weight.
The Atkins Diet
This diet is one of the most popular low carb weight loss plans you’ll find. Numerous studies have detailed multiple cases of long term weight loss success on the Atkins Diet because the focus is on healthy eating of low carbs while centering meals around fatty proteins, good for the body fats and vegetables.
When you decide to choose this diet, you’ll go through it using their four steps referred to as phases. In the first phase, which is called the Induction, people who want to lose weight eating low carb have to make sure that they keep their carb intake at less than 20 grams.
The focus is on consuming foods that are loaded with protein found in meats like beef, chicken, pork and other meats. Though some of the meats in the Atkins Diet are high fat, this is not an oversight.
Eating high fat during the Atkins Diet will not have an impact on your cholesterol level. In the Induction phase, dieters are to consume low carb vegetables and stay away from the high carb ones.
As long as the vegetables are low carb, preferably dark and leafy green, and the meat high protein, you can have foods like this at this stage. The reason the carbs are less than 20 grams for the first 14 days of the diet is because it causes your metabolism to kick into high gear and you’ll see noticeable weight loss during this time.
The first stage is when you’re streamlining your diet. The next stage is where you’ll include additional foods. In this second phase, called the Balancing, dieters should add items like fruit, more vegetables and nuts such as almonds and walnuts.
Because of the low carb foods in the first and second phase, you’ll lose weight rather quickly. Once you get within sight of your target weight, you’ll increase your carb intake in the third phase, which is also called the Fine Tuning phase.
Increasing the amount of carbs that you eat during this phase will cause the weight loss to decrease slightly. It’s during this phase that you should reach the weight loss goals you set for yourself on a slower pace.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll be ready for the Maintenance stage or the fourth phase. During this step, you can have the amount of good carbs that you want as long as you don’t gain weight during this phase.
You should stay away from sugar, trans fats and things like wheat, but you have the green light on eating foods such as eggs, dairy and even dark chocolate. You’ll need to track your carbs to see where your levels should be, since everyone’s body acts a bit differently on this plan.
The Dukan Diet
Another popular diet – known as the Dukan Diet – also consists of four phases. The first one is called The Attack Phase. This beginning phase causes fast weight loss in order to help motivate you to keep on going.
The key to this stage is that how long it needs to last is going to depend on what your weight loss goal is. If you plan to lose less than 10 pounds, then the Attack Phase should only last one to two days.
If you have between 15 to 30 pounds to take off, then the first phase should last between 3 to 5 days. Any amount of weight that’s over 40, then the Attack Phase will last about a week.
During this first phase, you will eat lean protein. These protein choices are going to come from a list of 68 pure proteins that are okay to eat for the diet. You can eat as much of this protein as you like, but during this stage, you have to consume the recommended 6 to 8 glasses of water each day in order to keep your system flushed. Exercising at this point is also encouraged.
The second stage is known as the Cruise Phase. Along with your proteins that you were introduced to in the first stage, this step will have you adding vegetables to your meals.
You’ll get 100 foods that you can choose to eat in unlimited quantities. This ratio is made up of the 68 proteins and 32 vegetables. This stage also encourages alternating protein days with vegetable ones.
One day, you eat protein and low carb vegetables. The next day, you would only eat protein. You can do this on a sliding plan. Such as 1/1 – meaning protein along with the veggies and then just the protein. You can alternate this eating plan up to 5/5.
The third stage in the Dukan Diet is the Consolidation Phase. At this stage, eating the low carbs for weight loss has accomplished the goals that you set for yourself.
It’s at this point that you can now eat additional foods that are starchier than the ones you were allowed to have in the other phases. This stage is important because at this point, the foundation is set for long term success in keeping the weight off.
How long the stage lasts will differ from person to person according to what you lost. You would multiply 5 times the number of pounds you succeeded in losing to figure out how long you need to remain at this phase. So if you lost 20 pounds, you would need to remain at this stage for 100 days.
The final phase is the Stabilization Phase. During this phase, you can eat what you want to have as long as you eat in moderation. You’ll find the right combination of carbs, proteins and fats to keep your weight at the level you want it to be.
The Paleo Diet
The Paleo Diet is a way of eating that dates back to the time when cavemen were around. By eating the way that they did, you’ll lose weight and studies have shown that the risks of developing certain health conditions do decrease.
The gist of this diet is that it’s based on eating a lot of fiber and plenty of protein. It’s not as calorie strict as many diets are, but does focus on choosing foods that are low in carbs.
So that means that your meals will consist of things like plenty of lean meat or fish. You’ll also forego the bad kinds of fats for the ones that are better for your body.
Your eating plan will also include plenty of fruits and vegetables. On this diet, you’ll be allowed to eat foods like eggs and you’ll be able to cook with oils such as olive oil.
Something that this diet does restrict is processed foods, but since those aren’t good for you anyway, getting rid of them is a healthy change. This diet does call for followers to cut out things like wheat, cereal, potatoes, sugar, beans, dairy and salt.
What makes the diet so popular is the focus on low carb while allowing people to eat in a way where they’re not hungry and not always watching their calories. Because much of the diet is focused on fiber, dieters are left feeling satisfied rather than hungry.
Unlike most diets, the Paleo Diet takes into consideration stepping away from the eating plan so that users can have cheat meals. During a cheat meal, dieters can eat whatever they want.
But what usually ends up happening is that as the body gets used to the low carbs and more natural foods, the high fat, high carb, processed stuff will stop being appealing to your taste buds.
There are no clubs that you have to join with this plan and no fees involved. However, there are several online groups dedicated to the diet that you can join for moral support and tips for recipes and other advice.
If you’re someone who isn’t a big meat eater or you’ve chosen a vegetarian lifestyle, then the Paleo Diet will not work for you because of the emphasis on consuming meat and you won’t be able to get the protein that you need otherwise.
The Mediterranean Diet
When most people think of this diet, they think of lots of pasta and wonder how that can possibly lead to weight loss. But this diet focuses on healthy eating of low carb foods and eliminating foods that aren’t good for you.
Many doctors recommend this diet as a healthy and safe way to lose weight successfully. This way of eating puts a focus on foods like fruits and vegetables. The more plant foods you eat, the better it is for your health.
You can still have things you enjoy such as bread – as long as it’s not covered in fats that are bad for you. That means switching out butter-laden bread with a healthier option, like dipped in healthy oils.
Stay away from saturated fats and choose ones that contain fats that lower cholesterol levels such as olive oil. You can eat things like nuts on this diet even though most diets consider them off limits.
The truth is that nuts are good for you when eaten in moderation because their fat content isn’t the kind that’s bad for you. You can even consume peanut butter on this diet.
The Mediterranean Diet puts the spotlight on choosing to eat low carb for weight loss rather than trying to strictly eliminate entire food groups the way that some diets do.
The meat source of this diet isn’t red meat, although some is allowed in moderation. The biggest meat source is fish such as trout or salmon for their omega 3 benefits.
You should eat fish baked, broiled or grilled for two of your weekly meals. If you eat red meats, they should always be lean meats and stay away from meats like bacon and any other kind that are high in the unhealthy type of fat and additives.
Small amounts of wine are encouraged on this diet on a daily basis for its ability to cut the risk of heart disease. The plan to get started on this diet is simple. Make sure your eating plan includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.
You should have at the minimal seven servings in the fruit and vegetable category each day. You can have foods like cereals and pasta as long as these are whole grain.
Make sure that you use spices in your meals. Not only does it prevent bland food boredom, but many spices contain ingredients that have health benefits. Plus, they’re better for you than sodium.
You can have dairy with this diet as long as you always choose the products that are either low in fat or fat free. Because the foods in this diet are based on low carb choices, you will lose weight. Making sure that you get in exercise is a recommended part of this weight loss plan.
The Bulletproof Diet
This diet is one that’s low carb and focuses on eating high fat foods, but the kind of fats that are considered good for the body. The amount of protein that you’ll eat on this diet is what a normal eater would have.
What the diet boasts – besides the low carb, weight loss benefits – is that you’ll also experience anti-inflammatory results. The diet suggests that followers do occasionally fast.
On this diet, you’ll be changing the way that you’ve always eaten to a healthier, more natural way of eating. One of the first steps you’ll be called on to do is to stop consuming sugar in its various forms.
You’ll also need to stop consuming fats that are bad for your body. The diet calls for substituting butter with the grass fed kind as well as using coconut oil or ghee. Because the focus is on low carb, healthier eating, you’ll have to stop consuming gluten.
This means you’ll need to eliminate pasta, cereal, bread and any type of processed food – including junk food – from your diet. Gluten can trigger inflammatory reactions in many people – even those who don’t have reactions to gluten, which is one of the reasons the diet calls for the elimination of it.
You’ll have to rid your pantry of vegetable oil and you’ll also need to toss out anything that’s artificial-based like food dyes, sugar substitutes and anything that contains MSG.
You’ll also need to stop eating legumes. What you’ll switch to when it comes to eating meat is a grass fed version. You can eat beef and you can also consume eggs, fish and shellfish and seafood.
You can also eat poultry. Dairy that’s processed isn’t recommended on this diet. You can have dairy such as whole milk that’s higher in fat than what most diets call for as long as it’s from grass fed cows.
Any fruits and vegetables that you consume should be completely organic to avoid the contamination by pesticides and other harmful sprays. You’ll need to limit the amount of fruit that you eat.
When you make your food, cook it using methods that are as natural as possible. You’ll have to stop using your microwave. You will lose weight on the diet and the elimination of processed foods and foods that contain artificial coloring and flavors can improve your health.