‘No carb diet’ is every fitness freak’s favorite nowadays. People preferring a highly nutritious diet is history now. Cutting carbohydrates can have amazing results as it curbs your hunger levels massively. So basically, the weight loss process becomes an automatic process as you don’t need to keep a track of the calorie levels.
That’s because going low on carbohydrates and sugar helps you get rid of all the extra fat from your body. Your body starts to use the stored fat to generate energy, ultimately leading to weight loss.
Earlier, people blamed ‘fats’ for inappropriate weight gain and obesity. But that position has been taken over by carbohydrates. As per Authority Nutrition, as many as 23 studies have proven that low-carb diets lead to more weight loss than low-fat diets. The impact is almost 2-3 times faster.
A lot of people are still unaware of the food items that have or do not have carbs in them. And surprisingly, many aren’t even sure of what carbs actually are. So let’s first understand the definition of carbs and then look into the wide list of foods include in the ‘no carb diet’.
What are Carbs?
As explained here, Carbs or Carbohydrates are the micronutrients that contain sugar. They are basically of two types-
Simple Carbohydrates: found in dairy products, candy, processed sugar, fruits and baked goods.
Complex Carbohydrates: found in legumes, whole grains, flour, rice and corn.
Foods with No Carbs
There are umpteen low carb diets, the most popular of which is the Atkins Diet chart. These diets aim to control the insulin level by limiting the carbohydrate intake. The maximum carb intake per day is recommended to be around 25-50 g per day if you are trying to lose weight.
This is actually a challenging task as you don’t realize when you eat your fill. A cup of rice has about 150 g carbs, while a slice of bread contains 15 g of carbs in it. Hence, knowing which food items have no or almost zero carbs can help you shed weight quickly.
Food Renegade claims that eggs are practically one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet. You can experiment with the eggy dishes. Scramble, poach, boil, bake or eat them raw in smoothies- there are endless things you can make with eggs.
They are rich in Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3 and DHA- some very important nutrients for cognitive development.
Carb content is almost Zero in Eggs.
Almost all kinds of meats (except Organs like Liver) are low or no carb foods.
Chicken: Zero carb and high in Protein. The most popular meat across the globe.
Lamb: Zero carb and high in iron, B12 and useful fatty acids.
Beef: Zero carb and high in iron and B12. Highly satiating.
Pork: Zero carb. Extremely healthy and delicious. Avoid Bacon as it has sugar.
Jerky (Sliced and Dried Meat): Low Carb, close to zero. Serves as a perfect snack.
Others: Turkey and Bison meats are also great no-carb foods.
Sea foods are awfully healthy and delicious. Nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids, iodine and B12, which are quite rare to find, are abundant in fish and other sea food.
Fruits and Berries
Although fruits are high in carbs compared to vegetables and other foods, you can have a piece or two depending upon your intake limit. Fruits are extremely nutritious and healthy eatables that serve as great weight-loss foods in general.
Olives: 6% carbs and rich in iron, copper, Vitamin E and fat.
Strawberries: 8% carbs and dense in Vitamin C, manganese and many antioxidants.
Avocado: 8.5% carbs and a lot of healthy fats, potassium, fiber and other nutrients.
Grapefruit: 11% carbs and high in Vitamin C and Carotene antioxidants.
Apricot: 11% carbs and rich in Vitamin C and Potassium.
Others: lemons, mulberries, kiwi, orange and raspberries.
According to Body building, Vegetables have a reputation of being low in carbs. Especially leafy greens and cruciferous veggies are potent in fiber and dull in carbs.
Asparagus: 2% carbs and high in fiber, Vitamin C and K, folate and carotene antioxidants. These are extremely scrumptious spring vegetable.
Tomatoes: 4% carbs and high in Vitamin C and potassium. These are technically a fruit/berry.
Mushrooms: 3% carbs and high in B-vitamins.
Cucumber: 4% carbs and rich in Vitamin K. It is a great hydrant and possesses a mild flavor.
Cauliflower: 5% carbs and high in folate, Vitamin C and K.
Eggplant: 6% carbs and extremely high in fiber.
Bell peppers: 6% carbs and dense in fiber, Vitamin C and carotene antioxidants.
Green beans: 7% carbs and high in fiber, protein, Vitamin C and K, magnesium and potassium. These belong to the Legumes category.
Onions: 9% carbs and potent in fiber, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. These are the yummiest plants that can add flavor to almost anything.
If you are tolerant of dairy, then there is nothing better than full-fat dairy products for you.
Cheese: 1.3% carbs and highly nutritious in general. It can be eaten both raw and in delicious recipes.
Heavy Cream: 3% carbs, high in dairy fat and low in protein.
Greek Yogurt: 4% carbs and very high in protein.
Full fat Yogurt: 5% carbs and very high pro-biotic bacteria.
Fats and Oils
As opposed to general belief, fats and oils can actually help you shed weight. Just make sure you avoid highly refined oil as they are unhealthy when consumed in excess.
Butter (Grass fed): zero carbs and high in saturated fats.
Coconut oil: Zero carbs and high in medium chain fatty acids. It can aid loss in belly fat and boost metabolism.
Extra virgin Olive Oil: Zero carbs and high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. It is arguably the healthiest fat on earth and the star ingredient of the Mediterranean Diet.
Most of the beverages are acceptable in the no-carb diet as long as they do not contain sugar.
Water: Zero carbs. It is the essence of life.
Green Tea: Zero carbs and rich in antioxidants.
Club Soda: Zero carbs. It is basically water with CO2 in it.
Coffee: Zero carbs and high in antioxidants.
Spices and Condiments
The herbs and spices are multifunctional. They add a lot of flavor to the recipe, possess almost negligible carbohydrates and are dense in nutrition.
Foods to avoid while trying the No Carb Diet Plan
You must also know your enemies, i.e. the food items that are dense in carbs.
Gluten: wheat, bread, barley, pasta, rye.
Sugar: candy, ice cream, fruit juices, aerated drinks.
Tips and Tricks that can help you cope up with the No Carb Diet
If you have finally made up your mind to try the ‘no carb road’ to weight loss, here are a few cheat sheets that can help you stay focused:
Prepare your house for the Diet plan. Throw away all your favorite, high-carb eatables hidden in the pantry.
Prepare a chart of the no-carb foods and stick it on your refrigerator. This will constantly remind you of your limits.
Experiment with your cooking skills. There are many scrumptious dishes born out of the endless no-carb food items.
Possible Disadvantages of eating No Carb Foods
No carb foods aggravate the process of weight loss, no doubt. They even reduce the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol in your system and save you from many chronic health problems like Diabetes, Heart ailments, etc. But there is no denying that any such major change in the routine makes your lifestyle monotonous and boring.
According to a website, dependence on no carb foods can create some major health issues.
For sportspersons and athletes, who need to undergo intense strength training as a part of their career, cannot function effectively on low carbs. Extreme activities such as weight lifting, running, etc., demand higher carb content. If not, it leads to excessive fatigue, lethargy and under-performance.
Your cognitive functioning also gets affected with scarcity of carbs in your system. Brain relies on the blood sugar to generate energy, something that is found in carbs. So when the supply of carbs is hampered, it may lead to forgetfulness, loss of memory and delayed thinking.
Human body requires each and every nutrient for efficient functioning. So when any of it is cut down drastically, side effects are inevitable.
Weight loss techniques are abundant, if explored. Hence, try to look for options that involve adequate nutrition and fat-burn through exercising.