Low -carbohydrate diet: benefits, contraindications and budget menu

Low Carb Diet- it's just a diet for a month or two, it's a way of life. And although it has certain restrictions on the product (for example, need to exclude soda, sugar, baked goods), it is not stricter than usual, but so vague in understanding proper nutrition.

Grilled meats, fish, fatty dairy products, berries, vegetables and a variety of vegetables-and with all these types, you can still successfully lose extra weight! Doesn't every girl dream about this?! But, as elsewhere, there are pitfalls here - which is why we highly recommend you consult your doctor before switching to a low -carb diet.

The essence of a low -carbohydrate diet

Everyone who has tried to lose weight at least once knows that in order to lose weight, one must abandon sweet and starchy foods. True, often foods containing fat are excluded from the diet - butter, meat, cream, mayonnaise. As a result, girls, in order to get the dream figure, eat salads and green tea, which inevitably leads to greater damage and weight gain. This approach to weight loss is fundamentally wrong. If you want to lose weight, you have to eat, only the diet must be different from the one you followed earlier.

Moreover, many women forget that healthy fats are the basis for the formation of sex hormones in the ovaries, adrenal hormones and vitamin D, which are responsible for the expression of several thousand genes!

the essence of a low -carbohydrate diet

Nutritionists are constantly studying the effects of certain foods on human health. Their work results in a variety of nutritional systems aimed at maintaining good health, a stable emotional background and achieving ideal physical shape. In the mid-2000s, Swedish scientists proved that the widespread and massive consumption of sugar and starch, rather than fat, as previously believed, was more dangerous for the figure. This led to a real revolution in nutrition.

Foods containing fat have a completely different effect: they give the body a prolonged feeling of satiety, give it energy, which is enough for a long enough period. Just compare: when carbohydrates are burned in our body’s furnace, the production plant in the form of cells and tissues receives little more than 4 kilocalories, while fat brings in twice as much - 9 with a small tail.

Recently, another myth has been dispelled that the brain needs glucose to function normally, which supposedly can only be obtained from pure sugar. Large -scale studies in physiology and nutritional science suggest the opposite: senile dementia is more frequently observed in sweet lovers, and those who have consumed moderate amounts of carbohydrates throughout their lives maintain clarity of thought until the end of their lives.

In fact, nerve tissue uses glucose as a substrate for energy (i. e. , firewood sent to the mitochondrial stove) - this is a favorite, but far from the only way to ensure its vital function. With prolonged starvation and a decrease in carbohydrate intake with food, our brains, at first, of course, reluctantly, but switch from gasoline to gas - or rather from glucose to ketone bodies.

lose weight on a low carb diet

A low -carbohydrate diet for weight loss is very easy for most women to tolerate, as it is not accompanied by an attack of hunger. Adherents of this eating style note that they do not feel the urge to eat foods that contain large amounts of sugar and starch. In this case, it is not necessary to clearly normalize the amount of carbohydrates allowed, however, nutritionists still give certain recommendations - from 20 to 100 g of carbohydrates per day. Naturally, their source of supply should be grains, vegetables and fruits, but not refined sugars and premium (and even more refined) flours.

However, the constant counting of calories consumed and the resulting guilt if you do not conform to daily norms, only requires loosening the emotional background - and then losing weight will be a backfire with psychosis. Add enough physical activity and make sure that satiety isn’t automatically the same as overeating, and then you definitely don’t need a very conditional calorie count by the app on your phone.

  • Eat only natural fats, get rid of synthetic fats vigorously.
  • Make sure to cook food to a minimum.
  • Eat with pleasure, get physical and aesthetic pleasure. Stay alone with your plate - let the phone, newspapers and TV not distract you from your food: don’t forget that digestive juices are secreted even before food touches the mouth - this is the so -called cerebral reflex or complex secretion phase.
contraindications to low -carbohydrate diets

There are no serious contraindications to a low -carbohydrate diet, but people with chronic medical conditions (such as Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome) are advised to consult their doctor. Insulin -dependent patients, patients with cardiovascular problems should take into account the peculiarities of their condition and be guided by the recommendations of nutritionists.

How mitochondria work in the body

Apparently, why would someone, far from science, have to understand such a complex issue? However, understanding the basics of cell function will make it possible to better understand the processes that take place in the depths of our body. We will only touch on the effects of ketones and insulin on mitochondrial activity to show how we can actually improve our health, just by making changes in diet.

Mitochondrial function- Extraction of energy from food, its combination with oxygen and synthesis of adenosine triphosphoric acid (ATP), which is the basic unit of energy in animal cells. Mitochondria are present in every cell of the body, except erythrocytes - red blood cells are forced to support themselves through a slightly different process of glucose transformation.

Insulin plays an important role in this process. It depends on it exactly how the body will waste the energy it generates: whether it will spend it for current needs or store it for a rainy day. High insulin levels trigger synthetic reactions - including fats. This is the hormone ANABOLISM-that’s why everything grows on it: both muscle (due to increased protein production) and cancer cells (actually, tumors are based on uncontrolled division).

Lack of carbohydrates leads to the fact that insulin is produced in limited amounts - enough to cover the body's needs for it. This initiates the process of ketogenesis: fatty acids are converted to ketones, which serve as fuel for cells - including brain neurons, as noted earlier.

8 types of low carb diets

A basic low carb diet

Briefly, it can be described as follows: carbohydrates - less, protein - more (compared to your normal diet). The basis of the diet is meat, fish, eggs, grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, natural fats.

As for the recommended amount of carbohydrates, it depends on the goal:

  • to maintain weight or supply the body with energy for intense sports activities - 100-150 grams. Starchy fruits and vegetables are allowed;
  • moderate weight loss - 50-100 grams; Forbidden potatoes and high-carbohydrate sweet fruits (such as bananas and mangoes)
  • quickly get rid of excess fat - no more than 50 grams. Lots of vegetables, but a minimum of fruits.

Ketogenic diet

If you reduce carbohydrate intake to a minimum, insulin levels drop to basal, triggering the onset of ketosis, a condition in which fatty acids are broken down to extract the energy the body needs. Ketone bodies are formed in the liver, which by itself has no enzymes to use for energy - in fact, it is a factory that produces goods for export. These molecules serve as fuel for the muscles, kidneys and brain.

characteristics of a ketogenic diet

The diet for ketone diets includes foods rich in protein and fat, while the amount of carbohydrates is limited to 20-50 (and often 5-10) grams per day.

Low carb, high fat diet (LCHF - low carb, high fat). . .

This eating style differs from the usual options with an emphasis on inclusion in the diet of whole foods or those who have undergone minimal cooking. Most common in Scandinavia, where sustainable ways of eating and living are generally traditionally popular.

Low Carb Paleo Diet

Adherents of this method of losing weight and maintaining health believe that only food available to humans at the beginning of its emergence, in the Paleolithic era, could be eaten. You can eat meat and fish, seafood, eggs, fruits, vegetables and wild berries, nuts, seeds and roots. In short, what could be collected or captured by the ancient man with his own hands was allowed. Everything that has emerged as a result of the development of agriculture and the food industry is banned: sugar, cereals, sausages and cakes, semi-finished products. The main idea of such a diet is the belief that by the time Homo sapiens appeared, nature had provided everything necessary for its good nutrition.

low carb paleo diet for weight loss

Diet atkins

The popularity of this weight loss system has not diminished over the past forty years. Meat, fish, seafood, eggs, salads and other non-starchy vegetables, mushrooms, dairy products, nuts are allowed. Fruits should be limited due to their high fructose content.

The diet has four stages:

  • in the induction phase, it is recommended to eat less than 20 g of carbohydrates for two weeks. The diet consists of protein products and vegetables that do not contain starch.
  • in the stable weight loss phase, the amount of carbohydrate increased weekly by 5 g. 3-5 kg before the desired weight, this phase is over.
  • in the stabilization phase, carbohydrates are added by 10 g per week.
  • in the maintenance phase, it is allowed to include healthy carbohydrates in the diet. If the weight starts to increase, their number decreases again.


For adherents of plant -based diets, a special kind of Atkins diet has been created. Since animal products are not used as a source of protein, essential amino acids are derived from soy, legumes, nuts, and gluten. This inevitably increases the amount of carbohydrates consumed compared to the classic Atkins diet, but against the background of the traditional diet, there are very few of them on the vegan menu. In addition, frequent consumption of cereals has a negative impact on intestinal permeability - it increases, which leads to the entry of elements of the bacterial cell wall into the systemic circulation and activation of responses of the immune system.

Zero Carbohydrate Diet

A small number decided to completely exclude the use of carbohydrates to begin the process of active weight loss. However, there are people who exclusively include animal products in their diet. Their menu includes dishes from meat, fish, eggs and animal fats. They do not eat vegetables, fruits, and more grains. The extent to which this style of diet is safe is not known for sure, as corresponding scientific research has yet to be conducted.

Of course, the complete absence of fiber (a kind of broom that cleanses the intestines, and also stimulates its motility) will adversely affect the body. The resulting constipation and stool problems form a closed vicious circle, leading, in turn, to the excessive growth of bacteria and, consequently, to an increase in pressure in the intestines. The latter will negatively affect the mechanism of excretion of pancreatic juice and bile.

Mediterranean diet

Based on the traditional Mediterranean diet of fish, seafood, olives, vegetables, cheese and durum wheat pasta. It differs from the classic low -carbohydrate diet in the reduction of the content of red meat and animal fats and a large number of vegetables, namely olives, oils. Studies show that this lifestyle helps the Mediterranean population be less prone to obesity, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.

Benefits of a Low Carb Diet for Weight Loss

Research has proven the effectiveness of a low -carbohydrate diet for weight loss. At the same time, people do not feel hungry, do not experience a constant craving for illicit products. This is due to the specificity of the protein breakdown and the adequate caloric content of fat.

A low -carbohydrate diet can help you lose fat quickly in your stomach, including visceral storage around your internal organs. This significantly reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

Benefits of a Low Carb Diet for Weight Loss

Benefits of a Low Carbohydrate Diet in Fighting Disease

Excess weight is the cause of the emergence of many pathological conditions, therefore, it is necessary to get rid of the accumulated kilograms, even if there are no significant health problems. A low -carbohydrate diet should be the guiding principle of nutrition for patients with diabetes, heart, reproductive and nervous diseases.

  • diabetes. . . Changing the diet toward lowering carbohydrates while increasing fat has many beneficial effects in obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Adhering to such a diet, they stabilize blood glucose levels and can take smaller doses of pharmacological drugs prescribed for this pathology.
  • Nerve disease. . . For people with epilepsy, a low -carbohydrate diet has long been recommended as a simple and effective way to reduce the risk of seizures. For Alzheimer's disease, as well as to prevent its occurrence, neurologists advise to include more foods with high fat content in the diet and minimize the consumption of simple carbohydrates.
  • Heart disease. . . By adhering to the principles of a diet with a minimum carbohydrate content, patients with heart problems can significantly improve their condition. One study involved 55 overweight subjects. After 12 weeks of adherence to a low-carbohydrate diet, they showed a decrease in triglycerides, C-reactive protein (one of the main markers of inflammation), as well as an increase in the indicator of "good" cholesterol in HDL (high-density lipoprotein). ).

Foods to Avoid in a Low Carb Diet

Dietary adherence means excluding the following foods from the diet:

  • Cereals and starches: bread, bread rolls, pies, pasta, rice and other cereals.
  • Sweet drinks: juice, tea with sugar, milkshakes, fruit smoothies, sports drinks, cocoa, lemonade.
  • Sweetener: sugar, honey, agave, syrup.
  • Vegetables high in starch and sugar: potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, beets, beans.
  • Alcoholic beverages: beer, sweet cocktails and sweet wines.
  • Commercially available low -calorie and dietetic foods. . . Such labeling is often confusing: mild mayonnaise contains starch, and diabetic products contain fructose.
  • Semi -finished products and sausages: not suitable due to high sugar, starch and soy content. They are also a hidden source of gluten.
  • Fruits can be eaten in limited quantities, berries - in small portions.
fruits on a low-carbohydrate diet

These are general guidelines for all types of low -carb diets. The exact amount of carbohydrates that can be eaten during the day depends on the goal and, thus, the type of diet. Therefore, ketosis can be achieved only with the maximum reduction of foods containing carbohydrates. Other types of diets are allowed to include up to 50 or even 100 g of carbohydrates in the diet.

List of approved products

To lose weight without feeling hungry and unhealthy, the creators of the low -carbohydrate diet system focused on foods high in fat and protein.

This list includes:

  • Eggs. . . They contain a lot of healthy fats and an almost complete absence of carbohydrates. In particular, it is a source of biotin, fat -soluble vitamins (A, D and E), as well as choline, a precursor of one of the major neurotransmitters of the nervous system - acetylcholine.
  • Oil. . . All types of oils can be used in the diet, but olive, coconut and avocado oils are recognized as leaders in terms of health benefits.
  • A fish. . . It is better to give preference to fat types - salmon, trout, sardines. Adequate consumption will provide the body with omega-3 fatty acids, thereby significantly reducing the risk of pathology of the cardiovascular system and impaired cognitive function.
  • Meat and chicken. . . Beef, chicken, turkey, rabbit meat are recommended.
  • Dairy products. . . Cream, yogurt without sugar, butter, cottage cheese, cheese.
  • Vegetables are not starchy. . . Any vegetables, broccoli, all kinds of salads, asparagus, cauliflower, peppers, mushrooms.
  • Avocado. . . Unique fruit that is high in healthy fats.

I will give you an example of the menu

An example of a low -carb diet for weight loss for a week looks like this:


  • An omelet made from two eggs and a little milk or full -fat cream.
  • Two slices of hard cheese.
  • Coffee with coconut milk or cream.


  • Pork steak.
  • Fresh vegetable salad with olive oil.
  • Cream cheese (3 tbsp).
  • Tea without sugar.

Afternoon snack(optional - but still better to try to eat the most physiologically three times a day):

  • 20-30 pcs. pre -soaked almonds.
  • Baked apples (no raisins, sugar and honey! ).
green apples on a low carb diet


  • Greek salad (bengal pepper, cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, olives).
  • Roasted or fried mushrooms in vegetable oil.
  • Grilled fish.

Menu for this week

To simplify the process of losing weight as much as possible and save you time, we recommend using the menu for each day for proper adherence to a low -carbohydrate diet. If you want, you can make changes to it without skipping the list of approved products.


  • Breakfast.Omelette with cheese, vegetable and herb salad, toast with avocado, sugar-free coffee with a piece of butter or coconut oil and berries.
  • dinner.Roast pork steak or pan, salad, salted homemade cheese.
  • dinner.Beef in a creamy sauce, cabbage salad.


  • Breakfast.Pike perch slices, cucumber and tomato slices, natural yogurt for dessert (you can add coconut, almond slices and some whipped berries in a blender).
  • fruit and berry smoothies on a low -carb diet
  • dinner.Mushroom soup, tobacco chicken, homemade eggplant and bell pepper caviar.
  • dinner.Duck breast with vegetable side dish.


  • Breakfast.Ham omelet, green salad with sour cream sauce, a handful of your favorite nuts, green tea.
  • dinner.Zucchini puree soup, fried cheese, baked apples (it is better to choose the type without sugar).
  • dinner.Saute beef, cauliflower, boil in cream.


  • Breakfast.Boiled eggs with avocado, spinach, lightly salted salmon.
  • dinner.Pieces of pike meat, roasted vegetables.
  • dinner.Pork and broccoli casserole in sour cream sauce with cheese crust.


  • Breakfast.Soft boiled eggs, zucchini pancakes with ricotta cheese, olives, cocoa.
  • dinner.Cut chicken fillets on vegetable pillows.
  • dinner.Salmon steak with pumpkin puree.


  • Breakfast.Omelet with ham and sun dried tomatoes, hard cheese, a handful of nuts and berries.
  • dinner.Rabbit back with boiled and fried asparagus.
  • dinner.Saute chicken legs, mushrooms and eggplant.


  • Breakfast.Boiled eggs with salmon and spinach, roasted turkey, coffee without sugar.
  • dinner.Turkish steak, cauliflower in a creamy sauce.
  • dinner.Preserved meat and broccoli puree.
diet on a low carb diet

We remind you that for those who want to switch to a low -carb diet, this weekly menu is just a guideline for creating an individual diet. It is impossible to take into account everyone’s taste preferences. The main thing is to adhere to the basic principles behind a low -carb diet: low -carb, high -fat.

Low Carb Diet for Diabetes

The principles of a low -carbohydrate diet differ depending on the type of diabetes. Insulin -dependent patients should eat a balanced diet that includes foods with a low glycemic index.

low carb diet for diabetes

The low -carbohydrate diet for type 2 diabetes has several special features:

  • The main part of the medical menu consists of vegetables and herbs. For women, the norm of non -starchy vegetables is 500 g per day, if she does not spend a lot of energy, and up to 800 g - with regular physical work or sports.
  • To keep cholesterol levels from rising, diabetics eat a low -carbohydrate diet without saturated fats. Preference is given to healthy unsaturated fats, which are found in low -fat types of fish, as well as vegetable fats. This means pork, lard, salmon, salmon are not recommended. Instead, nutritionists advise diabetics to eat more nuts, avocados, olives, and use vegetable oils for cooking.
  • Complete rejection of carbohydrates for such patients is contraindicated, as this is fraught with a drop in blood sugar and deterioration of well -being. Carbohydrates should be absorbed evenly throughout the day, with vegetables being the best source of carbohydrates.
  • For snacks, you can use protein foods with a low glycemic index, which quickly satisfy hunger - pre -soaked beans are perfect.
  • In type 2 diabetes, a low -carbohydrate diet with a low -sugar menu may require an adjustment to the previously prescribed medication dose. In the first stage, it is necessary to constantly measure the level of glucose in the blood: if it becomes lower as a result of changes in diet, the doctor will reduce the dose of antihyperglycemic drugs. Consultation of an endocrinologist is required; it is not worth it to adjust your own medication intake.

Low Carbohydrate Diet for Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome

Adrenal fatigue syndrome occurs as a result of a state of constant stress. One of the symptoms of this condition is hypoglycemia and is accompanied by hunger, irritability, headache.

low -carbohydrate diet for tired adrenal syndrome

Treatment is accompanied by proper nutrition, which is based on three main points:

  • Do not abuse candy under any circumstances. Eaten sweets will improve your well-being temporarily, but then always lead to a sharp drop in the concentration of glucose in the blood and subsequent unhealthiness.
  • Any sausage is better to choose a regular piece of meat. Products obtained as a result of complex technological processing contain many substances that are contraindicated in such a diagnosis.
  • Gluten and vegetable oils that contain pro-inflammatory omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids should be eliminated from the diet.

In addition, a low -carbohydrate diet for men and women with adrenal fatigue syndrome means avoiding coffee altogether. It’s all about cortisol, whose production increases under the influence of caffeine. As a result, the metabolism slows down, and the weight loss process slows down.