March 16, 2011

Low Carbohydrate Mistakes Many Make

Are you thinking about starting a low carbohydrate lifestyle? Are you prepared? Will this be planned to be sustainable? Most people do not make it for many reasons, but the most common problem is that the way they have chosen is not sustainable. First, they have chosen a diet and do not balanced it for nutrition.

Here is a dozen problems or mistakes people make.

Not sustainable: Most people do not realize this when they start because they don't do any advance planning and then do not actively adapt when things go wrong. Mistakes do happen and people must be either adapt or change to stay low carb. If you are not in this for the long-term, then you are doing this for the wrong reason and need to stop.

Not starting it correctly: The problem here is that many start off immediately and do not realize that sometimes it is best to start out slowly and work your way down to get adjusted. Some have success the other way, but they have done the planning ahead of time. Over eating protein is not a solution and is not balanced for nutrition.

Not adjusting as needed: When a mistake is made, many people give up and do not adjust or correct for the mistake. For success, people should be prepared to make mistakes and at least learn how to correct for these.

Stopping too early: This is a common mistake. Some people are not prepared for the cut in carbohydrates and decide that they are not cut out for this lifestyle change. If you are serious, recognize this and adjust your carbohydrate intake up for a period of time to see if that will work and then attempt to adjust downward.

Not including enough vegetables and fruit: This is one of the largest mistakes people make. A balanced low carb way of life must include a variety of vegetables. Add low carb fruit for a more balanced nutrition.

Not including enough fiber: This is a big mistake by many people. Eating good amounts of vegetables and fruit adds fiber, but not always enough. Do your research to keep fiber amount in the healthy range.

Not limiting your intake: Most make this mistake. The food tastes good and a second helping is taken. People must learn that one serving size is all that can be eaten. No seconds or thirds are allowed and a good nutritious low carb meal is only what should be eaten. Do not forget to keep track of the calories in your food. This can wreck the best low carb plan.

Poor planning: People, do your planning to minimize mistakes. Learn nutrition and how to have nutritious low carb meals that are balanced for the food groups you planned for.

Not planning any variety: This is a common mistake area. A variety of food makes low carb eating more enjoyable and not boring.

Not analyzing foods: Analyze the foods to make sure that the number of carbs does not exceed what you want in total for the meal and the day.

Not analyzing amount of carbohydrates: Know the number of carbohydrates in each food and the serving size. There are carbohydrate and calorie programs available.

Not including exercise in the mix: Many people do not put exercise into their low carb plans. This is essential to control variations in total carbohydrates and allow for controlling other factors. Plus this is good for reducing insulin resistance and greater control of blood glucose.

Finally, plan, plan, and adjust as needed. There is no harm in starting slowly and working down gradually. Other people start out great, but then want to up the number of carbs. If this is done for a purpose and you have an upper limit as part of a plan, then realize what you are doing and avoid getting over the upper limit. There is no harm in deciding to increase the number of carbohydrates if you determine that you are too low in your carb count.

Some people can plan and do this on their own and have a well balanced low carb meal. Others will need the following assistance.

Most people would be well advised to spend some time with a nutritionist or dietitian in the initial planning to assist with nutrition and balancing your diet. Talk with your doctor to get assistance for insurance coverage. Please discuss this with your doctor and listen to any advice he/she may give you. Also be careful with your approach to the nutritionist and/or dietitian so that they know that you want their help and be careful if you see one that is stuck on a carb limit.

Be prepared for this to happen, by talking to the doctor beforehand and maybe he/she can prepare who ever you will see or will be willing to make several referrals if needed. Often the doctor can make the right referral in the beginning. If the person is not going to consider low carb and help you, do not waste further time with them and let the doctor make another referral.

Remember that this is your decision and the level of carbs or range you set is up to you. Some find out that medium carb or lower medium carb is better.  Generally low carb is considered less than 80 grams per day.  Medium is 80 to 140, and high is over 140.  Some people have different ranges.

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