Summer, sun, beach and sea - the warmer months are upon us, and so also bathing season. For many, reaching for swimming trunks or bikinis can trigger internal stress, and there is a renewed desire for a slimmer, in-shape body. That’s why this is also the season for plenty of sport and diets. When it comes to the latter, the low-carb diet is currently very popular.
Let’s get started
Weight loss, being slim, lower body fat... Weight management and body optimisation are very much in trend. Dozens of diets and promising nutritional strategies come to mind. The pressure is increasing, as is the guilty conscience when eating. But what is actually the right strategy? Which diet helps?
First, let’s look at the facts: 80 – 90 % of all weight reduction programmes are unsuccessful! Often, those who want to lose weight are heavier at the end than before. Numerous studies show that the more restrictions there are, the less chance there is of lasting success. It is therefore important to optimise your diet in a way that makes it sustainable in the long term.
A carbohydrate-reduced or optimised diet is just one of many approaches:
Slim through low carb?
The low carb diet originated in America, where it triggered a real boom a few years ago – in 2004, it was declared the most widespread diet trend there. The aim of a low-carb diet is to significantly reduce the proportion of carbohydrates eaten. Bread, pasta, rice, sugar and wheat flour therefore either no longer appear on the plate at all, or they are significantly reduced. Instead, more proteins and fats are integrated into the diet. Why? The background is that a low-carb diet should boost the fat metabolism, i.e. one can expect more fat to be burned.
But is that really the solution? To never eat pasta, bread and co. again?
Clearly, the answer is no! Still, paying more attention to carbohydrates does offer a good approach to optimising your diet, and could make things a lot easier. For example, eating more complex carbohydrates i.e. wholegrain products and products with a high fibre content, eating them at the right time and in adequate quantities promotes satiety and can aid in weight loss.
Body shaping – this is how!
To lose weight and shape the body, you must consume less energy than you expend. It is helpful to compose meals in a way that satisfies your hunger quickly and satisfactorily. A satisfied appetite and the feeling of fullness guarantee successful weight loss.
This can be achieved by having more protein and vegetables and less carbohydrates on the plate. It doesn’t matter whether the meal is hot or cold. It’s quite easy with the “healthy plate principle”:
¼ of the plate in the form of protein (legumes, tofu, fish, meat, dairy products…)
¼ of the plate in the form of high-fibre carbohydrates (whole grain rice, pasta, bread (e.g. high-fibre protein bread), bulgur, millet…)
½ of the plate in the form of vegetables and/or salad (raw, stewed, steamed, boiled)
Putting meals together according to this principle not only optimises calorie content, but also the health benefits. In the evening, the protein content can be slightly higher and the carbohydrate content slightly lower. At this time of the day, we seldom need more energy from carbohydrates. Additionally, fat burning is boosted while you sleep.
BUT: with the cult of the body and the desire for the perfect body shape, we shouldn’t forget that wellbeing and a healthy, fit body should be the priority. Everything within reason, and in the right proportions. In this spirit, I wish you many enjoyable moments.
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