Low-carb diet

There are many low carb diets available today and they are mostly different in the list of allowed food and macronutrient ratio. 

A low carb diet generally means eating up to 150 grams of carbs a day, and the rest of your daily calories should come from eating healthy fats and proteins. If sticking to a lower carb intake and higher fat or protein intake, amongst other things, your appetite reduces and you naturally lose weight. 

Some of the advantages of a low carb lifestyle are:

  • it's the most simple and very effective way to lose the extra weight and keep it off

  • cutting carbs from your diet reduces appetite so the calorie intake is lower although you can basically eat whenever you feel hungry 

  • it lowers the sugar levels and minimizes insulin levels

 

Healthy Food
Macros / Macronutrients

Macros or macronutrients are the main nutrients we need to survive and those are carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. We need all 3 of them to prevent the risk of nutrient deficiency and illness.

Carbohydrates also known as carbs or starch or saccharides 

Carbs give our body the quick energy that it needs to perform. When we eat carbs, our body transforms them into sugar/glucose and stores it if we don't use them straight away. 

There are simple and complex carbs:

  • Simple carbs, like bread and pasta, give us quick energy but we also feel hungry very soon after

  • Complex carbs, like vegetables, fruit, and whole-grains, keep us full for a longer time and they additionally provide us with fiber, vitamins, and minerals which is why they are considered healthy carbs.

Fat

Fat is also an energy source, it helps the body absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K, it shields the body, and influences hormone production. 

  • Saturated and trans fats are found mostly in meat, snacks, baked products and they should be limited because they can raise cholesterol

  • Unsaturated fats are found in avocado, oils, seeds and nuts, and they are considered healthy fats

Protein

Protein helps the body to grow, heal, build muscles and it can be found in meat, fish, and some vegetables.

Low-carb weight loss diet vs. Keto diet macros 
Low-carb weight loss diet
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Keto diet
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Whichever diet plan you choose, it's always best to consult with your doctor before starting.

The percentages above show the ratio of each nutrient in daily calorie intake for low carb or keto diet.

To know your daily calorie needs, first you need to know your BMR.

BMR is short for basal metabolic rate which is an estimate of the calories your body needs just to perform the basic functions for 24 hours. As BMR shows only the calories needed while the body is resting, depending on your activity level you need to add more calories to your diet.

Example:

If your BMR + activity level calories = 1700 calories per day, to count your macros for the low carb diet shown in the chart above, the formula would be:

  • Protein: 1700 x 0.50 (50%) = 850 calories needed from protein sources

  • Fat: 1700 x 0,30 (30%) = 510 calories needed from fat 

  • Carbs: 1700 x 0,20 (20%) = 340 calories needed from carbs 

There are many free apps available that can not only calculate your BMR, daily calorie needs, and macros but you can also keep track of your progress, nutrition, water consumption, exercise, and other.