Written by Jacqui Campbell MS, RD, CDN
Low carbohydrate diets have been popular on and off for decades now. We, at Bordeaux Nutrition, agree that low carb diets are best for weight loss and management of many chronic health problems. However, we see our fair share of people coming in who are already following a low carb diet and struggling. Why? There’s a lot of possible reasons.
1. You’ve cut your carbs, but not replaced them with anything else.
This is the most common problem we see. In cutting back on carbs, people are cutting their calories too much. Not eating enough leads to a slower metabolism and thus slowed weight loss. When drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake, you want to replace them with protein AND fat. Which leads me to the next problem you may be having…
2. You’re not eating ENOUGH fat.
We see a lot of people cut down on carbs and replace it with only protein and you end up with a low-carb and low-fat diet. Replacing carbohydrates with foods rich in fat keeps you satisfied and avoids spikes in blood sugar and insulin. Improved blood sugar control is not only important for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes, but it aids in weight loss by directing your body to burn fat storage for energy. Studies have shown that people eating a higher-fat diet have faster metabolisms than those eating a lower fat diet with the same number of calories. Healthy fats include avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut, olives, and oils from these foods.
3. You’ve cut down on grains/starches only.
Many people reduce their intake of breads, pastas, rice, and sweets, but neglect to pay attention to the amount of starchy vegetables and fruit they are consuming. Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, squashes, corn, peas, beans and fruits are all sources of carbohydrates. These are healthy carb options that we want to make sure to include in our diets, but excessive quantities can impair your ability to lose weight and actually contribute to high blood sugar and triglycerides.
To figure out the best diet for you, it is important to meet with a dietitian to assess your individual needs and help you form a personalized plan.