Whether you want to trim your waistline to fit into your dream swimsuit or just want to live healthy, eating right is key. Some nutritionists recommend decreasing your carb intake, as overconsumption of carbs has been linked to weight gain and increased risk of heart disease and even some kinds of cancer. This usually means cutting back on rice, bread, pasta, and other starchy and sweet foods. Thinking of trying a low-carb diet? We round up seven variations for you to choose from!
Low FODMAP Diet
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols, which are basically different kinds of starches and sugars that some people may have a hard time digesting. This means that a Low FODMAP diet doesn't only help you cut back on carbs, but also improves your gastrointestinal health, especially for those with sensitive tummies.
According to The Daily Beast, foods which have low FODMAP levels include bell peppers, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, bananas, grapes, oranges, berries, lemons, lactose free mili products, chicken, beef, pork, fish, eggs, oats, rice, brown sugar, maple syrup, and almonds, among others.
The Slow-Carb Diet can trace its origins in the book The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris. Its goal is to help you lose body fat by restricting you to food types that have low glycemic indexes.
It encourages you to eat the same few meals over and over again, balance your blood sugar levels, and consume food with "good" carbohydrates. Fitness Magazine's list includes lean meats, apples, beans, carrots, tomato soup, and the like.
Most studies that support the Mediterranean diet talk about its many health benefits like a lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease and improvement in mental health, but the truth is, the Mediterranean diet simply pertains to how locals from Greece, Southern Italy, and Spain take their meals.
It usually consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts, healthy oils (preferably olive oil), fish, eggs, dairy such as milk and yogurt, and grains.
The Sonoma Diet is almost like the Mediterranean diet, save for a few tweaks. It's centered on 10 "power foods" which, according to WebMD, include almonds, bell peppers, blueberries, broccoli, grapes, olive oil, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, and whole grains.
The goal is to lose weight without completely depriving yourself. It can be done in three "waves." During the first wave of 10 days, you're asked to avoid fatty food and consume wine, fruits, and vegetables; in the second wave, you're encouraged to maintain your weight by eating the same kinds of food as in wave one, with more fruits and veggies together with six ounces of wine; in the third wave, you increase your fruit intake and make the Sonoma Diet a legitimate part of your lifestyle.
Sugar Busters Diet
As the name connotes, the Sugar Busters Diet is all about kicking carbs and glucose out the window in lieu of food types that have low gylcemic indexes without counting calories. For those with diabetes, this is probably one of the best diet plans out there, as it aims to keep your blood sugar levels steady.
According to WebMD, the Sugar Busters Diet plan includes fruits and vegetables (as long as they aren't high on sugar), whole wheat products, low-fat dairy, yogurt, eggs, seafood, lean meats, and red wine.
CNN called Volumetrics "a way of eating that just plain makes sense," and it's true: It doesn't want you to deprive yourself of anything, and instead encourages you to enjoy what you eat.
The catch? There's a bit of calorie counting involved, but the key is to choose the kinds of food with low calorie counts, so that you'll end up consuming a satisfying portion without having to worry about going overboard. It's all about feeling full the right way.
Volumetrics isn't a quick fix to trimming your waistline. It's a long-term plan that involves exercise and a lifestyle shift. WebMD offers four categories that'll help you split your food into for more managable portioning:
Category 1 includes non-starchy fruits and vegetables that you can eat anytime.
Category 2 includes whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protiens.
Category 3 includes small portions of desserts and cheeses.
Category 4 includes very small portions of fried food, candies, and fats.
You'll need to incorporate all of these into three full meals, two merienda breaks, and a bit of dessert every day. Not too bad, isn't it?
One of the oldest and still most famous low-carb diets around, the Atkin's diet, as described on WebMD, is based on the theory that if you go cold turkey on carbs, your body will use its own fat to burn as fuel for energy. It's a pretty drastic diet and is quite the opposite of Volumetrics in concept, so you need to consult a doctor before subscribing to it.
Similar to other diets, Atkin's also has phases. The induction phase has strict eating rules. You're not supposed to have pasta, rice, bread, grains, or anything starchy, and you can only consume 20 grams of carbohydrates a day. It also disallows consumption of anything with alcohol or caffeine, so it may be torture for those who love their early morning cup of joe.
The next phase is the "ongoing weight loss stage," which allows you to add more veggies, nuts, fruits, and even wine and low-carb alcohol to your regular diet. Once you get past this, you'll be able to more or less gauge the amount of carbs your body really needs and eat accordingly.
*Whichever you choose, keep in mind that these still depend on your body chemistry. Some of them may work better than others. Before getting into any one seriously, you may want to consult your doctor about proper nutrition and the right amount of exercise that will give you that healthy boost.
PHOTO: 1 Flickr, 2, 3, 4 Pixabay