What is Low Carb Living, Why Should I Care, and How Do I Get Started?

There are a multitude of options within the span of low carb living to choose from depending on how quickly you want to see changes in your life.  These options range from simply reducing the amount of carbohydrates and sugar you eat per day to anything less than you’re currently consuming (slow carbing) to Keto (20 grams of net carbohydrates per day, moderate protein, high fat) to Carnivore (completely omitting carbohydrates from your nutritional strategy altogether). 

Which approach is best?  It all depends on you, your body, your emotional fitness, your readiness to change, and the speed at which you’d like to see changes in your life.  The quickest results generally come from eating as close to zero carbohydrates per day as possible.  This may be a shock to the system for some people, especially those who are consuming a massive amount of carbohydrates currently.  Symptoms of Keto Flu can creep in such as nausea, dizziness, and diarrhea.  Proper hydration and electrolytes certainly help alleviate these symptoms, but for some, going the slow carb route is better for comfort and easing into the lifestyle. 

Low carb living has plenty of benefits beyond mere fat loss.  One of the biggest is reducing the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes or better yet reversing it if you’re already suffering from it.  I collaborate with a medical doctor in Temecula, California.  Dr. Jerry Hizon of Motion Medical Group puts all of his patients on a low carbohydrate nutritional strategy.  He is putting in major work in getting his patients off their insulin and medications.  He is also working on curing his cancer patients with low carb nutrition because cancer can’t feed off ketones.  Check him out on YouTube.  He’s a great resource of information as a medical doctor.  Other benefits of low carb living include increased energy and focus.  You may see a reduction in stress, cortisol, inflammation, bloating, and not feeling hungry all the time. 

To get started on the path to low carb living, I suggest getting yourself equipped with a method of tracking your nutrition.  There are plenty of free apps out there, but I prefer CarbManager.  It’s easy to use and convenient even for those of us who don’t like to track.  My only issue with CarbManager is that the protein requirements are a bit too high for people who don’t exercise at all. 

The next step is to look at all the nutrition facts of the food in your home.  I suggest throwing out or giving away anything that has a lot of carbohydrates and sugar in it.  Not having these items in your home will help when you get the urge to consume less than ideal foods.  If you’re like myself and most people you’ll be quite surprised at how much sugar is in our everyday foods; it’s absolutely crazy. 

Lastly, you’ll want to go online and find some delicious low carb recipes.  There are plenty of free resources including www.kaseytrenum.com, www.lowcarbyum.com, www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto/recipes, www.ditchthecarbs.com, www.tasteofhome.com/collection/keto-diet-recipes/view-all/, www.skinnytaste.com/recipes/keto/, www.gnom-gnom.com, www.wholesomeyum.com, and www.thatlowcarblife.com just to name a few.  There are some awesome low carb cookbooks on the market, but I’m pretty selective on what I’ll invest in so I went to the library to check out what they had or Barnes and Noble to thumb through the recipes to ensure they didn’t have any wild or expensive ingredients.  As you’re shopping at the grocery store ensure that you’re looking at the nutrition facts carefully to determine if the food is a good fit for your low carb living strategy (slow carb, keto or carnivore).  Net carbohydrates are calculated by taking the total carbohydrates and subtracting both fiber and sugar alcohol. 

You’re awesome and amazing!  You’ve got this!  I’m here for guidance and support if you need me.