Low carb diet: benefits, contraindications and approximate menu

Low Carbohydrate Diet- This is just a diet for a month or two, a way of life. Although there are some restrictions on the products (for example, soda, sugar, baked goods should be excluded), it is not tougher than usual, and it is so vague in understanding proper nutrition.

Fried meat, fish, dairy products, berries, vegetables and a variety of greens - and with all this variety you can still successfully lose extra pounds! Doesn't every girl dream of that?! However, as everywhere, there are pitfalls - so we strongly recommend that you consult your doctor before switching to a low-carbohydrate diet.

The essence of a low-carbohydrate diet

Anyone who has tried to lose weight at least once knows that in order to lose weight, it is necessary to give up sweet and starchy foods. True, the most fatty foods are excluded from the diet - fat, meat, cream, mayonnaise. As a result, girls eat lettuce and green tea to have a sleeping figure, which inevitably leads to breakdown and even more weight gain. This approach to weight loss is fundamentally wrong. You need to eat to lose weight, but your diet should be different than you used to.

In addition, many women forget that healthy fats are the basis for the production of sex hormones, adrenal hormones and vitamin D, which is responsible for the expression of several thousand genes in the ovaries!

The essence of a low-carbohydrate diet

Nutritionists are constantly studying the effects of certain foods on human health. Their work results in a variety of nutrition systems aimed at achieving health, a stable emotional background and ideal physical shape. In the mid-2000s, Swedish scientists proved that large and mass consumption of sugar and starch, rather than fat as previously believed, was more detrimental to the figure. This led to a real revolution in nutrition.

Foods containing fat have a completely different effect: they give the body a feeling of long-term satiety, providing it with enough energy for a long time. Just compare: when carbohydrates are burned in the ovens of our body, the factory in the form of cells and tissues receives a little more than 4 kilocalories, and fat brings twice as much - with a small tail 9.

Recently, another myth that the brain needs glucose for normal functioning, which can only be obtained from pure sugar, was refuted. Extensive research in the field of physiology and nutrition shows the opposite: senile dementia is more common in sweet lovers, and those who consume moderate amounts of carbohydrates throughout their lives maintain clarity of thought until the end of their days.

In fact, nerve tissue uses glucose as a substrate for energy (i. e. , wood sent to mitochondrial furnaces) - a favorite, but far from the only way to maintain its vital functions. With prolonged starvation and a decrease in carbohydrate intake through food, our brain is naturally reluctant at first, but it switches from gasoline to gas - or rather from glucose to ketone bodies.

lose weight on a low carb diet

It is very easy for many women to tolerate a low-carbohydrate diet to lose weight, because it is not accompanied by attacks of hunger. Proponents of this diet say that they do not feel the urge to eat foods high in sugar and starch. In this regard, there is no need to clearly normalize the amount of carbohydrates allowed, but nutritionists still give certain recommendations - 20 to 100 g of carbohydrates per day. Of course, their source of supply should be cereals, vegetables and fruits, but not refined sugar and high-grade flour (and even more refined).

However, the constant counting of calories consumed and the resulting guilt, if you do not meet the daily norm, only leads to a release of the emotional background - and then losing weight has the opposite effect with psychosis. Add enough physical activity and make sure your satiety isn't automatically equal to overeating, and then you won't need too many conventional calorie calculations by the apps on your phone.

  • Eat only natural oils, strictly discarding synthetic ones.
  • Minimize meals.
  • Eat with pleasure, enjoy physical and aesthetic. Stay alone with your plate - phones, newspapers and televisions should not distract you from your food: remember that digestive juices are secreted before the food touches the taste buds of the mouth - this is the brain or complex reflex secretion stage. .
Contraindications to a low-carbohydrate diet

There are no serious contraindications to a low-carbohydrate diet, but people with chronic illnesses (such as Tired Adrenal Syndrome) are advised to consult a doctor. Insulin-dependent patients with cardiovascular problems should take into account the specifics of their condition and follow the recommendations of nutritionists.

How mitochondria work in the body

Why should a person far from science understand such a complex issue? However, understanding the basics of cell activity will allow us to better understand what processes are taking place in the depths of our body. We will only touch on the effects of ketones and insulin on mitochondrial activity to show exactly how we can improve our health by making changes in our diet.

Mitochondrial function- Extraction of energy from food, its combination with oxygen and synthesis of adenosine triphosphoric acid (ATP), the main energy unit in animal cells. Mitochondria are present in every cell of the body except erythrocytes - red blood cells are forced to support themselves with slightly different processes of glucose conversion.

Insulin plays an important role in this process. It depends on exactly how the body uses the energy generated: will it use it for current needs, or will it be stored on a rainy day? High insulin levels trigger synthesis reactions, including fat. It's a hormone of ANABOLISM - so everything grows on it: both muscles (due to increased protein production) and cancer cells (in fact, the tumor is based on uncontrolled division).

Lack of carbohydrates leads to limited production of insulin - enough to meet the body's need for it. This begins the process of ketogenesis: fatty acids, as mentioned earlier, are converted into ketones, which serve as fuel for cells, including brain neurons.

8 types of low carbohydrate diet

The main low-carbohydrate diet

In short, it can be described as follows: carbohydrates - less, protein - more (compared to your regular diet). The basis of the diet is meat, fish, eggs, cereals, vegetables, fruits, nuts, natural oils.

As for the recommended amount of carbohydrates, it depends on the purpose:

  • To maintain weight or provide the body with energy for intense sports activities - 100-150 grams. Fruits and starchy vegetables are allowed;
  • moderate weight loss - 50-100 grams; Prohibited potatoes and sweet, high-carbohydrate fruits (such as bananas and mangoes)
  • Get rid of excess fat quickly - no more than 50 grams. Lots of vegetables, but minimal fruit.

Ketogenic diet

If you minimize carbohydrate intake, insulin levels drop to basal levels and trigger the onset of ketosis, in which case fatty acids are broken down to produce the energy the body needs. Ketone bodies are formed in the liver, which does not contain enzymes that can be used for energy - in fact, it is a factory that produces goods for export. These molecules act as fuel for the muscles, kidneys and brain.

features of ketogenic diet

For a ketone diet, the diet contains foods rich in protein and fat, and the amount of carbohydrates is limited to 20-50 (and often 5-10) grams per day.

Low carb, high fat diet (LCHF - low carb, high fat). . .

This style of eating differs from the usual choice with an emphasis on the inclusion in the diet of whole foods or minimal cooked foods. It is most common in Scandinavia, where sustainable eating and lifestyle in general are traditionally popular.

Low Carbohydrate Paleo Diet

Proponents of this method for weight loss and health believe that only at the beginning of its appearance, in the Paleolithic period, it is possible to eat foods that are available to humans. You can eat meat and fish, seafood, eggs, fruits, vegetables and wild berries, nuts, seeds and carrots. In short, things that the ancient man could collect or hold with his own hands are allowed. Everything that arises as a result of the development of agriculture and the food industry is prohibited: sugar, grain, sausages and confectionery, semi-finished products. The basic idea of such a diet is the belief that when Homo sapiens appeared, nature prepared everything necessary for its good nutrition.

Low carb paleo diet to lose weight

Atkins diet

The popularity of this weight loss system has not decreased over the past forty years. Meat, fish, seafood, eggs, salads and other starch-free vegetables, mushrooms, dairy products, nuts are allowed. Fruits should be limited due to their high fructose content.

The diet consists of four stages:

  • During the induction phase, it is recommended to eat less than 20 g of carbohydrates for two weeks. The diet consists of protein products and starch-free vegetables.
  • In the stage of constant weight loss, the amount of carbohydrates increases by 5 g per week, 3-5 kg of the desired weight, this stage is over.
  • In the stabilization phase, carbohydrates are added 10 g per week.
  • Healthy carbohydrates are allowed to be included in the diet during the maintenance phase. If they start to gain weight, their number decreases again.


A special type of Atkins diet has been created for fans of plant-based nutrition. Since animal products are not used as a source of protein, the main amino acids are obtained from soy, legumes, nuts and gluten. This inevitably increases the amount of carbohydrates consumed compared to the classic Atkins diet, but there are very few of them on the vegan menu against the background of traditional diets. In addition, frequent consumption of grains has a negative effect on intestinal permeability - it causes the entry of elements of the bacterial cell wall into the systemic circulation and the activation of reactions from the immune system.

Zero Carbohydrate Diet

Few people decide to completely eliminate the use of carbohydrates to begin the process of active weight loss. However, there are people who include only animal products in their diet. Their menu includes dishes made from meat, fish, eggs and animal fats. They do not eat vegetables, fruits and even more grains. It is not known exactly how safe this diet is, as relevant scientific research has not yet been conducted.

Undoubtedly, the lack of fiber (a kind of broom that cleanses the intestines, but also stimulates its motility) will have a negative effect on the body. Constipation and fecal problems, in turn, lead to a closed disorder that causes bacteria to multiply and increase intestinal pressure. The latter will adversely affect the mechanisms of pancreatic juice and bile secretion.

Mediterranean diet

It is based on the traditional Mediterranean diet of fish, seafood, olives, vegetables, cheese and durum wheat pasta. It differs from the classic low-carbohydrate diet in the reduced content of red meat and animal fats and a large amount of vegetables, ie olive oil. Studies show that this lifestyle helps Mediterranean people to suffer less from obesity, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.

Benefits of a Low Carbohydrate Diet to Lose Weight

Studies have shown the effectiveness of a low-carbohydrate diet to lose weight. At the same time, people do not feel hungry, do not feel a constant craving for banned products. This is due to the specificity of the breakdown of protein and the fact that fats have enough calories.

A low-carb diet can help you lose belly fat quickly, as well as visceral reserves around your internal organs. This significantly reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.

Benefits of a Low Carbohydrate Diet to Lose Weight

Benefits of a Low Carbohydrate Diet to Fight Disease

Being overweight causes the appearance of many pathological conditions, so even if you still do not have serious health problems, it is necessary to get rid of the accumulated pounds. A low-carbohydrate diet should be the guiding principle of nutrition for patients with diabetes, heart, reproductive and neurological diseases.

  • Diabetes. . . Changing the diet to lower carbohydrates has a very beneficial effect on obese patients with type 2 diabetes, while increasing the amount of fat. By following such a diet, they stabilize blood glucose levels and can take smaller doses of pharmacological drugs prescribed for this pathology.
  • Neurological disease. . . For people suffering from epilepsy, a low-carbohydrate diet has long been recommended as a simple and effective way to reduce the risk of seizures. For Alzheimer's disease, as well as to prevent its occurrence, neurologists recommend including more fatty foods in the diet and minimizing the use of simple carbohydrates.
  • Heart disease. . . By adhering to the principles of a diet low in carbohydrates, patients with heart problems can significantly improve their condition. One study covered 55 overweight subjects. After a 12-week low-carbohydrate diet, they showed a decrease in triglycerides, C-reactive protein (one of the main markers of inflammation), as well as an improvement in HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and "good" cholesterol. ).

Foods to Avoid on a Low Carbohydrate Diet

Dietary compliance means eliminating the following foods from the diet:

  • Cereals and starch: bread, rolls, pies, pasta, rice and other cereals.
  • Sweet drinks: juices, sugary tea, milkshakes, fruit smoothies, sports drinks, cocoa, sweet lemonades.
  • Sweeteners: sugar, honey, agave, syrups.
  • Vegetables high in starch and sugar: potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, beets, peas.
  • Alcoholic beverages: beer, sweet cocktails and sweet wines.
  • Commercially available low-calorie and dietary foods. . . Such labeling is often misleading: light mayonnaise contains starch, and diabetic products contain fructose.
  • Semi-finished products and sausages: Not suitable for high sugar, starch and soy content. They are also a secret source of gluten.
  • Fruits can be consumed in limited quantities, berries - in small portions.
fruits in a low-carbohydrate diet

These are general guidelines for all types of low carb diets. The exact amount of carbohydrates that can be consumed per day depends on the purpose and, accordingly, the type of diet. Thus, ketosis can only be achieved by minimizing the consumption of carbohydrate foods. Other types of diets are allowed to include up to 50 or even 100 g of carbohydrates.

List of approved products

To lose weight without feeling hungry and unhealthy, the creators of low-carbohydrate nutrition systems are focusing on foods high in fat and protein.

This list includes:

  • eggs. . . They contain many healthy fats and almost no carbohydrates. In particular, it is a source of biotin, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D and E), as well as choline, a precursor of one of the main neurotransmitters of the nervous system - acetylcholine.
  • Oils. . . All types of fats can be used in the diet, but olive, coconut and avocado oils are recognized as leaders in terms of health.
  • Fish. . . It is better to prefer oily species - salmon, trout, sardines. Adequate consumption of them will provide the body with omega-3 fatty acids, thereby significantly reducing the risk of pathologies of the cardiovascular system and impaired cognitive function.
  • Meat and poultry. . . Beef, chicken, turkey, rabbit are recommended.
  • Dairy products. . . Cream, unsweetened yogurt, butter, cottage cheese, cheeses.
  • Non-starchy vegetables. . . Any greens, broccoli, all kinds of lettuce, asparagus, cauliflower, peppers, mushrooms.
  • avocado. . . A unique fruit high in healthy fat.

I will give you a sample menu

An example of a low-carb diet to lose weight in a week looks like this:


  • An omelette made of two eggs and a small amount of whole milk or cream.
  • Two hard cheeses.
  • Coconut milk or creamy coffee.


  • Pork steak.
  • Fresh vegetable salad with olive oil.
  • Cream cheese (3 tablespoons).
  • Sugar-free tea.

Lunch snack(optional - but still better to try for the most physiological three meals a day):

  • 20-30 pieces. pre-soaked almonds.
  • Baked apples (no raisins, sugar and honey! ).
green apples on a low carb diet


  • Greek salad (bell pepper, cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, olives).
  • Mushrooms fried or fried in vegetable oil.
  • Cooked fish.

Menu for the week

To make the weight loss process as easy as possible and save you time, we suggest using the menu for each day to strictly follow a low-carbohydrate diet. If you want, you can make changes to it without going beyond the list of approved products.


  • Breakfast.Cheese omelet, vegetable and green salad, toast with avocado, a piece of butter or unsweetened coffee with coconut oil and berries.
  • Supper.Roasted or fried pork steak, lettuce, salted cottage cheese.
  • Supper.Beef in a creamy sauce, cabbage salad.


  • Breakfast.Natural yogurt like pike perch cutlet, sliced cucumber and tomato, dessert (you can add coconut, almond flakes and some berries whipped in a blender).
  • fruit and berry smoothies on a low-carbohydrate diet
  • Supper.Mushroom soup, tobacco chicken, homemade eggplant and bell pepper caviar.
  • Supper.Duck breast with vegetable side dish.


  • Breakfast.Omelet with ham, green salad with sour cream sauce, a handful of favorite nuts, green tea.
  • Supper.Zucchini puree soup, fried cheese, baked apples (it is better to choose sugar-free varieties).
  • Supper.Beef cooked in cream, cauliflower.


  • Breakfast.Boiled eggs with avocado, spinach, lightly salted salmon.
  • Supper.Pike cutlets, fried vegetables.
  • Supper.Pork and broccoli stew in sour cream sauce with cheese crust.


  • Breakfast.Soft-boiled eggs, pumpkin pancakes with ricotta cheese, olives, cocoa.
  • Supper.Chicken fillets are cut on a vegetable pad.
  • Supper.Salmon steak with pumpkin puree.


  • Breakfast.Omelet with ham and sun-dried tomatoes, hard cheese, a handful of nuts and berries.
  • Supper.Rabbit with boiled and fried asparagus.
  • Supper.Saute chicken legs, mushrooms and eggplant.


  • Breakfast.Boiled eggs with salmon and spinach, baked turkey, unsweetened coffee.
  • Supper.Indian steak, cauliflower in a creamy sauce.
  • Supper.Dried meat and broccoli puree.
diet on a low-carbohydrate diet

For those who want to switch to a low-carbohydrate diet, this weekly menu is just a guide to creating an individual diet. It is impossible to take into account the taste preferences of each person. The main thing is to follow the basic principle of a low-carbohydrate diet: low in carbohydrates and high in fat.

Low carb diet for diabetes

The principles of a low-carbohydrate diet vary depending on the type of diabetes. Insulin-dependent patients should eat a balanced diet that includes foods with a low glycemic index.

low-carbohydrate diet for diabetes

Type 2 diabetes low-carbohydrate diet has some specific features:

  • The main part of the medical menu consists of vegetables and herbs. The norm of non-starchy vegetables for women is 500 grams per day, if they do not consume much energy, and up to 800 g - with physical activity or regular exercise.
  • To prevent high cholesterol levels, people with diabetes eat a low-carbohydrate diet without saturated fats. Healthy unsaturated fats are preferred in low-fat fish species, as well as in vegetable oils. This means that pork, lard, salmon, salmon are not recommended. Instead, nutritionists advise diabetics to use more nuts, avocados, olive oil, and vegetable oils for cooking.
  • Complete rejection of carbohydrates is contraindicated for such patients, as it is fraught with low blood sugar and deterioration of well-being. Carbohydrates should be absorbed evenly throughout the day, vegetables are the best source of carbohydrates.
  • For snacks, you can use low glycemic index protein foods that quickly satisfy hunger - pre-soaked nuts are perfect.
  • In type 2 diabetes, a low-carbohydrate diet with a low sugar menu may require adjustments to previously prescribed drug doses. In the first stage, it is necessary to constantly measure blood glucose levels: if it decreases as a result of dietary changes, the doctor reduces the dose of antihyperglycemic drugs. Consultation with an endocrinologist is required, it is not worth adjusting the medication yourself.

Low carb diet for fatigue adrenal syndrome

Fatigue adrenal syndrome occurs as a result of constant stressful situations. One of the symptoms of this condition is hypoglycemia and the accompanying hunger, nervousness, headache.

Low carbohydrate diet for tired adrenal syndrome

Treatment is accompanied by proper nutrition based on three main points:

  • Under no circumstances should you abuse sweets. Eating candy will temporarily improve your well-being, but then always cause a sharp drop in blood glucose concentration and subsequent failure.
  • It is better to prefer an ordinary piece of meat to any sausage. Products obtained as a result of complex technological processing contain many substances that are contraindicated in such a diagnosis.
  • Gluten and vegetable oils, which contain anti-inflammatory omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, should be excluded from the diet.

In addition, a low-carbohydrate diet for men and women with adrenal syndrome means giving up coffee altogether. We are talking about cortisol, which increases production under the influence of caffeine. As a result, metabolism slows down, the weight loss process slows down.