Research suggests that eating a low-calorie, low-carb diet can help you lose weight. And while popular low-carb diets, like the ketogenic diet and Atkins diet call for super-low carb limits, you don't actually need to go that low in order to lose the weight. In fact, eating too few carbs can make weight loss harder, as you miss out on key nutrients (like fiber from whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables) that can help you to feel full and satisfied on fewer calories. In this easy low-carb meal plan, we keep the carbs low, but not so low that you'll miss out on those important nutrients. Plus, we made sure to include enough protein each day (over 50 grams) to help you feel satisfied while cutting carbs and calories. At 1,200 daily calories, this low-carb high-protein meal plan can help you lose a healthy 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Low-carb diets may improve high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglyceride values slightly more than do moderate-carb diets. That may be due not only to how many carbs you eat but also to the quality of your other food choices. Lean protein (fish, poultry, legumes), healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and unprocessed carbs — such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products — are generally healthier choices.
Net carbs is simply total carbs minus fiber and non-digestible sugar alcohols, like erythritol. (This doesn’t apply to high glycemic sugar alcohols, like maltitol.) We don’t have to count fiber and certain sugar alcohols in net carbs, because they either don’t get broken down by our bodies, are not absorbed, or are absorbed but not metabolized. (Read more about sugar alcohols here.)
Use fat as a lever. We’ve been taught to fear fat, but don’t! Both keto and low carb are high fat diets. Fat is our source of energy as well as satiety. The key to understand, though, is that fat is a lever on a low carb or keto diet. Carbs and protein stay constant, and fat is the one you increase or decrease (push the lever up or down) to gain or lose weight, respectively. So if your goal is weight loss, eat enough fat to be satisfied, but there’s no need to “get your fats in” once you’re satisfied.