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Food

Easy Low-Carb Meals to Break Habits and Build Rituals

Have you been feeling a little bit off lately? If you’re experiencing energy crashes, constant hunger and acne breakouts, a low-carb lifestyle may be what you need. Explore what it means to transition to low-carb living, including tips on easy recipes and practical steps you need to take to make this happen.

The shift towards low-carb living

With all the talk about low-carb food, you’re probably wondering what all this buzz is about. The discussion has recently grown because people are experiencing the consequences of poor eating habits and are turning to low-carb diets to reclaim their health.

The science behind it

This lifestyle has gained popularity for its potential to help manage weight and control blood sugar levels. When you consume fewer carbs, you lower your insulin levels, which studies in the HHS Public Access journal have shown is effective in weight loss.

Another factor is that if you eat less carbs, you’ll most likely make up for it by increasing the amount of fat and protein in your diet. This helps you feel full for longer and consume fewer calories. Due to these health claims, a wide variety of people are trying to go low-carb – from athletes to those wanting to lose weight or manage their diabetes.

Take precautions

Despite these potential benefits, a low-carb diet should be done with precaution. There are side effects if you overdo it – overeating protein can worsen kidney function, increase cholesterol and cause constipation. Please consult with a healthcare professional before making any major changes to your diet, especially if you have pre-existing health concerns.

Practical steps for transitioning to a low-carb lifestyle

If you want to start a healthier lifestyle, integrate small changes rather than a complete overhaul. That way, you’ll be more likely to stick with these new habits.

Do your research

First, it’s important to understand that not all low-carbs are good for you. Simple carbs like white sugar or flour spike your blood sugar, making you hungry faster. You avoid that with complex carbs found in more nutritious food like whole grains, as it takes longer for these types of carbs to digest.

That’s why that cookie or beer on paper may seem like it fits within the diet’s parameters, but to improve your health, you should focus on whole food. Fresh vegetables and lean meats will become your best friend.

Easy low-carb meals

With that in mind, start making substitutions around your kitchen. Replace white rice with finely chopped cauliflower for a meal or two. Sprinkle in some chia seeds in your yogurt bowl. Switch your seed oil with olive oil. These substitutions may seem small, but they establish healthy eating habits that change a low-carb diet from a fad to a sustainable lifestyle.

Listen to your body

A big part of transitioning to a low-carb lifestyle is personalizing it to your body. Explore what feels right and what doesn’t. For example, you may like the keto diet – a more restrictive low-carb diet that limits carbs to 20 to 50 grams daily. Here, your focus will be on consuming high-fat, moderate-protein and low-carb foods. With that criteria, you’re probably wondering if anything meets those standards, but you can still enjoy foods like Greek yogurt, fish, eggs, cottage cheese and meat.

There are also plenty of keto-friendly recipes that can replace staples like bread. Try making this farmers bread that is low-carb, gluten-free and diabetic-friendly. The secret ingredient is potato fiber flour. It tastes like real bread but with extra fiber and minimal carbs. Exploring these alternatives helps to break carb-centric eating habits and replace them with healthy low-carb food.

Shift in social activities

A lot of social activities revolve around eating carb-heavy foods, like going for drinks and pub food. This can get expensive and unhealthy, especially if you’re eating out multiple times a week. Consider shifting some social activities beyond just meals. Explore new hiking trails, try out dance classes or even pottery lessons. With these hobbies, you don’t have to resort to restaurants every time you want to catch up with a friend.

Incorporating low-carb living into daily routines

Picking up routines like meal prepping and regular exercise helps support a low-carb lifestyle. These rituals make sure that you continue to prioritize your health and well-being in the long term.

Meal prep

Meal planning helps you stay on track to avoid the temptation to order takeout. Stocking up a low-carb pantry ensures you have everything on hand for your meals. Keto or low-carb flour and pasta are essentials, as well as milk substitutes like almond or coconut milk. Consider having healthy snacks, too, for when you feel like munching on something before your next meal.

Thai tofu collard wraps are a fun meal to make ahead of time for a fresh and delicious lunch. Just blanch collard leaves and fill them up with tofu, cucumber, carrot and Thai basil. Make some peanut sauce on the side for the perfect dip.

Active lifestyle

Getting more active doesn’t have to be as intimidating as signing up for a gym membership. It can look like going on walks after a meal or doing light yoga stretches in the morning. Make it a social activity and gather your friends or coworkers for a volleyball intramural. Find whatever is enjoyable for you.

Why low-carb living matters beyond weight loss

The benefits of this lifestyle extend beyond how it affects the scale. According to StatsPearls, adopting a low-carb diet can help reduce energy crashes by replacing simple carbs with healthy fats and protein. With more consistent energy levels throughout the day, you’ll be less prone to taking those afternoon naps that ruin the flow of your day. Studies in StatsPearls have also shown that keto diets can help manage acne, polycystic ovary syndrome – commonly known as PCOS – and Alzheimer’s.

Although there are studies that show the short-term benefits of keto diets, there has been limited research on their long-term effects. This emphasizes the need to be mindful of how you approach this lifestyle, as its restrictive nature may not be for everyone.

Breaking free from carb-centric habits

A low-carb lifestyle can give you the opportunity to reclaim your health if you do it right. There are plenty of delicious low-carb meals that make healthy eating easy and sustainable. Try out this lifestyle for yourself by starting with small habits that will ensure success in the long run.

Zuzana Paar is the creative force behind her websites Low Carb No Carb, and Best Clean Eating. As a content creator, food recipe developer, blogger and photographer, Zuzana brings diverse skills to the table with a dedication to sharing delicious, healthy recipes and helpful tips with the readers.

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