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Fat loss mistakes when going low carb

There is no doubt about it, cutting your carbohydrates and increasing protein is the simplest way to get lean fast.

The best thing about lower carb diets is that the appetite naturally decreases, so you eat less calories.  This improves insulin sensitivity which is key because high insulin levels inhibit fat loss.

However, don’t fall into the traps that many do when going low carb, especially if you are also training hard.  As much as I love the low carb lifestyle and not having constant cravings for sugar, I also know there can be some drawbacks.

Carbs are all essentially chemical forms of sugar, yes, even fruit and vegetables! They are delicious and people really enjoy eating them; they make them feel good because they help produce the neurotransmitter, serotonin.

Let me give you a few tips to accelerate your fat loss and feel great when going low carb.


Make sure you are increasing your protein ENOUGH

In my personal experience I notice that women in particular eat very little protein, usually none at breakfast, maybe a little meat in a lunchtime sarnie or a single serving at an evening meal.

When going low carb you naturally increase protein as it increases satiety and makes you feel fuller for longer. However, you need to increase protein by at least 50 per cent, particularly if you are training hard. Aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. Add protein into every meal – try eating Greek yogurt and berries for breakfast instead of toast and cereal, for example.


Eating enough HIGH QUALITY  fats

Eating low carb also means a higher fat intake.  It’s imperative that these fats are coming from healthy sources, for example, MCT’s like coconut oil, monounsaturated fats like olive oil and avocados.

It’s common when going low carb to see a dip in performance in the gym. This is due to the low levels of glycogen (carbs) in the muscles.  To avoid this you can supplement with using fats for fuel, for instance, you could cook your pre-workout meal in coconut oil or just supplement two tablespoons before you train.


Low Sodium & Potassium

I recommend increasing your salt intake when going low carb, particularly if you are training hard, preferably by adding either Himalayan or Celtic salt to your diet.  The reason behind this is that your body secretes more salt and water when eating low carb which can lead to mineral imbalances, low blood pressure and sluggishness.  Adding the salts can help address good circulation and maintain your muscle mass.

It’s also worth noting that very low carb diets can lead to reduced thyroid function when accompanied by fat loss, leading to a slower metabolism and other problems.  Therefore it is reasonable to eat as many carbs as possible and still get the fat loss results you want.  Depending on your somatotype, research shows that some people can get better results with higher carb diets, whereas others have a hard time losing fat unless they go low carb.

To access more expert advice on nutrition and exercise to help you reach your personal goals, click here for my Six-Weeks Better Bodies online programme






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