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How do you start a low carbohydrate diet?

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Quick Answer

To start a low carbohydrate diet, a person should first define the parameters of the diet. Once the diet's expectations are clear, a meal plan and corresponding grocery list can be made to help ensure that someone can stick to the diet.

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How do you start a low carbohydrate diet?
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Full Answer

The Mayo Clinic states that a low carbohydrate diet typically limits daily carbohydrate intake to anywhere from 50 to 150 grams per day. Once someone knows what level he wants to keep his carbohydrate intake at, he can determine what foods will best fit his eating plan.

Regardless of a plan's carbohydrate limit, meat, poultry, seafood, oils and leafy vegetables are all suitable for the diet. Someone following a super-low carbohydrate diet will want to limit fruits and higher carbohydrate vegetables, while someone following a low carbohydrate diet that permits closer to 150 grams of carbohydrates can consume higher carbohydrate foods on a limited basis.

Many low carbohydrate eating plans, such as the Atkins diet, have a period where carbohydrate intake is kept extremely low. It is not uncommon for carbohydrates to be limited to 20 to 30 grams during this phase. This phase helps dieters change their eating habits, decreases cravings for high carbohydrate foods and provides quick weight loss that can help keep dieters motivated.

When trying to stick to a new eating style, planning is key. Before the week begins, the person should sit down and decide what will be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week. He can then make a grocery list to purchase needed ingredients for the week. Planning meals in advance can help people stick to low carbohydrate eating plans because they already have some idea of what they can eat.

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