Even if you’re not ready to take the leap into a full-blown low-carb diet, you can start living a lower-carb lifestyle at your own pace. What do you have to lose, except some extra pounds? Well, in addition to weight loss, Atkins’ low-carb lifestyle has so many other positive benefits. To list just a few:
- Improve your sleep
- Increase your energy
- Control your appetite without feeling deprived
- Cut your risk of heart disease and diabetes
- Improve your cholesterol and blood pressure
- Learn a healthy way of eating that becomes a lifestyle
Ready to get started? Try cutting the carbs you normally eat in half, and see if you start experiencing some of these positive benefits. To figure out how many Net Carbs you are eating now, record everything you eat in a food journal for a few days. (Remember, Net Carbs are calculated by subtracting grams of fiber from grams of total carbohydrates on a food label.) This is an excellent exercise to do anyway—once you start reading your food labels, you may be surprised at exactly what and how much you are eating! Now that you have a rough idea of how many Net Carbs are you are consuming daily, try cutting that in half—for example, if you average 200 Net Carbs a day, cut back to 100 Net Carbs a day.
Swap your white rice for brown rice or fiber-rich grains like quinoa, skip bottled pasta sauce (a surprising source of sugar) and make your own with fresh tomatoes, basil and oregano, double your veggies in place of bread or potatoes, ditch fruit juice for fresh fruit and use this as an excellent excuse to clean out your pantry of processed foods (cookies, candy, chips and all those things you know you shouldn’t be eating anyway). Focus on lean sources of protein like poultry, meat, fish and eggs, make sure you’re adding healthy fats (olive oil, almonds and other nuts and seeds and avocadoes) and eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. See how eating this way makes you feel. If you like the changes you are making, and are ready to make more, you can always take it to the next level and try Atkins 40™ or even Atkins 20™ if you have a significant amount of weight to lose.