While recovering from my eye-bag removal surgery, I am out of commission when it comes to working out. So what is a girl to do to prevent any damages or reversal effects during this rest period? After speaking to a wonderful friend of mine, she advocated a diet called the Ultra-Low Carb Diet, which is further detailed in the book, “Carb-Nite Solution”, written by John Kiefer.
In a nutshell, this diet is similar to Atkins in a sense that you are eating very little carbs during this time. This tool is specifically beneficial for:
- Ongoing fat loss
- Raising HDL cholesterol levels and lowering the LDL
- Improving insulin sensitivity and prevent any sudden spikes in your glucose levels
- Preserving muscle
Muscle tissue is essential for healthy active metabolism so in order to fuel your muscles, it is important you eat protein. By going on this low-carb diet, you avoid your insulin levels spiking and having these carbs turn into fat. Your body is therefore set in a fat-burning mode because this diet essentially cuts off any avenue in which carbs can turn into fat.
Mini-Meals are essential – have six meals per day with protein in it!
- This will keep your insulin level stable and will not put your body in starvation mode and storing fat
- Your hunger will be controlled so you don’t gorge on food at the sight of it. Ghrelin is a newly discovered hormone that stimulates hunger and cravings and when you consume carbohydrates, this can cause ghrelin levels to crash right after the meal and than spike up again. When your ghrelin levels are high, that is when you get hungry and start craving food again.
What else can you eat besides protein?
- Take a look at this list… as you can see there are a lot of vegetables included in the diet. While some may be higher in carbs, it is still a safe food group choice if you are attempting to try this ULC Diet.
- For me, I’m more relaxed and my modified approach would be to just eat any vegetables I enjoy (even if it is higher in carbohydrates).
- Another modification I’ve done is including yogurt. As I’ve eliminated dairy from my diet, I recently bought a soy-based yogurt instead to get more protein in.
When can I start eating carbs?
- I don’t know too much about Atkins but I believe after the induction phase (no carbs allowed AT ALL), you can start incorporating higher carb vegetables and some other dairy foods
- As for this diet, I’m going to follow my friend’s advice and “carb cycle”
- This essentially means going no/low carb for about a week and then replenishing the following day and eating good complex carbs in a 6-8 hour window frame
- Then, you go back to the no/low carb phase for a few days and the cycle continues
Personally, I’m a carb lover. I love starchy vegetables and oatmeal so this diet won’t do well for me in the long run. However, I need to make some changes during this rest period and this is a good time for me to see whether my energy levels will change!
Happy protein-ing! Eggs are my new best friend.