5 Things to Know Before You Start a Low-Carb Diet

5 things before going low carb

5 Things to Know Before You Start a Low-Carb Diet

There is no doubt that reducing my carb intake has made a world of difference in how I feel, and low-carb dieting is a very effective weight loss strategy. But, if you’re just getting started on a low-carb diet, there are some things to consider. In this post, I will share five things that are good to know before you go low-carb.

5 Things to Know Before You Start a Low-Carb Diet [Video]

In this video, you will learn…

  • How your body will feel during the transition to a low-carb diet.
  • The importance of electrolytes.
  • What to look for on the ingredient list of packaged foods.
  • The effect a low-carb diet has on medications.
  • The relationship between starting a low-carb diet and age.

Number 1: Eating Too Little Fat will Leave You Feeling Hungry. 

The foods you eat provide your body with calories that it uses for energy. That energy is derived mainly from carbs and fat. When you cut carbs, you rob your body of a primary energy source.

If you also eat low-fat, you cut out both energy sources and your body will turn on hunger and cravings to coax you to eat more food. Remember that the goal of a low-carb diet is to turn your body into a better fat burner, but to get to that point, you need to feed your system fat.  

Healthy fats for a low-carb diet

Even if you eat enough fat, there will likely be a period of time right after cutting carbs when you feel low on energy and generally worse rather than better.

This transition period is due to the fact that your body has not yet developed all of the enzymes and processes it needs to rely on fat as its primary fuel. To work through this transition, one of the things your body needs is simply time. Another thing it needs is electrolytes

Number 2: Replenish Electrolytes when Starting a Low-Carb Diet.

Electrolytes partner with water. When you cut carbs, your body releases a lot of water from glycogen stores in your muscles and liver. That water flushes out of your body and carries electrolytes along with it.

If you don’t replenish those electrolytes, which are things like magnesium, potassium, and salt, you will be prone to muscle cramps, fatigue, and cravings. The easiest way to stay on top of this is to use an electrolyte supplement each day. In my home, we use Endure Electrolyte Supplement.

electrolytes for a low-carb diet

Number 3: Sugar is Everywhere.

Another thing to realize is that sugar is everywhere. Sugar is a carbohydrate. In fact, it is the most refined form of carbohydrate that you can consume.

When you cut carbs, you will find that your success improves if you become somewhat of an ingredient detective. My rule for sugar is that it should not be one of the top three ingredients.

alternate names for sugar

Get in the habit of reading the ingredient list on packaged foods. Keep in mind that sugar goes by many aliases. Some common alternative names for sugar are corn syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin, fruit juice concentrate, and sucrose. You need to be careful so that you don’t get fooled by creative marketing.

For instance, this package of Golden Delicious Apple Chips contains apples and oil, followed by corn syrup, sugar, and dextrose. That’s three added sugars, so in my book, this is not a good alternative to potato chips.

Hidden sugars on a low-carb diet

Number 4: Some Medications are Impacted by Diet.

The next consideration is medication. Medications for blood sugar regulation may need to be adjusted within a day of moving from a high-carb to a low-carb diet.

There are other medications as well, including blood pressure meds that can be affected by changes in your diet. If you are on a medication, don’t start a low-carb diet without letting your doctor know about your intentions. 

Number 5: Age Doesn’t Matter.

When it comes to low-carb dieting, age doesn’t matter. Perhaps because I myself am in my fifties, a large portion of my audience is 50 years of age or older. Low-carb diets work for weight loss regardless of age.

As an added bonus, issues like energy and mood improve and joint pain diminishes, so we can learn new tricks or at least a new way of eating as we age. 

Thanks so much for reading! I hope this was beneficial. I will see you in the next post. Till then, have a great week!

About the Author

Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.

6 thoughts on “5 Things to Know Before You Start a Low-Carb Diet

  1. Now I understand why I’ve been feeling tired and worn out! I started out thinking I would do the keto diet but everyday I would eat more carbs about 50-65. For the last 3 weeks I’ve lost over 7 lbs. and can tell small things are changing (easier to pull down my pants & just a bit easier to walk with my walker).
    These are small things for most people but they mean a lot to me. Also my blood sugar has dropped before I was taking 20-25 units of insulin a day. For the last 3 weeks it’s dropped to 0-3 units a day!
    I really listen to my body and when I start to feel hungry I will reach for something either a boiled egg or a few bites of baked chicken. Thanks for posting these 5 tips they help me understand some of the things that I’ve been feeling. I can’t wait to weigh in again on Sunday. You see I have over 200 lbs. to lose and I’m on my way!!! Thank You Becky!

  2. Your body’s response to eating carbs can tell you what is “low enough”. If you start gaining weight, you’ll know to cut back. Everybody is different and what is low enough for you to stay in maintenance mode might be too much for someone else. I’d love to get to the maintenance point but I’m definitely not there yet. Congratulations on your accomplishment!

  3. How many carbs is low carb diet, did keto lost over 75 pounds in less than a year, now I want to go low carb. I don’t need to loose weight anymore, oh ya I am also off my diabetic and blood pressure medication been off for 9 and half months now, all my number are awsome my doctor told me.

  4. Thank You for the information. My question is: going low-carb and upping fat, doesn’t necessitate going Keto does it? Is it a balancing game?

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