Diets are a challenge; there is a constant struggle to find a balance between cost, sustainability and effectiveness. Perhaps you’ve come across the ketogenic diet while researching nutrition for fat-loss. The low-carb approach prides itself for being highly effective and relatively low-cost. However, most people might not find it sustainable for the long-term due to the restriction on carbohydrates—a staple in certain cultures. If you belong to this group, here’s how you can still continue to lose fat without having to eliminate carbohydrates from your diet!
Watch your portion
When we eat, we are in fact introducing energy into our body which will either be burned or stored. The more we eat, the more energy we take in; whatever we do not burn off through exercise or other activities will be stored in our body as fatty tissue. As such, it is important to strike a balance between caloric intake and expenditure in order to maintain body composition. To lose weight, a deficit must be created and maintained. The general rule of thumb is thus to eat till you are only 80% full and to avoid snacking between mealtimes.
Choose your food wisely
Your choice of food makes a difference. As compared to low-GI (glycaemic index) foods, those with a high GI rating tend to be less healthy and won't keep you sated for as long. Making simple substitutions during mealtimes can go a long way in helping you to achieve your fat-loss goals. You can start by swapping white rice for brown rice, and white bread for wholegrain bread. Furthermore, adding leafy vegetables and fruits to your diet can help promote satiety, in addition to providing you with a plethora of health benefits.
Focus on strength training
People tend to focus on traditional cardiovascular training (like running) to lose weight. However, this is not the most effective method! If you wish to not only lose fat but keep them off as well, it is important to incorporate strength training into your exercise regimen. Strength training improves your overall metabolic rate by increasing muscle mass. Greater muscle mass also promotes insulin sensitivity, which makes you more likely to utilise glucose as energy instead of storing it. Aim for a minimum of three strength training sessions per week.
Despite what the low-carb zealots might say, losing fat while keeping carbohydrates present in your diet is definitely a feasible notion. Start small to gain momentum and confidence before progressing on to more challenging goals later on. When the right dietary approach meets a comprehensive training plan – that's when the magic truly happens!