blog, Diet, Health And Nutrition, LCHF, Nutrition, Uncategorized

The 5 Phases Of A Low-Carb Lifestyle

The 5 Phases Of A Low-Carb Lifestyle

‘To Eat Is A Necessity, But To Eat Intelligently Is An Art.’

– FranÇois De La Rochefoucauld

Almost all diets work at the beginning, but they also almost always eventually fail towards the end… The only way to achieve sustainable results is to acknowledge the importance of preparing for your journey, making the necessary changes properly and healing your body through it all. Going low-carb and losing weight is a PROCESS. You cannot skip a step and jump ahead. Every step counts – no matter how seemingly small.

Remember… LCHF is a lifestyle, not just a diet.

‘It’s Not A Short Term Diet. It’s A Long Term Lifestyle Change.’

To go low-carb means limiting your carbohydrate intake with the goal of switching your body’s metabolism from primarily being fuelled by carbs to being primarily fuelled by fat. This severe carb restriction will stop your body from storing fat and instead resort to using stored body fat for energy needs. Once you’ve lost sufficient body fat, dietary fat rather than dietary carbs will fuel your bodily functions while sustaining the health benefits and weight loss in the long term.

By now you should know that fad diets don’t work in the long run. It’s not as simple as changing what you eat for a short period of time, reaching your goal weight (if you reach it!) and then maintaining that weight forever after. A phased approach (like this one!) introduces a structured way for you to make the transition from your current dietary and health behaviours to a new, carb-restricted, life-changing lifestyle.

There are 5 phases in a low-carb lifestyle: Preparation, Induction, Healing, Transformation and Maintenance.

The 5 Phases Of A Low-Carb Lifestyle Timeline

Basically this approach to low-carb living has two levels of strictness…

The first 3 phases (Preparation, Induction, Healing) are designed to get your mind, digestive system and eating habits ready for optimal health and to ease you into weight loss while limiting potential side effects. After going through these phases, your mind-set will be altered and your body prepared for losing weight sustainably over the long run.

The 4th phase (Transformation) focuses on strict low-carb eating in order to achieve maximum fat-burning. This is usually the phase where the most dramatic results are achieved. The 5th and final phase (Maintenance) works to preserve the foundation of the healthy lifestyle you’ve built – for life!

‘It’s Not A Diet. It’s Called Healthy Eating.’

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Preparation

  • Gain a clear understanding of your current dietary habits and state of health.
  • Identify the elements of your lifestyle that could be contributing to your poor health and excess weight.
  • No dietary changes yet. Eat as you normally would.
  • Prepare your mind for the changes that are to come.
  • Clear your mind in order to achieve sustainable weight loss over the long term.
  • Enjoy foods from the Green List, Orange List, Yellow List, Red List, Grey List, Black List until you feel satisfied.
  • Eat as much fat as you feel you need to.
  • For 1 week.

Induction

  • Adapt to eating real, nutrient-dense foods.
  • Eliminate gluten, sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet.
  • Making the change to a diet moderately low in carbs.
  • How long it takes depends on your approach: from 1 day to 1 year.
  • Do it all at once (‘cold turkey’) or take a gradual, step-wise approach to cutting out carbs.
  • Prepare your mind and body for going moderately low-carb, and experiencing the minimum of potential side-effects from changing your diet so drastically.
  • Enjoy foods from the Green List, Orange List, Yellow List, Red List, Grey List, Black List until you feel satisfied.
  • Eat as much fat as you feel you need to.

Healing

  • For a minimum of 1 week, adding an extra week for every extra 5 kg you need to lose.
  • A light introduction to LCHF.
  • Add fermented foods to your diet.
  • Focus on repairing your digestive system, specifically the gut lining.
  • Prepare your digestive system for the changes that are to come.
  • Limit potential side effects as much as possible.
  • Prepare your body for sustainable weight loss over the long term.
  • Enjoy foods from the Green List, Orange ListYellow List, Grey List until satisfied.
  • Eat up to 2 thumbs of liquid or solid fat per meal.

Transformation

  • 1 week for every 0.5 – 1 kg you have to lose.
  • Focus on drastic weight loss and health benefits.
  • Reduce your daily net carb-intake down to ketogenic levels.
  • Focus on strict low-carb eating for maximum fat burn.
  • Enjoy foods from the Green List until satisfied, and foods from the Orange List and Yellow List in limited amounts.
  • Eat no more than one thumb of liquid or solid fat per meal.

Maintenance

  • Basically the rest of your life, after achieving your goal weight.
  • Learn to maintain your new good eating habits and state of health.
  • Gain a clear understanding of your insulin resistance – or carbohydrate tolerance.
  • Enjoy foods from the Green List and Yellow List until satisfied, and foods from the Orange List, Red List and Grey List in limited amounts.
  • Eat as much fat as you feel you need to.

The 5 Phases Of A Low-Carb Lifestyle Info

Some people lose weight steadily enough during the Healing phase that they end up skipping the Transformation phase entirely and go straight to Maintenance.

It may also happen that some people never reach the Maintenance phase due to severe insulin resistance, diabetes and other extreme health problems. For them, the Transformation phase ends up being the ‘maintenance’ part of their journey.

In contrast with the above, individuals who don’t have any excess weight to lose are recommended to skip the Preparation, Induction, Healing and Transformation phases, and go straight to the Maintenance phase to maintain their weight and achieve optimum health.

‘Let Food Be Thy Medicine And Medicine Be Thy Food.’

– Hippocrates

Just remember that losing weight and being healthy is about more than just eating right: it’s also about acknowledging all the other variables that allow your body to function harmoniously, such as managing your stress and getting enough sleep. And although your carb-intake is important during each phase, life is far too short to go counting and weight the carb content of every bite you take. Try to follow the guidelines above as much as you can and be aware of how your body reacts.

That’s all you need to achieve success!

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