1. Cut Back on Sugars and Starches
The most important part is to cut back on sugars and starches (carbs).When you do that, your hunger levels go down and you end up eating much fewer calories
(1).Now instead of burning carbs for energy, your body starts feeding off of stored fat. Another benefit of cutting carbs is that it lowers insulin levels, causing your kidneys to shed excess sodium and water out of your body. This reduces bloat and unnecessary water weight (2, 3). It is not uncommon to lose up to 10 pounds (sometimes more) in the first week of eating this way, both body fat and water weight. This is a graph from a study comparing low-carb and low-fat diets in overweight or obese women (4). The low-carb group is eating until fullness, while the low-fat group is calorie-restricted and hungry. Cut the carbs and you will start to eat fewer calories automatically and without hunger (5). Put simply, cutting carbs puts fat loss on autopilot.
2. Eat Protein, Fat and Vegetables
Each one of your meals should include a protein source, a fat source and low-carb vegetables. Constructing your meals in this way will automatically bring your carb intake into the recommended range of 20–50 grams per day. Protein Sources Meat: Beef, chicken, pork, lamb, etc.
Fish and Seafood: Salmon, trout, shrimp, etc.
Eggs: Whole eggs with the yolk are best.
The importance of eating plenty of protein cannot be overstated. This has been shown to boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day (6, 7, 8).
High-protein diets can also reduce cravings and obsessive thoughts about food by 60%, reduce the desire for late-night snacking by half, and make you so full that you automatically eat 441 fewer calories per day — just by adding protein to your diet (9, 10). When it comes to losing weight, protein is the king of nutrients. Period.
Full list here.
Don’t be afraid to load your plate with these low-carb vegetables. You can eat massive amounts of them without going over 20–50 net carbs per day. A diet based mostly on meat and vegetables contains all the fiber, vitamins and minerals you need to be healthy.
Eat 2–3 meals per day. If you find yourself hungry in the afternoon, add a 4th meal. Don’t be afraid of eating fat, as trying to do both low-carb AND low-fat at the same time is a recipe for failure. It will make you feel miserable and abandon the plan. To see how you can assemble your meals, check out this low-carb meal plan and this list of 101 healthy low-carb recipes.
3. Lift Weights 3 Times Per Week
You don’t need to exercise to lose weight on this plan, but it is recommended. The best option is to go to the gym 3–4 times a week. Do a warm-up and lift some weights. If you’re new to the gym, ask a trainer for some advice. By lifting weights, you will burn lots of calories and prevent your metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight (11, 12). Studies on low-carb diets show that you can even gain a bit of muscle while losing significant amounts of body fat (13). If lifting weights is not an option for you, then doing some cardio workouts like walking, jogging, running, cycling or swimming will suffice.