Saving Money When Low Carb Dieting

February 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Low Carb Talk

saving-moneyAlthough the Atkins program is beneficial to your health, it may not be beneficial to your pocketbook. The protein in the form of meat which is a staple of the Atkins diet is one of the most expensive things you can buy in your local grocery store. But don’t fret – there are adjustments that can be made to save some money on low-carb diets.

The first thing you need to do is be more innovative with your meal preparation. All the diet books that you will buy are written in order to attract readers to try their new recipes. However, the recipes in the book are all made with the most expensive ingredients. This is not cost effective, and you do not need to cook like an expert cook in order to receive the effects of the Atkins diet. Go for the less complex recipes because they can be more easily made for a family on a tight budget. Also, do not feel restricted to exactly what the diet book calls for – be sure to add your own personal flair and creativity to the recipe.

One of the most cost effective things you can do to save money on food is to buy in bulk (especially meat). By buying all of your ground beef, chicken, and fish in bigger quantities you can really reduce your protein costs. To save time when you want to cook the food, just separate the larger packages of meat into small freezer bags when you first buy it. You can store two to four chicken breasts in a single bag and cook them up easily and quickly whenever you want. Ground beef can be cooked in a variety of ways, so try some new recipes and freeze the cooked portions. Good ideas for doing that would be using different kinds of spices. Some examples of fun spices are taco spices, hamburger spices, and Italian spices. By doing this, you’ll be able to still have variety in your diet, while still eating a lot of hamburger meat.

Additionally, buying less tender cuts of meat is much less expensive. Fillet mignon, while delicious, usually can not fit into your budget. Use a slow cooker or crock-pot to tenderize the less tender cuts of beef and pork for a tasty meal.

Alternative sources of protein like eggs and tofu are also excellent for getting your daily protein. They both have a lot of protein, but do not cost nearly as much as other meats. Surprisingly, nuts also contain a good deal of protein. However, when trying to cut costs, use less expensive nuts like walnuts, peanuts, and almonds instead of macadamia nuts and cashews – this will help save a lot of money in the long run.

On Atkins, vegetable salads are a major part of your diet. To save money, do not buy the pre chopped bagged salad at the grocery store. Those cost $2 to $3 a bag, and you can buy three heads of lettuce for exactly the same amount and end up making six bags of pre chopped salad. A helpful tool for this would be a salad spinner, which makes homemade salads crunchy and fulfilling.

Always use produce and meats that are on sale. Since the sale items change from week to week, this will add variety to what you eat. It can be interesting to use substitutes to what a recipe calls for, and sometimes, it can even end up tasting better than the original recipe. It is helpful to bring an acceptable food list to the grocery store with you so you can tell if foods that are on sale are tolerable for the Atkins program.

Packaged foods are expensive. To cut costs, avoid buying low-carb packaged foods. Often, these foods can even contain harmful chemicals and hidden carbs that can put a stop to your weight loss. You definitely do not need to buy these products in order to follow the Atkins diet plan. It is advised to leave out these produces altogether.

Lastly, it is very important to go to the grocery store with a plan of what you’re going to buy. You have to be prepared in order to make the best decision, or you’ll end up being there for more than a few hours, or worse, you’ll come out with a dent in your budget or diet. Plan your meals ahead of time and then buy only what you need to make those meals so that you do not over eat.

Preparing For A Low Carb Diet Lifestyle

February 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Low Carb Talk

If you are going to be successful with the Atkins diet (or other similar low carb diet), proper planning is of the utmost importance. Provisions of the proper foods you need to take before you embark on your weight loss program is a good way to ensure success, and you can find examples of Atkins diet meals in the Atkins books. There are also numerous other sites and forums online where you can get information on Atkins and other low-carb recipes.

What meals you eat, snacks you take etc. are some of the things you will need to plan when you star the Atkins plan. You cannot afford to leave uncharted, any thing that as to do with what you consume if you are to succeed. The reason why you are in the mess you are in the first place, is because your eating habit was without any form of check.

Just as you have it with other types of diet plans, the Atkins plan also requires some allowance for adjustment. Normal American diets are carbohydrate-based, including foods like spaghetti, meat and potatoes, pasta casserole, meatballs etc. – food that majority of people grew up eating. You can very well imagine that dissociating oneself from such diets won’t happen over night. It is going to require a lot of determination, persistence, and willpower.

There are two different methodologies you can adopt to assist in changing your diet. First, you can replace your preferred foods with ‘phoney’ carbohydrates e.g consuming spaghetti squash noodles instead of spaghetti noodles, or replacing pasta with lasagna made with eggplant etc. low carb replacements for bread and other sugar products are also available.

Another method is to go and learn how to make new recipes that are meat-based, and other low-carb foods. Several types of meat can be incorporated into the Atkins plan, and instead of just eating beef or chicken all the time, you can include lamb, ham, all sorts of game foods e.g pheasants, quail etc. into your diet. Fishes of different varieties can also be experimented with e,g trout, salmon, shellfish (e.g. mussels, clams, shrimps) etc. Do not forget, variety, as they say is the spice of life.

Because you may need to take snacks and in-between meals, it is important that you have some ‘easily prepared’ foods within reach. Good examples of stuffs you can take in-between meals include: thin sliced cucumbers, radishes and celery mixed with lemon mayonnaise. Garlic served on arugula with feta cheese, mushrooms and fried peppers is another acceptable option.

Carry out research to discover other low-carb recipes you can prepare. You need to have a lot of acceptable recipes within your cook book, so you never run out low-carb meals to cook, because in all honesty, at times, the diet can get boring which may lead to burnout. As mentioned earlier, planning is the most crucial step you can take when attempting to lose weight.

When you have numerous and delicious recipe options to choose from, chances are better that you will not easily be enticed to deviate from the plan. Even at the initial stages, when it is usually difficult to adapt to the changes, the extra food options you have would help keep you on track.

With some planning and a little creative thinking, you can always get something nice to eat everyday.

Breaking the Cycle of Carb Addiction

February 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Low Carb Talk

One of the most difficult resolutions to make, and more so to keep in your life, is to determine to adopt a low carbohydrate way of living. Without mincing words, suppressing your hunger and desire for carbohydrate is not by any means just an overnight task. It is much more than that!

It is clearly stated in Dr Atkins book, that carbohydrates prompt the release of insulin in the body, and then a rise in blood sugar. The ease with which one can develop a liking for high- carbohydrate, low protein diet can be traced to the physical activation that usually occurs.

There are several symptoms that depict a physically induced hunger or desire for carbohydrates. This is usually a desire for rich carbohydrate foods, followed by increased assumption of carbohydrate byproduct like alcohol, and other sugar replacements.

Foods with high carbohydrates content are so rampant, that to quench ones lust for them becomes very difficult. As you take more and more of this refined starch based foods, it becomes more difficult to free oneself from the addiction that ensues.

It’s been found that high level of carbohydrate is self-prophylactic. This is so, because, high amount of carbohydrates have been found to stimulate the production of high level of serotonin which is a brain chemical also found in Prozac and other anti-depressants. Often times, people with low levels of serotonin are found to use carbohydrates addictively.

Stress is one of the factors that are predisposing to carbohydrate over-consumption. When stressed, the adrenal gland produces more cortisol which is a hormone that further leads to the production of another, causing increased hunger for carbs. Insulin is also stimulated, increasing blood sugar and fat storage.

When all these factors are put together, it appears somewhat that subsistence on a low- carbohydrate diet is impossible. However, this is not true. When you incorporate Dr Atkins plan into your lifestyle and stick to it, you will be able to liberate yourself from the bondage of carbohydrate dependency and live a healthier life.

When working with the Atkins diet, the intense hunger for carbohydrates will still come once in a while, more so at onset. However, the desire will subside as you adapt to eating a protein-based diet. Methodologies to keep the carbohydrate consumption desire at bay include taking meals (containing protein) in bits every few hours. This way your blood sugar remains stabilized and you do not have to ‘sabotage’ all your efforts at once if you go hungry. Do not skip meals. It causes a reduction in your blood sugar, and makes you hungry for sweets.

Proteins and fats are an essential aspect of the Atkins plan. They supply the body large amounts of energy, and also supplement the body’s need for essential acids, Omega 3 fish oil supplement helps to reduce your hunger for carbs.

Another method that helps to you to keep to the Atkins plan is the act of taking in water regularly. Before taking any snack, drink a cup of water. This will help to quench thirst that may appear as hunger, and reduce your consumption of carbohydrate. Drinking adequate amounts of water also keeps your body hydrated.

You need to know that your love for carbohydrate diets will disappear overnight. Even if during your initial days of trying out the Atkins plan, you feel you will not be able to cope. It is because your body as become accustomed to living on sugars and carbohydrates. Do not panic! The desires should not last more than the two-week adjustment period.

Stick to the Atkins plan, and in no time, you will begin to reap the benefits.

List Of Low Carb Foods Video

February 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Low Carb Videos

Earlier today, I was trying out a new video production tool, and I decided that I should make a low carb related video (which you can now see on the videos page). It took me a while to think of a topic, but I finally decided on “Top 10 Low Carb Foods”. The foods you see in the video are basically the staples of any low carb or Atkins type of diet. I know that I each variations of each one EVERY single day.

Anyway, it’s a fun video, with fun music, and I hope you enjoy!