||Most people are excited about their new low carb lifestyle.
They see results quickly.
They lose weight and/or lower their BGLs (Blood Glucose Levels).
It's easy to stick to your plan when it's new and exciting.
But what happens when the newness wears off? The weight loss has slowed or stopped and/or your BGLs are under control. How do you stay motivated to stick with it and not get bored?
A low carb lifestyle is just that: a lifestyle. It is not a short-term diet to go on until you see results and then stop. In order to reap the health benefits, it needs to become a permanent way of life. Here's how to keep it interesting and rewarding.
* STEP 1 *
Read or reread the book for your low carb plan. In addition to refreshing your memory, this can refresh your motivation and enthusiasm as well.
Make sure you are following its guidelines correctly. Sometimes we forget the guidelines or get lax in following them.
* STEP 2 *
||If you are not making progress on your current plan (after giving it at least several weeks), consider trying another low carb plan.
Many people find they need to stick to a very low carb plan like the early phases of Atkins or Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Diet to achieve the results they want.
* STEP 3 *
||Eat a variety of low carb foods, including fresh nonstarchy veggies.
Eating low carb is about more than meat and eggs.
Mix it up!
* STEP 4 *
||Read the Atkins Induction Acceptable Foods List for ideas, even if you are not following the Atkins Diet.
Check out the varieties of acceptable meats, cheeses, veggies, fish, etc.
Make sure you're reading the list for Induction (Phase 1); later phases may contain more carbs than your body will handle.
* STEP 5 *
Challenge yourself to try some new low carb foods or your old favorites fixed in a new way.
Your tastes may have changed and things you hated as a kid might taste great to you now or fixed in a different way.
Check out the Low Carb Ingredients Info & Recipes Using Them link at the top and bottom of this page for ideas.
* STEP 6 *
||Peruse low carb recipes online and/or in low carb cookbooks.
There are thousands of them available, including through the DARdreams Recipes link at the top and bottom of this page.
Try some of them out, making sure the ones you choose fit into your low carb plan.
* STEP 7 *
||Experiment in your own kitchen.
Try a low carb recipe and tweak it to fit your own tastes.
Or make up a new recipe of your own using the low carb ingredients your body likes.
If it works out, share it!
* STEP 8 *
||Keep your kitchen stocked with low carb ingredients for recipes and things that are easy to grab in a hurry.
Boiled eggs, celery sticks, cheesesticks, etc, are good for quick and/or portable meals.
Eggs are very versatile and can make a quick low carb meal.
* STEP 9 *
Living a low carb lifestyle doesn't mean you have to stay home. Find a low carb-friendly place to eat out. Some restaurants are happy to make substitutions and some even have a low carb menu.
Order a lettuce-wrapped burger with a salad instead of fries or grilled meat without breading and a nonstarchy side veggie or salad (without croutons). Some restaurants will allow you to trade a potato (or rice) and starchy veggie for a salad. Speak up and ask!
Stay away from the bread, chips, etc. If you run into a restaurant that won't let you sub something low carb for carby side dishes, stay away from that restaurant, too!
* STEP 10 *
||Focus on what you CAN eat instead of what you can't.
Don't let yourself feel deprived.
If your eating companion orders a carby dessert, go home and make yourself a delicious low carb dessert for a snack (or have it already waiting).
This Low Carb Mini Raspberry Pie is a good example of a delicious low carb dessert you can enjoy while sticking to your plan. You can find it and many of my other favorites in DAR's Top 20 Low Carb Recipes.
* STEP 11 *
Join an online low carb support group or forum.
Sharing recipes, info, questions, and support with like-minded individuals can make a HUGE difference in your success.
Introduce yourself and join the conversations!
I've enjoyed being a member of About.com's Low Carb Diets Forum.
* STEP 12 *
Read low carb blogs and websites and/or start your own blog to track your progress.
Knowing others can see how you're doing can keep you motivated and encouraged.
DAR's Top 20 Low Carb Heroes is a great place to find info and blogs from some great low carb leaders.
You can find many of them on Facebook. You can find DARdreams on Facebook, too.
You'll also find a large selection of low carb blogs and websites at Nutrition and Metabolism Society Blog Central hosted by Jimmy Moore.
* STEP 13 *
Review your progress. Look at how far you've come!
You may not have reached your goals yet, but you have made progress already and will continue to make progress if you follow your low carb lifestyle faithfully.
Hang in there! You can do it!
* Tips *
- A low carb lifestyle is good for your health in general as well as for losing weight and controlling BGLs.
- "Kind of" eating low carb will only "kind of" give you results.
- Check carb counts; not all foods and recipes labeled "low carb" are really low carb.
- "Sugar-free" isn't necessarily low carb; check the carb counts.
* More Resources *