The topic of low-carb nutrition has long been present in the fitness and diet world. Many people swear by it and say it works wonders when it comes to definition, fat reduction and weight loss: for this reason, I decided to try this form of diet myself and share my experiences with you over a 3-week period ☺
My starting point (was determined via impedance analysis):
Height 185cm, weight 92.0kg, body fat percentage 15.3%, muscle mass 50.3%, regular strength training, mainly sedentary activities in everyday life, daily calculated calorie consumption: 3200kcal I decided to start the low-carb project as follows: in the first For 6 days I wanted to stick strictly to the low-carb principles: for me that meant in plain language, in terms of macronutrients: 35-40% protein; max. 5% carbohydrates; 55-60% fat. This meant a massive change for me. Where previously there was pasta as a main course or side dish in the evening, soon there would only be fish with vegetables or a good piece of meat. I also wanted to restrict my daily calorie intake relatively massively: it should be a maximum of 2000 kcal per day.
I also wanted to use occasional protein shakes, which should make the whole thing easier in many situations. Don't want or have the opportunity to cook? – Protein shake. Overall, I wanted to try to cover my calorie needs through natural food.
Since the fat content was to increase massively compared to my usual diet, I wanted to pay particular attention to consuming predominantly high-quality fats: high-quality linseed oil, coconut oil, pumpkin seed oil, olive oil, but also good organic mountain farmer butter.
This is how I started the project a little over 2 weeks ago: At first the change is very massive. Ready-made products are largely taboo: sugar and carbohydrates are often hidden where you wouldn't expect them.
For breakfast there was scrambled eggs and coffee. In the morning there was usually a snack of nuts or pistachios, followed by a late lunch, where I liked tuna salad. A good portion of tuna, with various lettuces, tomatoes, beets, cucumbers, peppers, mozzarella, olives. Again, we didn't skimp on the oil: I particularly liked the combination of a good amount of linseed oil, but also pumpkin seed oil, paired with a good dash of balsamic vinegar.
In the evening we had a chicken, steak or fish, each well fried in oil or butter, and a very varied vegetable pan. A special highlight was the shrimp fried in coconut oil - HIGHLY recommended ☺.
Other snacks that I liked to treat myself to were: mozzarella with tomatoes or guacamole: 1-2 avocados, 5 cocktail tomatoes, 1-2 cloves of garlic, juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper - delicious!
I stuck to my plan very strictly for 6 days each, followed by a “cheat day”. Here you could really eat whatever your heart desired: a long breakfast with bread and pastries, cake with coffee or even pizza, pasta or burgers - everything was allowed ☺.
The main purpose of the cheat day was to ensure that my metabolism didn't crash. Long-term and low-carbohydrate diets reduce the level of the hormone leptin: a low leptin level signals to the body that you are not eating enough and therefore your metabolism needs to be reduced. In return, if your calorie intake increases, it increases again very quickly, which you take advantage of with the cheat day. This prevents the metabolism from falling too much.
In addition, the psychological component of such a cheat day should not be underestimated. Whenever I felt the urge for something sweet or carb-heavy during the week, I consoled myself by telling myself that I would treat myself to it on the upcoming Saturday for my cheat day (which in many cases I did 😉 ).
So how did I feel about that?
There are always reports of the tough first 3 days. Fatigue, lack of concentration, exhaustion, which this change in diet is supposed to bring with it. To be honest, I can't confirm any of this. Of course, diet is a massive change in many ways. At first it's particularly difficult to keep track of the macro-nutrient distribution (which always required a bit of tedious calculation). In order to really be able to track exactly what was in the food, I had to cook and prepare almost everything myself. So you simply have to plan a lot of time in the kitchen.
Nevertheless, from day 2 I felt significantly fresher than before the change: no more tedious dragging out of bed; The alarm clock rang and I stood there wide awake and noticed, especially throughout the day, that I was much more concentrated and focused. I didn't try mine either Training routine Deviate from this (4x strength training, 1x 30-45min easy cardio training): here too: no drop in performance or feeling of weakness. Despite lower calorie intake and even lower carbs, I felt really great.
After the first cheat day, I was worried it would be hard to get back into the routine. None. After that one day, where I treated myself to what I longed for, it was good and I was really happy to be able to continue again - I was highly motivated! The cheat day more than fulfilled its purpose.
So did low-carb do what it promised for me? In any case! More than that. A lot had happened over these 3 weeks:
The starting point was: Weight 92.0kg, body fat percentage 15.3%, muscle mass 50.3%
3 weeks later: Weight 88.9kg, body fat percentage 12.6%, muscle mass 52.1%
For me, the result is outstanding: almost 3kg of pure body fat lost, while muscle mass remained the same (even though the calorie intake was drastically reduced). This couldn't be better and brings me one big step closer to my dream summer figure! ☺
All in all, I have to honestly say that I have never found a diet as easy as this one. At no time did I ever have to go hungry; I was often in the situation where I almost had to force myself to eat even though I didn't feel any hunger. The high fat content just seems to keep you full ☺. Even the expected cravings for sweets never materialized!