Low Carb Diet: Does It Help You Lose Weight?

What diet to choose in order to put yourself in order as quickly as possible? Unfortunately, in this matter we rarely trust specialists – we often focus on the advice of friends and opinions in social networks. And there they are now actively promoting a low-carbohydrate diet – we understand what such popularity is connected with.

The essence of a low-carbohydrate diet

In fact, there is not just one low-carb diet, there are at least a dozen of them. The most popular are the keto diet, the Atkins diet, the Dukan diet, the “Kremlin” one. All of them imply that we will abandon simple carbohydrates and replace them with proteins, in extreme cases, with a small amount of complex carbohydrates. That is, if earlier 40-50% of our diet (if you count in calories) were carbohydrates, and the rest was divided in half between proteins and fats, then when switching to a low-carbohydrate diet (LCD), the same 40-50% will fall on proteins, and the remaining 50-60% – for fats and complex carbohydrates.

Is a low carb diet good for weight loss?

You certainly know why simple carbohydrates are not held in high esteem. If not, let’s clarify: these include foods high in sugar, as well as those that are quickly and easily processed and absorbed by the body, such as white rice and bread, they instantly provide a lot of energy. The body does not need so much, it cannot spend everything at once and sends the excess to fat depots – for a rainy day. As a result, we get better.

Foods that contain proteins and complex carbohydrates are less conducive to weight gain. And they are more satisfying, the body spends more energy on their processing. And fans of NUP nutrition believe that if their number in the diet is increased, and simple carbohydrates are anathema, the weight will certainly go down.

Yes, a low-carb diet will require you to give it up.

Basic principles of low-carbohydrate nutrition

What is a low carb diet? It:

  • refusal of any flour products and sweets;

  • exclusion from the menu of sugar, molasses, syrup, sucrose, maltose, starch in any form;

  • hard water regime – normally you need to drink 30 ml daily for every kilogram of weight;

  • inclusion in the diet of linseed oil;

  • taking vitamins, carnitine and selenium;

  • refusal of alcohol and soda.

Pros and Cons of a Low Carb Diet

All this, of course, is not easy. It is especially difficult for those who lose weight on a low-carbohydrate diet to be given a ban on sugar and sweets. Well, how can you refuse ice cream on a hot summer day? Or a croissant at your favorite coffee shop? What about fruits? Not all of them are low-carb products, which means, according to the logic of the authors of the diet, they are not suitable for weight loss. But after all, refusing bananas or grapes, we deprive ourselves of the necessary vitamins and minerals.

Some limit not only sweets and fruits, but also cereals and vegetables, and actually switch to a meat diet. It’s dangerous, and here’s why.

  • With a severe and prolonged restriction of carbohydrates (less than 30 g per day), ketosis can develop – a state when the breakdown products of fats and proteins begin to poison the body. Its signs are an acetone taste in the mouth and a terrible bad breath.

  • In addition, fans of a low-carbohydrate diet with tight control of BJU (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) run the risk of “planting” the liver, kidneys, pancreas, and getting gastritis and stomach ulcers. The load on these organs with low-carbohydrate nutrition increases significantly.

  • The heart also suffers – and not only because of the increase in the level of “bad” cholesterol in the blood (this is inevitable with a meat diet). Researchers from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute attribute the emerging problems to the fact that with an excess of protein on the menu, the walls of blood vessels cease to be updated. The results of their experiments were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This is surprising, but even in conditions of a seemingly sufficient amount of building material (protein), cells began to divide more slowly. In place of the dying, microdamages formed, in which atherosclerotic plaques formed. And the growth of new capillaries practically stopped!

  • But that’s not all. With a sharp restriction of carbohydrates, the body begins to draw energy from the reserves of glucose in the liver – glycogen. Since 1 g of glycogen binds 2,4 g of fluid, there is a sharp loss of water. Scales show a significant minus, we rejoice … But the extra pounds are replaced by a bad mood up to depression, severe weakness to fainting, constipation and exacerbation of chronic diseases.

  • When the strategic supply of glycogen comes to an end, the body will begin to convert its own proteins into glucose. So, not only fat, but also protein mass will go away. Muscles will become weaker, hair, nails, skin will suffer. It will fade and become earthy in color.

Yes, they lose weight quickly on low-carb foods, especially at first when the water runs out. But it is impossible to sit on it for a long time: it is very difficult to endure carbohydrate restriction, and we have already explained why above. So, there will be breakdowns, overeating, rolling back. Well, is the result of such suffering worth it? Of course not. A soft change of habits and lifestyle to healthy ones works much better in this sense.

Yes, limiting (not completely giving up!) simple carbohydrates is good, especially if the risk of developing diabetes is high. And including enough protein on the menu, which is the essence of a low-carb diet, is wonderful. But it is better not to go to extremes.

Do’s and Don’ts on a Low-Carb Diet

If you still want to experiment and try a low-carb diet, follow these precautions:

  • choose a system that restricts carbohydrates less (when asked how many carbohydrates per day you can eat while sitting on a low-carb diet, we would answer – at least 40 g);

  • do not switch to semi-finished products – even if, for example, the “Kremlin” equates them by points with fresh meat or fish, they have a lot of fat, food additives and dyes;

  • for the main menu, choose lean meats;

  • don’t forget about low-fat dairy products;

  • drink enough water;

  • allow yourself chocolate or a handful of dried fruits at least once a week;

  • pick up a complex of vitamins and minerals with your doctor: their lack on a low-carbohydrate diet will certainly be felt, you don’t need to go far for examples;

  • do not rush: problems that have accumulated over the years cannot be solved in 2–3 weeks, the optimal weight loss rate is 2–4 kg per month, otherwise health problems and skin and hair problems may begin.

Egg dishes are the most popular low-carb breakfast option.

Permitted products

Well, now – about what is possible and what is not possible on a hypocarbohydrate diet. Here is an approximate table of allowed carbohydrate foods (per 100 g of product):

  • chicken breast – 0,3 g;

  • turkey breast – 0 g;

  • veal – 0 g;

  • pork – 0 g;

  • fish – 0 g;

  • mussels – 3 g;

  • cheese – 2-5 g;

  • chicken egg – 0,5 g;

  • cottage cheese 5% – 3 g;

  • bran (oatmeal) – 11–12 g;

  • cucumbers – 2,5 g;

  • kefir 0% – 4 g;

  • buckwheat – 20 g;

  • cabbage – 4 g;

  • bell pepper – 5 g;

  • apples – 10–14 g;

  • apricots – 5–8 g;

  • avocado – 2 g;

  • coconut – 7 g;

  • watermelon – 6–8 g.

Prohibited products

But the “red” table of products: it is strictly not recommended to include them in the menu while on a low-carb diet (we also give the amount of carbohydrates per 100 g):

  • potatoes – 23,4 g;

  • beets – 9 g;

  • figs – 14 g;

  • grapes – 16–18 g;

  • dates – 70 g;

  • raisins – 65–68 g;

  • pasta – 70 g;

  • pancakes – 26–28 g;

  • white bread – 48 g;

  • halva – 54 g;

  • jam – 56 g;

  • cakes – 45–50 g;

  • sweets – 67–70 g;

  • cakes – 45–50 g;

  • mayonnaise – 4 g;

  • sugar – 99,5 g;

  • honey – 81–82 g;

  • sausage – 7–10 g;

  • carbonated drinks – 5–15 g;

  • juices – 13–18 g;

  • alcohol – 1-50 g.

Choose a low-carb diet option that allows at least leafy or other vegetables without restriction.

Low Carb Diet Sample Weekly Menu

Here’s what a low-carb diet would look like if you made a menu for every day.


  • Breakfast: oatmeal with 1 tbsp. l. linseed oil, 1 apple, tea or coffee without sugar.

  • Second breakfast: a glass of kefir, a handful of nuts (the least carbohydrates in pecans, macadamia and Brazil nuts, most of all in pistachios and cashews).

  • Lunch: vegetable stew, boiled or baked chicken or turkey breast without hot spices.

  • Snack: 150 g low-fat cottage cheese.

  • Dinner: vegetable salad, a portion of steamed fish.


  • Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs, 30 g of hard cheese, smoothies from allowed fruits.

  • Second breakfast: 200 g of natural yogurt, 1-2 whole grain flour biscuits.

  • Lunch: a portion of chicken broth, 1 cucumber.

  • Afternoon snack: a glass of yogurt.

  • Dinner: a portion of goulash with buckwheat.


  • Breakfast: steam omelet, coffee with milk.

  • Second breakfast: vegetable smoothie.

  • Lunch: a portion of steam meatballs with cauliflower and broccoli.

  • Snack: a glass of ryazhenka.

  • Dinner: a serving of vegetable broth with oatmeal.


  • Breakfast: 200 g of natural yogurt, a handful of fresh or frozen berries, green tea without sugar.

  • Second breakfast: 1 orange.

  • Lunch: vegetable stew with beef.

  • Snack: 1 egg, 1-2 whole wheat biscuits.

  • Dinner: a portion of chicken broth, 1 cucumber.


  • Breakfast: cottage cheese casserole, tea or coffee without sugar.

  • Second breakfast: 2 biscuits with avocado slices and herbs.

  • Lunch: mushroom soup.

  • Afternoon snack: a glass of yogurt.

  • Dinner: omelet with vegetables.


  • Breakfast: baked chicken breast with vegetables, dried fruit compote.

  • Second breakfast: 1 grapefruit.

  • Lunch: bean soup.

  • Snack: whole grain toast, 30 g of hard cheese.

  • Dinner: salad with brown rice and 1 tbsp. l. linseed oil.


  • Breakfast: oatmeal with pieces of “allowed” fruits, chicory.

  • Second breakfast: a glass of fermented baked milk.

  • Lunch: vegetable soup with beef meatballs.

  • Afternoon snack: 2 pcs. walnut or coconut cookies without sugar, green tea.

  • Dinner: stew with vegetables.

Overview of cosmetics for dieters

The skin of those who are on a diet – whether it is low-carb or otherwise – suffers from a lack of vitamins and other nutrients. She quickly loses her tone, becomes thin, faded. And if the kilograms quickly start to go away, it may simply not have time to catch up. Therefore, it is very important to support it with good moisturizing and nourishing products for the body (we wrote in detail about facial products here and here – links). Here is a list of Healthy-Food favorites.

Firming Body Milk “Ultra Elasticity”, Garnier Body

The milk is very light and gentle, it is a pleasure to use it. Caffeine in its composition provides a drainage effect, glycerin is responsible for moisturizing the skin of the body. The tool tones, gives elasticity and moisturizes.

Melting body milk with bifido complex and mango butter, Garnier Body

Bifidocomplex maintains the water balance of the skin and strengthens its protective barrier. Mango butter softens and smoothes. The result is beautiful, visibly healthy skin, without discomfort or dryness.

Milk for dry and very dry skin of babies, children and adults LipikarLait, LaRoche-Posay

Thermal water, high concentration shea butter (10%) and niacinamide are the secret to the success of this remedy. It not only effectively softens and moisturizes even very dry skin – milk restores its lipid barrier and gives it comfort.

Lipid-restoring cleansing cream-gel for face and body Lipikar Syndet AP +, La Roche-Posay

Its main function is purification. But he does it very gently (I want to write – unobtrusively) and gently. As a result – no discomfort and feeling of dryness after a shower! And this is due to the composition with thermal water, mannose and niacinamide.

Summary results

What is a low carb diet?

As the name implies, this is a carbohydrate-restricted diet. If the usual diet assumes that they make up 40-50% of our diet, and the rest is proteins and fats, then with a low-carbohydrate diet, 40-50% of the menu is proteins, the share of carbohydrates is a maximum of 30%.

Can low carb diets help you lose weight?

Yes, especially at first. Success is achieved by limiting simple carbohydrates, which the body prefers to save for a rainy day, and by increasing the proportion of proteins – they are more satisfying and more energy is spent on their processing.

What are the pros and cons of CNP nutrition?

Pros – rapid weight loss at the beginning, a decrease in the number of “harmful things” in the diet. Among the cons:

  • poor diet tolerance – mood deterioration, weakness, an obsessive desire to eat sweets;

  • the likelihood of developing ketosis (a state when the breakdown products of fats and proteins begin to poison the body);

  • a large load on the liver, kidneys, stomach, pancreas;

  • increase in “bad” cholesterol in the blood;

  • harm to the heart and blood vessels;

  • greater likelihood of constipation;

  • with prolonged dieting – loss of muscle tissue, deterioration of hair, nails and skin.

 What advice do nutritionists give to those on a low-carbohydrate diet?

  • Eat at least 40 grams of carbohydrates per day.

  • Drink more water.

  • Do not switch to smoked meats and semi-finished products – even if they are allowed by the diet.

  • For the main menu, choose lean meats.

  • Don’t forget about dairy products.

  • Allow yourself a favorite treat at least once a week.

  • Take extra vitamins.

  • And most importantly – do not rush! Problems accumulated over the years cannot be solved overnight.

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