Setting Goals for Your Low Carb Lifestyle
Tips for Setting and Meeting Achievable Goals
Eating low carb can help people lose weight and feel more energetic in addition to other health benefits. As with any diet, you need to set goals to know if you are progressing or if you’ve lost your way. By working with achievable goals, you can chart your success or recognize what adjustments need to be made.
To help you meet your goals, we’ll review the strategy you should adopt to choose the right low carb diet. Next, we’ll look at the value of achievable goals and offer tips that you can tailor to your lifestyle and health needs. Lastly, we’ll look at motivating factors and the importance of tracking your progress and enjoying your successes.
Choosing the Right Diet
Once you’ve settled on trying a low carb diet, you need to choose the one that you think will work best for you. Consider your health, age and what you are trying to achieve.
Here are some of your options:
The typical low carb diet is straightforward. It involves reducing the number of carbs you eat while focusing on foods that are high in protein. This diet consists of a steady dose of meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits and certain healthy fats. Incidentally, it minimizes or eliminates potatoes, sugary drinks and snacks from one’s diet.
The Ketogenic Diet is designed to further minimize the ingestion of carbs so that the body reaches a state of ketosis. When this happens, insulin decreases, and large amounts of stored fat is released and transformed into ketones.
The Low Carb High Fat Diet is like the typical low carb diet but with a greater emphasis on fat consumption and whole unprocessed foods. This diet recommends that you consume only 20-100g of carbs per day.
The popular Paleo Diet encourages followers to eat as if they were living in the Paleolithic era, which pre-dates the agricultural boom. It focuses on foods that were available during that era, including meat, fish, seafood, vegetables, fruits, tubers, nuts and seeds. There is no hint of anything processed or anything containing refined sugar.
The Atkins Diet catapulted low carb eating into the spotlight. It is based on the idea of reducing carbs in favour of foods that are rich with protein and fat. Atkins truly redefined the low carb approach and made it appealing for anyone to attempt. Over the decades, it has gained millions of followers.
Then there’s the Eco-Atkins Diet, a vegetarian version of Atkins that can also reduce bad cholesterol. It still includes foods that are low carb and high in protein and fat but everything is plant-based. Common elements of Eco-Atkins are soy, nuts and plant oils. This diet should derive 25% of its calories from carbs, 30% from protein and 45% from fats.
There are other low carb diet options but unless you have specific dietary needs, you should try one of the more popular ones as they offer ample resources and are built on a foundation of data.
Once you have selected your diet, it’s time to set some goals.
Achievable Diet Goals
Trying to achieve something like weight loss without goals is very difficult. They set markers that help you track your progress as you approach—sometimes painstakingly—what you want to achieve.
If your goal is to lose weight, it helps to recognize the milestones you are hitting along the way. Most importantly, each time you hit a goal, your confidence spikes and you feel encouraged to keep going. Let’s be honest, quitting is always easy and it’s always on the table. Thoughtful goals can help you cross the finish line.
Define your Goals
This should be your first step. Instead of simply outlining that you want to lose weight, go a level deeper to determine more tangible goals. These can include:
- Feeling more energetic throughout the day
- Being able to run a 5k marathon in one year
- Losing belly weight
By taking this approach, you can work toward achieving specific milestones that will contribute to you reaching your ultimate weight and health goal.
Here are some tips to get you started on your diet, or to put yourself in a better position to get results from your current one.
Find your Motivation
Motivation isn’t a one-size-fits-all sort of thing. You need to find your source of motivation, something that will push you to stick to your diet especially when you’ve hit a point of frustration and are aching to quit.
Ask yourself, “what motivates me?”, is it:
- To look better
- To improve your health
- To heal from an injury
- To contribute to your mental health
- To feel more energetic
- To be more athletic
- To be able to wear certain clothing items
- To play with your children without feeling tired
Keep your motivations at the forefront of your low carb diet and be sure they are incorporated into your goals. Additionally, try to find physical items that can keep you motivated. This can be a book, poem, movie, photo or even a meme with an inspirational quote or image.
This is a big one when it comes to achievable goals. Track your journey from day one and celebrate the small wins. This doesn’t mean you should eat a burger as a reward, but you can have a glass of dry white wine, which is lower in carbs than other wines, or maybe enjoy a night out. The idea is to positively reinforce your good behaviour.
If your goal is to lose 10 lb. in three months, then you should track your progress every week. After the first month, if you’ve gained 2 lb. then you need to reassess what you are doing wrong and adjust. On the other hand, if you’ve lost 5 lb. after five weeks then you know you are on the right path toward achieving your goal. All you must do is keep going.
Whether you’re making good progress or not seeing results, it’s always a good idea to periodically check in with your doctor or dietician.
Consider your Health
As mentioned, it’s recommended to set weight loss goals that are achievable but it’s also smart to set ones that are realistic and won’t undermine your health. Spending five hours at the gym every day while reducing carbs might help you lose weight, but it’s most likely not sustainable and could result in other health-related issues.
Create goals that can contribute to your overall health and emotional and mental wellbeing. To do so, base your goals on your health history and body type. Losing a few pounds a month while slowing increasing your weekly physical activity is great for most people. Running a marathon before you’re ready or lifting weights that are so heavy you dislocate your shoulder will always be terrible ideas.
Always put your health first and the rest should fall nicely into place.
Ready to Go?
If you’ve chosen a low carb diet and have set achievable goals, then you need delicious and healthy ingredients to make sure you’re eating right and are excited about your next meal.
Shop our store to find an amazing variety of low carb foods that will help you stay on track with your diet and enjoy desirable results.