When you look into anything new it makes sense (hopefully) that you’re going to have a lot of questions. The HFLC diet is no exception.
The HFLC diet, does it really help in weight loss? What benefits, if any, can you gain from it? Is it hard to implement? Most importantly, is it a genuine program or just another health and fitness fad designed to exploit you?
We have all the answers right here.
Table of Contents
What Is The HFLC Diet?
HFLC stands for high-fat, low-carb. Thus an HFLC diet is one that consists of foods that are rich in fat and those that have no carbs. Backers of this diet claim that it is the best if you want to lose weight and maintain a lean shape without having to count your calories or go under the knife for surgery. The main idea is that when you find a way to block carbs (sugar and starch) form your diet, your blood sugar will stabilize and the level of insulin will drop. In case you don't know this yet, insulin is a fat-storing hormone, which means when its level drops your body will be able to burn more fat instead of storing it. That is to say, the HFLC diet does have a good scientific basis and backing.
So, it's a genuine health and fitness program. But what does it entail? What do you have to do to be on the HFLC diet? First and foremost you need to watch what you eat. Fat – yes, carbs – no. The rule of thumb is that carbs shouldn’t make up more than 5% of your daily food intake.
Pretty simple, but here is some extra information and a list of SOME dos and don'ts.
- Cream, butter, fat cheese, egg, meat, bacon, fish, chicken, avocado, mushrooms, cucumber, broccoli, asparagus, salads, spinach, tomatoes, water, tea, coffee (with no sweeteners), and you can even sneak in an occasional glass of wine.
- Pasta, rice, corn, bread, fries, potatoes, all grains, sweets, sugar, beer, and cookies.
You don't need to watch how much you eat as long as you are eating the right food.
Benefits of the HFLC Diet
There's no doubt that the HFLC diet can be beneficial. It's suitable for virtually everybody; except if you are taking diabetes or high blood pressure medication, or if you are breastfeeding. Otherwise, you are good to go. Check out some of the benefits:
#1: Weight loss
The HFLC diet reduces insulin levels which makes it hard for the body to store fat. Instead, almost all the fat will be burnt.
#2: Extra health benefits
The diet is known to balance blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. It also reduces craving for sugary foods.
#3: No hunger
With the HFLC diet, you will still have lots of options for meal prep and you can eat till you are full. There are no calories restrictions. No going to bed with an empty stomach for you.
#4: Eliminates the need for other diet plans
The HFLC diet also works to improve your overall health along with helping you lose weight. This means, you can commit to this one program, or weight loss plan, and won’t have to worry about working in any other dietary restrictions.
How to Implement the HFLC Diet
Assess your body fat
Start by examining your body fat level. If you have layers of fat (particularly in the belly) it means your body will survive just fine without carbs because it will burn the excess fat. However, if you have a low percentage of body fat (6% and below), it won't hurt to add a few healthy carbs to your list of foods.
Select your foods
We've already covered the list of dos and don'ts, use that as a general guide. If you are going to included carbs in your diet (based on point 1 above) make sure you don't overeat them. Remember that a total deficiency of carbs might bring some health complications and therefore you should have at least one day of the week for loading up on carbs appropriately. Keep a wary eye on processed foods, eat lots of fiber, and remember to stay hydrated.
Know how to time your carbs
A low carb diet doesn't necessarily mean no carbs at all. You can still eat your carbs but with a precise plan. To ensure that you enjoy them without affecting your blood sugar much, schedule their consumption on days when you have long, intense workouts that involve weight training.
Prepare for side effects
The switch from a normal diet to the HFLC diet will definitely affect your body; especially during the transition period. You are likely to experience side effects like fatigue, headache, irritability, dizziness, and heart palpitations. They will go away with time but if they persist you should seek a doctor's opinion.
Trying out anything new is always a little nerve wrecking, but can lead to great results. Start slow and let your body adjust to your new diet plan. Soon you’ll be saying goodbye to that stubborn fat in your body before you know it.