What Is a Low Carb Diet?

What is a Low Carb Diet?

So, what is a low carb diet? A low carb diet is a diet in which you reduce the number of carbohydrates (carb) consumed. Ultimately, the goal is to prevent excess fat storage from occurring as a result of excess carb consumption. In this way, you allow the body to tap into fat reserves for energy. When the body breaks down fat that is needed to supply the body with energy it results in weight loss.

Low Carb Diet Drinks Low Carb Snacks Low Carb Foods

You can also view the following low carb diet information and related infographics:

Low Carb Diet - What to Avoid

Different Low Carb Diet Levels

There are different kinds of low carb diet plans. A person on a traditional 2,000-calorie diet will typically eat between 200 and 300 grams of carbs per day. So, a person on a low carb diet will eventually consume much less. However, you must determine your daily calorie needs first! You may need more or less than 2,000 calories per day.

Since there are different degrees of being on a low carb diet, let’s mention a few. Based on a 2,000-calorie diet requirement, a liberal low carb diet plan allows 150 grams of carbs per day. While a basic low carb diet permits up to 125 grams of carbs per day. Then there is a strict low carb diet that only permits around 50 grams of carbs per day. The strict low carb diet requires an extreme adjustment to most individuals diets. Therefore, the strict low carb diet should be implemented under the care of a physician as needed. The strict low carb diet is popularly known as the “keto diet” or ketogenic diet.

Macronutrient Calorie Percentages – Carbohydrates/Proteins/Fats

Strict Low Carb (Ketogenic)

Low Carb

Liberal Low Carb




Disclaimer: Do not make any extreme changes to your diet without consulting a physician. Read – How to Start a Low Carb Diet.

So, let’s say that a person requires 2,000-calories per day. This person decides to go on a basic low carb (25/45/30) diet plan. Based on their calorie requirements and macronutrient percentages, this person will need to eat 125 grams of carbohydrates, 225 grams of protein, and 67 grams of fat per day.

Macronutrient Calculator (based on your daily calorie needs)


A carbohydrate is one of three main macronutrients that we need in our diet including proteins and fats. So, while a low carb diet is low in carbohydrates, sugars, starches, and certain fibers, it must be higher in other macronutrients. As your body adjusts to being on a low carb diet, you will discover that you are satisfied with less food. Therefore, individuals that slowly progress to a strict low carb diet for the health benefits may endeavor to eat more protein and fat (calories) to maintain their preferred weight.
What Is a Low Carb Diet

— Carbohydrates —

To better explain how a low carb diet works, you will need to know what a carb is and what it does. A carbohydrate is an energy-rich  chain of carbon molecules. However, carbon is the basic building block of everything including proteins and fats. Therefore, when you hear the phrase, low carb diet or low carbohydrate diet it simply means a diet consisting of fewer carbohydrates in relation to proteins and fats.

Carbohydrates make us feel good initially because they provide us with a huge surge of energy. However, a few carbs provide more energy than many people realize. And as a result, it is very easy to eat more carbohydrates than our body really needs. Then, once we eat more carbs than our body can use for energy, we get sluggish as the body works hard to convert and store all the excess potential energy (carbs) into fat for storage and later use. So, to go back to answering the question, what is a low carb diet? Let’s review…

— How It Works —

1.Eat less carbohydrates.

2. Have fewer carbohydrates being converted and stored as fat.

3. Allow the body to break down excess stored fat for needed energy.

4. Less fat equals a leaner body.

5. You feel lighter and healthier.

The list above is the essence of how a low carb diet works. This is how to diet, lose weight and keep it off! Once you start a low carb diet plan, you will learn how to eat low carb meals. In this way, you will know what you can eat to feel full, have plenty of energy, and still lose weight. After starting a low carb diet, you will discover that a low carb diet plan for weight loss is very effective.

After achieving the health benefits of being on a low carb diet, some people switch to a low carb, high fat diet plan. Incorporating more healthy fats in your diet may sound like a bit of a paradox, but it is done to help maintain some weight with a low carb diet lifestyle. Alternatively, a low carb, high protein diet is another option to help you maintain some weight.

This concludes the answer to, what is a low carb diet?