Low Carb Diets Are They Effective?



Low- Carb Diets Do they Actually Work?

Mostly the low- carb diet causes a lot more weight loss than the standard low-fat diet that we’re in general instructed to follow.

Low-carb diets are also very safe, what I mean by that is no serious side effects have been reported.
In fact, the studies show that these diets cause improvements in many important risk factors.

Blood pressure and blood sugar levels decrease significantly for example.
Also it is really important for me to let you know that the highest percentage of fat lost on a low carb diet comes from the belly area and the liver.

This is dangerous fat that builds up in and around the organs, driving inflammation and disease.

These diets are effective for people with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. However, there is a lot of controversy about why the diet actually works in the first place.

People love to debate the mechanism; the stuff that is going on in our organs and cells that make us lose weight.

Unfortunately though, the answer is not fully known, and chances are that it’s for a number of different reasons rather than solely one.

Now I would like to show you some of the most convincing explanations for the effectiveness of the low carb diets.


Carb Restrictions Lowers Insulin Levels

Insulin is a very important hormone in the body.
It is the main hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and energy storage.

One of the functions of insulin is to tell fat cells to produce and store fat, and to hold on to the fat they already carry.

It also tells other cells in the body to pick up glucose (Blood sugar) from the bloodstream, and burn that instead of fat.
So, insulin stimulates lipogenesis (production of fat) and inhibits lipolysis (the burning of fat).

It is actually well known that low-carb diets lead to drastic and almost immediate reductions in insulin levels.

Many experts believe that low-carb diets, lower insulin levels are the main reason for there effectiveness.

Most experts also claim that, when carbs are restricted and insulin levels go down, the fat is not “locked” away in the fat cells anymore and becomes accessible for the body to use as energy, leading to reduced need for eating.
But I would also like to point out that many of the well-respected obesity researchers do not believe this to be the case, and do not think the carbohydrate- insulin hypothesis of obesity is supported with any real evidence.



Water Weight Drops Rapidly To Start Off With

What I have notice about the low-carb diet is that when people start, they tend to lose weight very fast.

The main reason for this is a reduction in water weight.
The mechanism behind it is two things:

One: Insulin.. when insulin goes down, the kidneys start shedding excess sodium from the body. This also lowers blood pressure.

Two: Glycogen.. The body stores carbs in the form of glycogen, which binds water in

the muscles and in the liver. When carb intake goes down, glycogen levels in the body go down, and the water follows along.

This does not happen to nearly the same extent on a higher carb diet, even if calories are reduced significantly.

Even though some people use this as an argument against the low-carb diets, reduced water weight should be considered an advantage.

I mean, who wants to carry around excess bloat and water weight all the time?

But back to the point, despite claims, this is far from being the main weight loss advantage of the low- carb diets.

Studies show clearly that low- carb diets lead to more fat being lost as well, especially the “dangerous” (as explained early) belly fat found in the abdominal cavity.


Low carb Diets Are High In Protein

Low carb and low fat diets if you compare them, the low carb groups end up eating much more protein.

This is because people replace many low-protein foods (grains, sugars) with higher protein foods like meat, eggs and fish.

I’ve read numerous studies that show protein can reduce your appetite, boost metabolism and help increase muscle mass, which is metabolically active and burns calories around the clock.

I believe that the high protein content of the low- carb diets is one of the main reason for their effectiveness.



Low Carb Diets Are Less Varied, and Lower in “Food Reward”

Low carb diets automatically exclude some of the world’s most fattening junk food.
As you can imagine this includes Sugar, Sugary drinks, Fruit juices, Pizza, White bread, French Fries, Pastries and mostly all unhealthy snacks.

There is also an obvious reduction in the variety when you eliminate most high- carb foods, especially given that wheat, corn and sugar are in almost all processed foods.

It is also well known that increased food variety can drive increased calorie intake.
Many of these foods are also highly rewarding, the reward value of foods can impact how many calories we end up eating.

So, reduced food variety and reduced intake of highly rewarding junk foods should both contribute to a reduced calorie intake.



The Long Term Effects Are Not So Impressive

Even though low carb diets are very effective in the short- term, as I said last week, most long-term diets are not great (Click Here).

Again most studies show you that for the last 1- 2 years the difference between the low- carb and low- fat groups mostly disappears.

There are many possible explanations for that happening, but the most convincing one to me is that people tend to abandon the diet over time anyway… which then leads them to putting the weight straight back on.

Of course this is not just specific to the low- carb diets, and it is well known problem in most long-term weight loss studies. Most “diets” are incredibly hard to stick to!

Which is why I believe in my meal plan so much! (Click Here) as it’s something that can get you to your weight loss goals to start off with and even a little longer to be honest with you. Then as you learn a bit more about healthy eating, in time you will fly and never be grounded because of your fat again (Click Here).



Some people just refuse to accept that low carb diets can work, and that people can eat as much as they want, because that must violate the calories in and calories out model.

However, when you really understand the mechanics behind the low carb diets, you will see that the model is not really being violated, and everything is above board.

The truth is, low- carb diets work on both sides of the calorie equation.
They do boost your metabolism (Increasing calories out) and something I did not mention in the post is that they actually help lower your appetite (reducing calories in).

The calories still count, its just with this low-carb diet it automates the process and helps you prevent the biggest side effect of conscious calorie restriction, which is HUNGER!


That’s a wrap!
Please let me know your thoughts below
Until next time ciao 🙂


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Peter. F
Peter. F
8 years ago

I have experienced all the positives of low carb eating, but old habits die hard, and in the early days I would cheat which set off cravings I rarely have when eating clean low carb (without a lot artificial sweeteners).

A paleo type low carb way of eating is healthy. My blood glucose is excellent on low carb, and quickly rises if I eat carby foods, even fruit beyond lower carb berries and apples. Once I got over the idea of being deprived, it was easy. Lost weight, got healthy.

8 years ago

I tried exercising to lose weight. Apart from losing a bit of water weight I didn’t burn an ounce of fat. Then I started doing a lot of research. I went on a low-carb diet and did nothing different physically and in 1.5 years I lost 65 pounds — yes, I literally sat on the couch watching TV instead of exercising which was hurting me.

Your body supplies you with energy at a constant rate and your physical activity does not affect that. If anything, your body becomes more efficient from exercise. Poor diet breaks the insulin system and then causes you to store lots of fat. That poor diet to this end is a high carb diet.

Stopping a diet that causes you to store fat is a simple enough explanation for why one loses weight by going low carb.

The calories-in calories-out model is the biggest urban myth in history. Bulking up with large amounts of muscle mass will cause you to burn fat more quickly but going that route is not good for you due to risk of injury. Two books for you:

Why we get fat and what to do about it, by Gary Taubs.

Wheat Belly, by William Davis.

Tim Maki
Tim Maki
8 years ago

I have tried to only eat real food, and I did not lose a pound while being obese, on the other hand when I limit my carbs to 120g and I eat more fat (just making sure that I have some with every meal, and eat everything full fat) it doesn’t matter what I eat then. My weight loss is fast, and my appetite is low.

What are your macros like? Some people will end up not eating high carb when they eat real food, one portion of potatoes and quite a bit of fruit is about 120 g.

Marie Robben
Marie Robben
8 years ago
Reply to  Tim Maki

See that just shows how everyone’s body is different… if I ate 120 grams of carbs, first I have no idea how I would even manage to GET that many carbs while avoiding all grains and starches… and if I did it would drive my blood sugar through the roof.

I consider low carb to be below 50 grams a day and preferably below 20 grams, but others like you do well with a much higher threshold… I would hazard to guess that you have no metabolic syndromes?

Totally agree on the fat though, I get most of my calories from fat I would say… lost 85 pounds and keeping it off for several years now (well, while dropping heh I haven’t been at 85lbs lost for several years, but I’ve been losing for 5 years so I think that counts towards keeping it off since I haven’t yoyoed more than 5lbs in any direction and that’s usually hormonal.)

8 years ago

I went on a low carb diet (61 year old female) about a year and a half ago. I lost about 60 pounds (40 pounds in 4 months, 20 more pounds in the rest of the year).

I now eat (or try) only real food (wheat, corn, soy and sugar are NOT real food to me, they are mostly GMO) even if it has higher carbs, like potatoes, beans, fruit, etc. I have been eating this way for about 6 months now and have not gained or lost weight.

I am happy at the weight I am now, and as long as I do not put the pounds back on, I will continue to eat all the “real” food I like.

Preston Ralph
Preston Ralph
8 years ago

Your experience is similar to mine. I am a 72 year old male and I had two TIA’s in May of 2012. At the time I weighed 226 pounds with a 42 inch waist.

When released from the hospital, I was instructed to eat the “cardiac diet”; restricted calories, low protein, low fat and high carb. I was also forbidden to exercise in any way. I followed it for about a month, without any positive results. I was miserable, hungry all the time and lost no weight.

At four weeks, they wanted another blood panel done and the results were the same as the day I had the second TIA.

On my own and without telling my doctor, I went on a low carb regimen of 2000 calories a day; 20% protein, 10% carbs and 70% fat. I ate when I was hungry and didn’t when I was not. Sometimes I ate 1800 calories a day and other days I went up as high as 2400, but I maintained the 20/10/70 profile as strictly as possible. Bacon and eggs every morning.

The immediate result showed up in six weeks. I went in for another blood panel and the numbers were so good that it almost made my doctor faint.

Sarah Matthews
Sarah Matthews
8 years ago

Karim, I eat a relatively low carb diet (under 100 g a day) and noticed my systolic BP reading has dropped from 110-120 to 100-105. All are in the healthy range, but do you think my eating lower carb has caused the drop?

Jeff Krivács
Jeff Krivács
8 years ago
Reply to  Sarah Matthews

I’m not Karim, and also I had hypertension before, rather than normal blood pressure, but when I went low-carb, my systolic blood pressure went from 140-160 to 110-120. So I wouldn’t be surprised if diet were the cause for you too.

Sarah Matthews
Sarah Matthews
8 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Krivács

It’s great to see you’ve had the same outcome. Thanks for sharing your experience, Jeff.

Kelly Knight
Kelly Knight
8 years ago

I question that low-carb diets result in less appetite. I find it the complete opposite. Low carbs don’t have the “stick to your ribs” quality and soon after eating you are ravenous.

Joleen Fisher
Joleen Fisher
8 years ago

I agree with you on this Kelly.