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 🙂