Do Low Carbs diet work?
Low carb diets seem to be the ‘thing’ at the moment. Fat is no longer the bad guy and the new scape goat seems to be carbohydrates.
Are carbohydrates inherently evil? Do they make you fat? Does limiting or cutting them out completely, make you lose weight? Is it safe? These are some the questions that I am often asked by my clients and I will answer them all in this article.
First of all, if you are completely lost when it comes to carbs then give this article a quick read. (Click here)
Now you are up to scratch, let me answer the first question for you, No Carbs are not inherently evil and planning to take over the world, you get both ‘good carbs’ and ‘bad carbs’. The good carbs are usually slower digesting and contain a shed load of nutrients such as oats, brown rice, sweet potatoes and most fruit and veg. And the bad ones are fast digesting and have little to none ‘vitaminy goodness’, which when eaten too much, can help you store a lot of fat.
So do they make you fat? Well no, carbs do not make you fat, eating too much of them does. If you are at a healthy weight you can happily have carbs as a staple of your diet, providing they are mostly made up of ‘good carbs’ and you eat them in moderation. However, people looking at low carb diets are not usually at a healthy weight, so is a high carb diet good for them? Probably not.
Carbohydrates is your body’s primary fuel source, so this means that you will burn the carbs that you have consumed or that have been stored in your liver and muscles first before burning your body fat. So a diet low in carbs means that you will have to use the fat that is stored in your body as energy as there are no carbs to burn. That is why low carb diets are so effective, your body becomes really efficient at using fat as fuel. So do low carb diets work? Absolutely!
One downside to a low carb diet is the ‘transition period’, this lasts for the first 3-6 days on going low carb. In this time you will feel like you have no energy, tired, grouchy and hungry, this is because your body hasn’t switched over to burning fat and protein as fuel properly yet. After the transition, you will feel much better.
Some people say that going low carb is dangerous as your body needs carbohydrates to function, is this true? No, absolutely not. In fact it’s probably the opposite to dangerous, diets high in carbohydrates massively increase the risk in a number of diseases such as: diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Your body needs essential fats, essential proteins and essential vitamins and minerals to function, but there is no such thing as ‘essential carbs’, your body functions perfectly fine without them.
Low carb diets are popular for a reason, it’s because they work.