Low carbohydrate diets or commonly known as low carb diet, are dietary plans that forbid carbohydrate intake. Foods that are high in easily digestible carbs such as sugar, bread etc. are limited or replaced with foods that come with higher amount of fats and protein. Those foods are often meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds and shellfish. A low carb diet is usually used for losing weight. In addition, some of these diets may have health benefits not only for losing weight, but also for reducing risk factors connected with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Once you understand why this diet is used by thousands of peoples we can go into deeper details.
Low Carb Diet – Introduction and Weight Loss Tips:
You’ve probably understand by now that low carb diet limit the type and amount of carb intake. Carbohydrates are a type of calorie-providing macronutrient which is found in many foods and drinks. A study in 2016 over the low-carbohydrate diets classified diets with 50g of carbs on daily basis, which is les than 10% of total calories, as very low. You should know that carbs can be simple or complex.
Furthermore, they can be classified as simple refined (table sugar), simple natural (lactose in milk) complex refined (white flour) and complex natural (whole grains or beans). Usual sources of naturally occurring carbs can be found in: grains, milk, seeds, nuts, beans, peas etc. Food producers also include refined carbs to processed foods in the form of white flour or sugar. We’ve mentioned a few examples of foods that contain refined carbs earlier in this article.
Our bodies use carbs as its main fuel source. Complex carbs are broken into simple sugars during digestion. After that they are soaked up into our bloodstream, where they are commonly known as blood sugar, glucose.
Mainly, natural complex carbs are digested slower and they have less effect on our blood sugar levels. Increasing blood sugar levels triggers the body to let out insulin. Then the insulin helps glucose enter to our body’s cells. Our brain is using some part of the glucose for energy, fueling all of our activities. The extra glucose you get is generally stored in your liver, muscles and other cells which is converted into fat after a while. The main purpose of low carb diet is decreasing carb intake which lowers the insulin levels, that causes our body to burn stored fat for energy which will lead to weight loss. Read also: 10 Best Foods to Eat to Lose Weight and Stay on Track
Health Benefits other than Weight Loss
This kind of diet may help prevent or improve health conditions. It can help in metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. As a matter of fact, almost any diet that helps you lose unwanted weight can lower or even reverse risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Low carb diet might help you improve high-density lipoprotein or also known as HDL, cholesterol and triglyceride values slightly more than do moderate-carb diets.
That may be the result of how many carbs you consume and also to the quality of your food choices. Keep in mind that lean protein (poultry, legumes and fish), healthy fats and unprocessed carbs are healthier choices. A research published in the Obesity Journal, concluded that there isn’t enough evidence that low-carbohydrate diets give heart-healthy benefits.
Tips for Low Carb Diet:
- Don’t go extremely hungry. Consume smaller meals and make sure you have protein included with every meal. Avoid going more than 5 hours without consuming some foods.
- Don’t restrict your calorie intake. That will just force your metabolism to slow down. Increase the amount of fat and protein with your meal, especially breakfast.
- Increase your workout time. Boost the duration and intensity during your exercises. Try a different routine; add weight lifts in you are doing aerobics. And for those people who are just on a low carb diet, this is the perfect time to start working out.
- Make sure to drink more water ant other zero-carb drinks to enhance hydrolysis and to flush ketones.
- Avoid consuming easily digestible before bedtime. Eating will trigger insulin, which will prevent fat-burning while you sleep and you will add that extra sugar to your body fat.
- Start a diet journal. Make sure to write the time and the exact amount of what you eat. Get a good food count source and start writing everything you eat during the day.
- People often find helpful trying a different eating routine. For instance, try consuming a larger breakfast filled with more protein and a smaller dinner. Keep always in mind not to eat at least three hours before going to bed.
Risk of Low Carb Diet:
If you decide to go with this diet and drastically lower carb intake, you may experience different temporary health effects such as:
- Bad breath
- Muscle cramps
In addition, some diets limit carb ingestion so much that in the long term they can lead in vitamin or mineral deficiencies, bone loss and gastrointestinal disturbances. That may increase risks of many chronic diseases. Because low carb diets doesn’t give your body most of the necessaty nutrients, these diets aren’t recommended to be a first choice when starting a weight loss plan.
Lowering carb intake to les than 20 grams a day can lead in a process called ketosis. Ketosis occurs when your body doesn’t have enough sugar for energy. Your body breaks down stored fat, making ketones to build up. Side effects of ketosis can include headache, mental and physical fatigue and nausea. Even in this day, it’s not clear what kind of possible long-term health risks a low-carb diet may cause because most studies have lasted less than a year.
Most people who choose this type of diet are those who are stalled in the process of losing weight. However, don’t worry, it happens to almost everyone. Your weight loss slows down or seems to struggle more and more with every day passed. If you choose to go with a low carb diet make sure to read and understand the whole article in order to avoid some unnecessary health effects. In addition, make sure not to reduce carb intake drastically. And always be patient with yourself because everyone loses weight at different rates.