What Happens To Excess Glucose
You can try to stuff as much junk in there as you want, but the closet is only so big, and eventually, the door will burst open and the junk will start to pour out and make a mess on the floor. Once your glycogen stores have been filled to the max, ANY excess glucose gets converted to fat and stored in new fat cells, which your body is MUCH more reluctant to use for energy than glucose from glycogen. So, at the end of the day, itâs not fat that is making you fat â itâs all that darn sugar!
Our bodies prioritize the metabolism of macronutrients in the following order:
When Low Carb Is Best
That said, reduced carb diets do appear to offer benefits to specific groups â if you have blood sugar control issues, it could definitely be the way to go to maintain a healthy weight.
In a November 2018 article in the âBritish Medical Journal,â people who had already lost about 12 percent of their starting weight were randomly assigned to one of these diet groups:
- High carbohydrate and low fat
- Moderate carbohydrate and 40 percent) fat
- Low carbohydrate and high fat diet
What the researchers found was that people could eat slightly more calories and still maintain their weight when the proportion of carbohydrate in their diet was lower. But this was only really marked in individuals who secreted high levels of insulin.
The researchers said this showed a low-carb diet is probably the most effective way to lose or maintain weight if you have insulin resistance or diabetes.
However, a November 2018 editorial in âScienceâ suggests that for most people, focusing on diet quality â replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats and replacing refined carbohydrates with whole grains and non-starchy vegetables â allows effective weight management within a broad range of fat-to-carbohydrate ratios.
Calories Vs Carbs: What Should I Be Counting
To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than your body requires. True or false?
This statement is, in fact, true. Please dont shoot the messenger, though. Just because calories count, doesnt mean you have to count them! As well discuss, the way your body regulates its weight isnt as simple as adding and subtracting calories.
Calories are units of energy that allow your body to move, breathe, and go about your daily life. If you consume more calories than you burn, the excess energy will be stored as body fat. When you take in fewer calories than needed, your body will release some of its body fat stores to be used as energy. Thats the whole point of dieting, right?
Yet trying to create a calorie deficit by intentionally restricting how much you eat often fails to achieve lasting weight loss. For one thing, its usually very hard to do long term.1 In fact, it may even contribute to weight gain over time, defeating the purpose of counting calories in the first place.2
Its become increasingly clear there are many different things that influence how much we eat and whether the calories we consume are burned or stored. And one of those things is dietary carbohydrate.
The not-so-secret trick is that reducing carb intake can trigger several changes in your body that may help it to burn more energy than it stores.
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Potential Benefits Of A Low
As low-carb dietitian Franziska Spritzler, RD, whos based in Orange County, California, points out, when you cut back on carbs, blood sugar and insulin levels generally go down, which can be a good thing for A1C, or the two- to three-month average of blood sugar levels. This may also help with weight loss, another common goal for people with type 2 diabetes.
Alcohol Has Almost As Much Energy As Fat
Alcohol contains no nutrients and has almost as much energy as fat .
One standard drink contains 10g of alcohol . However, the size of a standard drink can vary not only by alcohol percentage, but the amount of energy it has such as a shot of alcohol mixed with tonic water or lemonade.
Also, when we drink alcohol our inhibitions tend to be lowered, making it more likely we will crave less healthy foods.
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I Came Down With Keto Flu
The “keto flu” is a term you’ll see on keto blogs and forums. For me, it was a very real event, but not everyone will experience it.
As your body breaks through the carb cycle and enters ketosis , you may experience fatigue, mental fogginess, even irritability. My “keto flu” only lasted a day, and once I passed it, I never experienced the symptoms again. I even ate a cookie one day during the diet to celebrate my birthday. I certainly came out of ketosis when I ate that treat, but I didn’t experience any repercussions for it. .
Other Effects On Health
Low fat and low carb diets may affect other aspects of health in different ways. These include:
- Cholesterol. A review of eight studies found low carb diets to be more effective at improving levels of HDL cholesterol and decreasing triglyceride levels than low fat diets. Neither diet significantly affected LDL cholesterol (
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Keto Diet Benefits And Risks: Medical Expert Weighs In
When people get the diet right by limiting carbs, eating moderate amounts of protein and embracing fat, they feel full and naturally restrict calories without having to count them, Volek added.
He and his colleagues consider the weight loss a side benefit because they often use the low-carb diet to treat Type 2 diabetes, he noted.
Voleks studies have found people on low-carb diets can lose more than 10% of their body weight and keep it off, something that Haines says has been a game-changer.
I feel great. Its easy for me to get up. Its easy for me to go to sleep. I feel a lot more comfortable with myself, she said.
This new approach also eliminates some of the stigma surrounding obesity, which is typically treated as a behavioral problem. Doctors often assume people are overweight because they eat too much or have low willpower. This approach takes the blame away from the patient and looks at obesity as a biological problem, focusing on regulating the hormone insulin.
The Challenges Of Staying The Course
Low-carb diets are extremely hard to sustain because people look at cutting carbs as restricting themselves. And what do you want when someone tells you that you can’t have something? The exact thing you can’t have.
So behaviorally, it’s not realistic to think that someone could stick to something like severely limiting carbs long-term.
What I recommend is that you stay moderately low on the carbs most of the time. In the Prevention Center, we call it “the Perfect Plate”: Half the plate should be nonstarchy vegetables one-fourth of the plate should be protein and one-fourth of the plate should be healthy carbs.
The United States Department of Agriculture plate actually has four categories they say a quarter plate of nonstarchy vegetables and a quarter plate fruit but I prefer half a plate of vegetables.
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Low Carb Vs Keto: Final Thoughts
When it comes to assessing low-carb vs. keto for overall health, both eating plans can be sensible. However, in terms of weight loss, or more specifically fat-loss, keto is more of a guarantee than low-carb.
And even if you’re eating 100 net grams of carbs per day, that amount might actually shift you out of ketosis. For this reason, if you really want to get leaner, you may as well take the extra step and get into ketosis.
However, many do well on a standard low-carb eating plan where the majority of carbs come from vegetables and fruit.
So really, the best plan is the one that works the best for you.
The Benefits Of Going Lower
But now that Ive given you a litany of reasons to be skeptical of the ketogenic diet, Im going to switch gears why is a lower-carb diet helpful? What are the benefits? What is actually happening in your body? Without going to the point of ketosis, why do I recommend a low-er carb diet for my clients, after all?
- A lower carb diet can automatically get you eating more vegetables, if you exercise common sense in your food planning. More vegetables means more nutrients and more fiber every day.
- A lower carb diet will often create a caloric deficit by taking lots of extra snacking off the table . This results in easier weight loss and weight management.
- A lower carb diet often includes more protein, which serves to keep blood sugar more stable, to help with muscle gain and to reduce the likelihood of cravings.
- A lower carb diet, specifically one that is lower in sugar, will create less spikes and drops in blood sugar, which will help you have more energy and experience less cravings between and after meals.
Especially for women who are 45+ and starting to really feel the blood-sugar-rattling effects of perimenopause and menopause, focusing on being nourished by food and getting blood sugar stablecan be a game changer for not only physique change, but for health.
So how do we harness the power and ease of a single-rule diet like keto, without the accompanying risk of an all-or-nothing approach?
#2: Use measuring cups.
#3: Limit sugar.
#4: Limit alcohol.
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Eating 2050 Grams Per Day
This is where the low carb diet has bigger effects on metabolism. This is a possible range for people who want to lose weight fast, or have metabolic problems, obesity, or diabetes.
When eating less than 50 grams per day, the body will go into ketosis, supplying energy for the brain via so-called ketone bodies. This is likely to dampen your appetite and cause you to lose weight automatically.
Carbs you can eat include:
- some berries, maybe with whipped cream
- trace carbs from other foods, like avocados, nuts, and seeds
Be aware that a low carb diet doesnt mean its a no-carb diet. Theres room for plenty of low carb vegetables.
Youre Not Cutting Back Enough
Some people are more sensitive to carbs than others.
If youre eating a low carb diet and your weight starts to plateau, you might want to further reduce the number of carbs in your diet.
You can follow a healthy, low carb diet by eating plenty of protein, healthy fats, and low carb vegetables.
To make sure your diet is low in carbs, try using a free online nutrition tracker.
Restrictive diets can come with health complications. Always talk to a dietitian or your healthcare provider before making any big changes to your diet.
If youre sensitive to carbs, you might want to try temporarily reducing carb intake further, but always talk to a healthcare provider before making big dietary changes.
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Always Calculate Your Own Nutrition Information
Sure, you can trust nutrition labels on foods you buy at the grocery store, but if you’re cooking from a recipe you found online , it’s best to double check how many carbs are in your ingredients. I found when I was grocery shopping that different brands of certain products can have insanely different carb counts per serving. During my first week of prep, I followed a blogger’s low-carb recipe for a veggie lasagna and found that my version actually had more carbs per serving than hers .
Youre Eating Too Much Dairy
Dairy is a low carb food that can cause problems for some people.
Dairy products are often high in protein. Protein, like carbs, can raise insulin levels, which encourages your body to store energy.
The amino acid composition of dairy protein makes it very good at spiking insulin. In fact, dairy proteins can spike insulin as much as white bread (
Its important to do the right kind of exercise.
A mixture of cardio and muscle building can be an effective combination:
- Weightlifting. Lifting weights can greatly improve hormone levels and increase muscle mass, which may help you lose fat and keep it off over the long term if you maintain your exercise regime.
- Interval training. High intensity intervals is an excellent form of cardio that boosts your metabolism and raises your levels of human growth hormone .
- Low intensity. Being consistently active and doing some low intensity exercise each day, including walking, can make a big difference.
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You Dont Even Need To Reduce Carbohydrates Much
The third study compared a low-carbohydrate to a low-fat diet in severe obesity. These people had a high prevalence of diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
The low-carbohydrate group was instructed to keep carbs at 20 g a day. However, they didnt. They could eat as much as they wanted.
The low-fat group was instructed to keep fat at 30% of calories, and to reduce their calorie intake by 30%.
The low-carb group lost 5.8 kg after 6 months, the low-fat group 1.9 kg. The low-carb group spontaneously reduced their calorie intake, so that the 2 groups ate about the same number of calories, again showing the power of reducing hunger and body weight set point.
Notably, the low-carb group wasnt very compliant, and they only reduced their carb intake to 37% of calories at 6 months, vs. 51% for the low-fat group. Yet they still lost more weight.
Why It’s Possible You Don’t Lose Weight In Ketosis
As you can see, the differences between low-carb vs. keto has other factors besides the number of carbohydrates consumed.
If you are in a state of ketosis, it really is the best mechanism for weight loss. However, it is possible, theoretically, to be in ketosis but not lose weight.
For example, if your exercise routine involves weight lifting, you might weigh the same even after a couple of months of being in ketosis.
But one thing is for sure with ketosis: you will lose body fat.
As long as you remain in a state of ketosis, your body will be burning fatty acids for energy. So although your scale might read the same number after several days or weeks of being in ketosis, its likely your pants will fit much looser.
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This Diet Is Very Dairy Friendly
Listen up, cheese lovers, because this diet could potentially be a good fix for you. I know how hard it is to part ways with cheese and cream, but since dairy is naturally low in carbs it’s actually a great source of healthy fats . Since the whole point of a low-carb diet is to train your body to burn fat and not sugar as a source of energy, full-fat dairy is encouraged. Score!
I Learned To Be Very Creative In The Kitchen
It’s almost impossible to eat at a restaurant and keep your keto status. Luckily, I consider myself an adventurous cook, frequently cooked at home before the diet, and am willing to try new recipes.
Write the recipes down, use a meal-tracking app like MyFitnessPal to record the ingredients, and you can figure out if a recipe can work for you. It takes a bit more work than an average meal plan, but it’s worth it.
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No Magic Weight Loss Potion
There are many unhealthy misconceptions about weight loss. There are no magical foods or ways to combine foods that melt away excess body fat. To reduce your weight, make small, achievable changes to your lifestyle.
What Is The Atkins Diet
One of the original low-carb diet plans, Atkins, dates all the way to the 1960s. A cardiologist named Robert Atkins wanted to develop a plan that emphasized losing weight by eating the right foods, not fewer foods.
Atkins is similar in structure to the keto diet in that it reduces carbs while increasing protein and fat sources the reason it’s not at the very bottom of this list is that this shift isn’t permanent on an Atkins diet. As you work through the four phases of the diet and get closer to your weight loss goal, you can begin adding in vegetables, fruits, and eventually even carbs again .
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Keto Vs Low Carb For Weight Loss: Explained
Research shows that subjects lose more weight on keto than a simple low-carb diet. You might be surprised at just how important a role the âhigh-fatâ component plays in fat loss.
The calories vs. macros debate has been solved… but what is it about carbs that matter so much? Why do people love them so much? How do good and bad carbs impact your health?
âCarbsâ is a huge buzz word in the diet industry and everyone has an opinion on what you should be doing with them! Letâs dig a little deeper to separate fact from fiction and make this incredibly confusing landscape a bit easier to navigate.
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What Is The Keto Flu And How Can I Prevent It
The keto flu or low-carb flu occurs when transitioning from a higher carb diet to a very low-carb diet. Symptoms typically include: headache, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.19 You can prevent or greatly reduce symptoms of the keto flu by following the simple advice in our guide, The keto flu, other keto side effects, and how to cure them.
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