Tuesday Tip: Low carb diets aren’t magic 🌟
Low carb (or keto) diets are ALL the rage, and for some people they do seem to work….but not because they magically make you burn fat. Here’s what actually happens
#1 A reduced carb intake leads to almost immediate loss of water weight, hence sudden drops in weight at the start. It’s not fat. It will come back once you eat carbs again.
#2 They involve eating more protein, which is important for hunger control. So you’ll feel fuller and eat less calories overall, and be in calorie deficit. Calories, not carbs, dictate fat loss and gain.
#3 Protein also plays a vital role in muscle preservation, and has the highest thermic effect of any nutrient (i.e. takes the most cals to metabolise). So you’ll be burning slightly more cals each day, contributing to the deficit.
#4 They also mean more veggies. These are high in fibre and water making you feel fuller, slowing digestion and less likely to eat as many cals.
#5 More fats are also consumed, another key for staying fuller for longer and slowing digestion. So once again you’re far more likely eat less.
#6 They revolve around reducing the amount of carbs; the biggest portion of people’s diets. AND most calorie dense junk foods are carb-based so you’d be cutting those out. When you remove a food group you’re removing calories too, so you end up in a deficit.
SO how do these diets work? By getting you to do things that lead to consuming fewer calories, whilst telling you it’s nothing to do with calories and all about magic low carbs….
Does this mean you should do it? If it works for you then sure! Do I think it’s sustainable? Nope. Avoidance of food groups creates a poor relationship with food leading to binges or blow outs. It can also lead to fatigue, health risks of increased fat intake, regaining water weight when you go back to carbs, etc and of course it will only work if you have a high refined carb-based diet anyway.
My advice – everything in moderation. We need carbs as much as we need protein and fat. If you want a long term sustainable diet then just focus on reducing overall calories by whatever means works for your lifestyle.
Happy Tuesday 🤗