Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Don’t Avoid Carbs

Tuesday tip: Don’t Avoid Carbs 🍞

Many people believe that cutting carbs is the answer to weight loss. Whilst cutting out carbs can work for some people, it’s the reduction in calories that may accompany it that provides the benefit, not the avoidance of carbs per se. This is usually because avoiding carbs has resulting in avoiding highly palatable, calorie dense foods which are often high fat too e.g. pizza, chips, pasta dishes etc. So rather than focusing on carbs as a food group, you’re better off focusing on the high calorie, low nutrient quality, easy to over eat, aspects of your diet and work on reducing them rather than focusing on carbs.

But don’t low carb diets and keto diets result in better fat loss? No actually they don’t. A recent review of studies looked at studies where food was controlled – so participants were given specific foods to eat (ie a tightly controlled study). Comparing diets with the same calories, same amount of protein but different proportions of carb, and fats found that there was NO difference in fat loss, weight loss or energy expenditure. These were lab conditions so any confounding factors were reduced. There was a small difference between the low fat diet and low carb diet – showing that low fat was marginally better for fat loss but the difference was so small that it isn’t enough to make a real difference to overall weight loss.

So what does this mean? It means you shouldn’t avoid carbs – they’re good – we need them for energy and brain function. However there are certain types of food we tend to associate with ‘carbs’ that it is worth reducing or having in moderation if you’re trying to lose fat. These include restaurant meals/takeaways, fancy coffees, alcohol, ‘junk’ food snacks etc. These can all be included in your diet but you may wish to reduce the frequency or quantity to help with fat loss.

Keeping carbs in your diet will keep you happy and if you’re happy you’re far more likely to stick to it. If you stick to it it will be sustainable and that’s what we want!

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Low carb diets aren’t magic

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 🤗