Low carb diets are very effective for weight loss when compared to low-fat diets. Research has shown that low-carb diets reduce weight 2 to 3 times better than low-fat diets.
In general, diets that are low in carbohydrates decrease blood sugar levels and blood pressure significantly. In low carb diets, most of the fat that is lost is from the belly area and the liver, the two most dangerous regions for fat to accumulate in the body. It has been found that a diet that is low carb and moderates in protein and high in fat, to be very effective in the treatment of diseases such as Type-2 Diabetes and coronary heart disease as well as the prevention of obesity. That kind of diet is called the Keto diet and should not be confused with a regular low carb diet with high protein and low fat.
The mechanism for weight loss in low-carb diets is a result of several factors, which are explained below.
A rapid drop in water weight
For those on a low-carb diet, they tend to lose weight quickly. The first 1 to 2 weeks is the period of time that the body is rapidly losing water which is why the scale often shows a quick and much-welcomed decrease in weight.
Glycogen (a form of stored carbs) binds water to the liver and muscles. If carb intake is reduced, glycogen levels are reduced as well, so in turn, the water is bound to those fewer glycogen molecules will be decreased as well.
Studies have shown that low-carb diets suppress one’s appetite, thereby automatically reducing calorie intake. This is probably the most widely accepted reason for low-carb diets to have such a major influence on weight loss. The reason why calorie intake is low is that carbohydrates promote hunger, and if one is on a diet that is void of a significant amount of carbs, then one’s hunger will be absent as well.
Higher protein intake
When one is on a low carb diet like the keto diet, the amount of protein consumed is usually significantly higher than when on a diet that is rich in carbs. Higher protein intake in conjunction with a lower carb intake reduces one’s appetite, therefore weight loss becomes inevitable. But there is a downside to taking in too much protein (or more than your body needs) because some of the amino acids in which proteins are comprised, turn into glucose. This prevents the body from achieving the desired state of ketosis. We now know that a moderate amount of protein combined with a low amount of carbs, and a high quantity of fats, make ketosis easier to reach.
Whichever diet suits you best, it’s good to know that there are snacks that you can still enjoy that are delicious and healthy. One snack that is always great to keep handy is Shrewd Food Protein Puffs. They are high in protein and low in carbs which helps when fighting hunger in the middle of the day or after dinner when you are feeling like snacking on something crunchy and flavorful. Some of the sweet flavors make a filling breakfast cereal when paired with almond or coconut milk.
Low carb diets help to expend energy
Low carb diets such as the keto diet increase the rate at which we expend energy. Those who are on a low carb diet expended more calories than on a low-fat diet. This can occur through a process known as gluconeogenesis (when the body turns proteins into glucose). Initially, gluconeogenesis is considered to be inefficient, but it is through this process that ketones are formed which ultimately increases metabolism because they are used to replace the glucose as fuel for the body.
It decreases insulin levels
Low carb diets significantly decrease insulin levels in the body.
Insulin is a fundamental hormone that is made in the pancreas. It allows our bodies to use glucose for energy. It also helps balance our blood glucose levels by signaling our bodies to store the excess blood glucose in the liver. Therefore insulin is responsible for regulating sugar levels as well as energy storage. Insulin helps the production of fat and obstructs fat burning. So when we eat a low carb diet, the level of insulin being produced is decreased which means that the production of fat is decreased and the burning of fat is increased.
Weight loss should be carefully examined by you and your doctor to find the best way to achieve your desired results. There is no one diet that will work for everyone because we all are different with different goals, but with trial and error, we are all sure to find the diet that suits us best for our individual needs.