Fitness journals often advice you to follow a Low-Carb diet. These diet fads seem to be extremely effective in reducing body fat. The problem is just: they’re not.
On April 27th, an overweight physician died due to a blood clot in his brain. The name of this person was Robert Atkins. Robert Atkins was the founder of the Low Carb Diet. Prior to his death, Robert suffered from a history of numerous heart attacks, congestive heart failure and hypertension. Mr. Atkins was not a healthy human being, but a genius marketer.
I’ve felt prey to the Low Carb diet trend before. For a period of one month, I’ve barely eaten any carbohydrates. I did lose some pounds originally, but gained it all back. On top of that I felt awful. I had to make myself a promise to never try this diet again.
The same story goes for numerous clients of mine: motivating, short term weight loss. Followed by a rapid weight gain after stopping the diet.
The Low Carb diet doesn’t make any sense scientifically speaking and may even increase your risk of death. But which diet should you rather pursue? And why you should play the long game.
Weight Loss Does Not Equal Fat Loss
At the beginning of my diet, I did lose weight rapidly. Over 5 pounds in the first week. I felt amazing and energized after watching the number on my scale. But a reduced weight is not what I was truly after. I wanted to lose belly fat. But in this endeavour, I failed.
Losing weight and burning body fat is not the same thing. At the beginning of my diet, my body was burning through his carbohydrate reserves. Carbohydrates bind to water in your body. If your body burns your reserve of carbs, you’re also losing pounds of water. This will make you lose weight, but not fat.
I remember a client telling me that she’s simply not losing weight. There was no decrease in the weighing scale for weeks during my coaching. Then I asked her if she remembered her original goal, which was to fit in her old bikini again. This was a goal she did achieve a couple of days prior. My client reached her goal, but was blindfolded by the weighing scale.
You should never care about a number on the weighing scale, and neither should your friends and family. You want to look and feel better. You want to lose body fat and not decrease an irrelevant number on your weighing scale.
What About Insulin?
Insulin is what most people fear when it comes to dieting. And it’s something that you truly should avoid, because it is the one hormone responsible for filling your fat cells.
But don’t believe that carbohydrates are solely responsible for an insulin release in your body. In fact, meat protein has the same insulin release as pure sugar.
Having said that, vegetarians have lower insulin levels than meat eaters. If you put people on a Low Carb Diet, their insulin levels even increase. On top of that their LDL-cholesterol, the bad cholesterol, rises dramatically.
A Low Carb Diet is not only inefficient, it is also not healthy for you. You’re increasing your risk of heart disease and diabetes while starving yourself. Not even weight loss and regular exercise negate the disastrous effects of the the Low Carb Diet. You damage your body with this diet fad.
Low Carb Forces Your Body In Survival Mode
Carbohydrates are the most important fuel for your brain. We have evolved over millions of years with glucose as the preferred fuel for our main controlling organ. On the Low Carb Diet you’re facing a pure survival situation. Because of your body burning through your carbohydrate reserves, your brain is being on red alert. Your nervous system is not getting the right nutrients that it needs.
Following that survival situation, your brain is shutting down systems that are not important for survival. Your body has to minimize it’s energy expenditure, because it thinks that you’re starving. Your muscles will be fatigued more quickly. Plus you will have a difficult time concentrating.
To make matters worse, in a survival situation, your body is even holding onto his fat storage. Because fat is energy stored for scarce times. Times when your brain is in survival mode. This is the last thing that you want when you’re following a diet.
Following a low carb diet is not sustainable. Yes you will lose some weight originally, but it will be gruel and not effective. You will not be able to keep the weight off in the long-term. Unless you’re willing to dramatically decrease your life quality.
The Crucial Switch
Think long-term and think logically.
You have to realize that you need to consume a proper amount of carbohydrates to achieve your full mental capacity. Once I’ve switched to more carbs in my diet, I’ve seen a tremendous improvement. I had more energy , trained more efficiently and lost more weight.
I never imagined that I’d once write this advice. Following a Low Carb Diet was the best way according to my friends and fitness professionals to get a sixpack. But it doesn’t make sense scientifically speaking.
Fats contain more calories pound for pound. Carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram, fat contains 9 calories per gram. You can consume twice the amount of carbohydrates to get the same amount of calories, as you will get by consuming fat. This means, that once I’ve made that switch to more carbohydrates, I was able to eat bigger meals without having to starve myself.
I also felt fuller on a low fat diet. There’s only a few grams of fiber on a low carb diet. There are veggies and some fruits in the low carb diet, but this is definitely not enough to feed a healthy bacterial culture in your gut. Having a healthy microbiome influences your health, your well-being and also your cravings. I realized that I had fewer cravings for sweets on a low fat diet. I also felt more satiated.
Play The Long Game
If you’re currently following a Low Carb diet you should ask yourself: Is this truly working? Are you losing fat or are you just losing water? Tip: Use tape measurements to make sure that you’re on the right path.
Instead of advising you to completely alter your nutrition and following the next diet trend, I want you to make a new approach. You need to play the long game. Realize that your weight loss will not come over night. Never buy into professionals that guarantee you immediate results. They’re trying to steal your money.
Instead of following a new diet fad, I want you to focus on incrementally changing your diet for the better. This far outweighs the results of a rapid diet change and eliminates the Yo-Yo Effect. Focus on eating more good foods instead of cutting out unhealthy foods.
Try to eat a little bit healthier today than you did yesterday. And tomorrow? Simple, do the same thing again. One year from now you will not be able to recognize yourself in the mirror. Eat two apples for a snack today instead of one. Ask for an extra portion of carrots in the restaurant. Over time your gut microbiome will change, you will crave healthier foods and you will feel energized.
Realize that your weight loss will still not come easy and fast. But it will be way easier than starving yourself and putting your body in survival mode. Play the long game.
|||^||Peter Petocz: Insulin Index of Food|
|||^||NCBI: Taiwanese vegetarians have higher insulin sensitivity than omnivores|
|||^||Research Gate: Unrestricted Paleolithic Diet is Associated with Unfavorable Changes to Blood Lipids in Healthy Subjects|
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