There is a lot of nutrition and diet information out there huh? I think we can all agree that it is so frustrating and confusing when there is so much out there with promises of fat loss because of this rule or that rule (low-carb diets, cut out carbs, eat cleaner, zero sugar, etc.) And a lot of times those diets do work … for a little while. But What happens when you cut out all carbs and then you hit a weight loss plateau? When your weight loss stalls… What do you do then… eat negative carbs? Doesn’t make sense does it? There’s a lot of popular myths that I want to touch on today to help you see past the little tricks that make you think that a certain way of eating is the source of fat loss. Or that a particular rule is the magical source of fat burning… I’m not saying that any of these diets are wrong or inherently bad, but I simply want to get to the source of the how and the why of weight loss for each one
Ok so let’s start with Low carb or no carb diets. And just fyi I’ve done every single diet that I’m about to talk about so this isn’t just me speaking on what I think.. I’ve experienced it, I’ve studied it with my school access to scholarly articles… , and so please know that while I am not a doctor, I’ve done my research, so I promise I’m not just giving you a sloppy opinion.
OK so , back to low carb/no carb diets. The goal with these diets and what they claim helps you lose fat is to eat as little carbs as possible, eating below the average recommended amount of 45-65% of caloric intake, and let your body get its energy from other sources like fats and protein. And since protein intake increases satiety, you are less likely to feel hunger. So since the body’s ultimate fuel source is carbohydrates, if you aren’t eating enough of them, your body goes to an alternate source of fuel called ketones. And with the low-carb or keto diet (about 20% or less carbs)_ your body will go into a state of ketosis claimed to accelerate weight loss. Now, there are studies that prove some benefits and some not so great side effects for those on a low fat or ketogenic diet. So, I’ll start with the positives… low carb diets, in patients with diabetes, showed to be beneficial for blood glucose levels and blood pressure concerns. With quick initial fat loss in those who are obese, there’s bound to be some positive changes right. You’re cutting out carbs, you’re eating higher fat and protein which makes you fuller for longer so you’re eating less than normal. However, I read about an 8 week study where participants dieted for 8 weeks… some on the low carb/high fat diet and some with low fat/high carb diet. After 8 weeks, both groups saw similar results in fat loss AND both groups saw improved insulin sensitivity.