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Low-carb Diets: What’s the Deal?



Low-carb diets are all the rage when it comes to the latest and greatest fat loss methods. Many people have documented their success after having cut carbs for good, but is it really worth the effort? After all, carbs make up for some of the most deliciously satisfying foods we look forward to having the most. Don’t get me wrong, there is a correlation between fat loss and lower carbs, however, I think there’s more to it than that.


I think we may be overlooking other factors that may play into the fat loss as a result of these diets. That, and there may be some unwanted side effects of cutting carbs altogether. Check out these reasons below.


It’s more about calories, and less about carbs

One unspoken factor about low-carb diets is the fact that cutting carbs inevitably cuts calories. The sole determining fact in weight loss is consuming less calories than we expend on a daily basis. Because of this, many people attribute their fat loss to the low-carb diet, when in actuality, they are losing the weight because they are simply eating less calories. If we can emphasize calories over carbs, I believe we won’t have to adopt this mindset that carbs are evil.


Our sensitivity to carbs

Some of us are more sensitive to carbs than others. Though it may be anecdotal, I have a personal example that demonstrates just how much of a difference it makes. I find that when I consume over 200 grams of carbs each day, I am bloated throughout the day and I look and feel sluggish. On the flip side, a good friend of mine has no problem consuming over 500 grams of carbs each day (albeit he is a bigger fellow), and he has no such problems. Each of our bodies react differently to carbs, so to say a low-carb diet will solve all of our problems just isn’t the case.


Not all carbs are created equal

The Glycemic index supports the notion that not all carbs are created equal. Some carbs digest more quickly than others, which results in our bodies increasing sugar levels over a period of time. This mechanism results in us storing these foods as fat, which can lead some to believe that by reducing carbs altogether, we’ll lose fat. Though there is merit to this believe, there’s more to it than that. Carbs lower on the glycemic index don’t digest as quickly (oats, whole grain pasta, quinoa, etc.), and as such, don’t have as much impact with our fat loss quite as much.


Though low-carb diets can be effective for those of us who don’t pay much attention to calories or macronutrient breakdowns, it is not the end all be all solution to our weight loss goals. I believe in order to adopt a healthier mindset and relationship with food, we should look more towards the overall calories we’re eating, and the kind of carbs we’re introducing into our diets. What do you think? Have you had any experience with low-carb diets in the past? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below.