Are Low-Carb Diets Effective for Weight Loss?

When you consume carbohydrates such as bread or fruits, your body processes them all as sugar. This sugar, glucose, is released into your bloodstream. The pancreas sends insulin to bind with the glucose and retrieves some of the sugars for storage.

When you consume carbohydrates such as bread or fruits, your body processes them all as sugar. This sugar, glucose, is released into your bloodstream. The pancreas sends insulin to bind with the glucose and retrieves some of the sugars for storage.

Approximately 80 to 100 grams of carbohydrates are stored in the liver and 300 to 600 grams in muscle tissue. Liver stores are used at a rate of approximately 5 to 6 grams per hour to fuel your thinking and your nervous system. Muscle stores are used during high-intensity exercises and most often only need to be replaced by athletes, not those who have sedentary jobs or enjoy channel-surfing in the evenings. 

The Storage of Excess Carbs

When your diet contains extra carbohydrates such as a piece of toast with your eggs, a banana in your smoothie or croutons on your salad, your body processes and stores all carbohydrates the same. All carbs are broken down into the simplest components with the end result being glucose or sugar.

When the liver and muscle stores are at capacity, the body stores the remaining glucose as fat. Even if you exercise frequently and consume an excessive amount of carbs; your body will use carbohydrates from your bloodstream to fuel your workouts.

As a result, you will never get to the fat-burning potential of your fitness routine. If glucose remains elevated in your bloodstream for an extended period, you also run the risk of developing Type II Diabetes.

Explore Alternative Food Options

What if I told you that eating properly with the goal of losing fat, building muscle, and attaining that perfect beach body will also reduce inflammation, lower your risk for diabetes and lower your risk for heart disease?

Unless you are a competitive athlete, who most likely already has a beach body, your food sources need to change. The first thing I suggest is to lower your carbohydrate intake; consider replacing the fruit in your diet with veggies.

There isn’t a nutrient found in fruit that can’t be found in a vegetable. A lot of people who advocate fad low carbohydrate diets forget that the total number of calories you eat in a day does in fact still matter; if the goal is to lose body fat, at the end of the day you need to have a caloric deficit.

Remember that calories do matter, you can’t eat endless amounts of meat and dietary fat, but the type of calories you consume is more important than the ‘number’ of calories.

Eat More Fat

The next thing I suggest is that you eat more dietary protein and fat. Of the three macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat), fat is the most underrated. Dietary fat helps promote satiety (feeling of fullness) and is utilized very well as a fuel source by the body.

The formula is simple: lift weights, add high-intensity interval training to your exercise routine, reduce your carbohydrate intake, increase dietary protein, increase dietary fat, and stay consistent with your diet. Knowing the formula is easy, but following the formula is hard.

Here’s some advice from experience, when you have a bad day or a series of bad days; don’t abandon ship or lose motivation.

No one said it would be easy, get back to eating properly and let your dietary cheating motivate you the following days to stay consistent and adhere to the dietary principles that you know work.