Should you do a low carb diet?

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Should you do a low carb diet?

One of the most common diets to lose weight is the low carb diet. There are many other benefits to this type of diet and is known to turn your body into a “fat burning machine”. In this article we are going to be going over the many benefits of a low carb diet and if it is something that you should consider if your looking to lose a few pounds.


What is a low carb diet?

A “low carb” diet is a diet plan that restricts your intake of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are mainly common in sugary foods, pasta, and bread. Although you restrict your carb intake there is no need to cut calories, you will just have to get your calorie intake from other sources like proteins and fats. These diets have been used for decades and are recommended by many doctors.

There are many different forms of low carb diets and one example is a keto diet, this involves very low carbs and higher fat intake. Many low carb diets involve around 30% of your calories coming from carbohydrates but a with a keto diet only around 10% of your daily calories come from carbs. Also, with low carb diets protein intake is high whereas with keto diets it is moderate. Fat intake is also higher with keto diets as this is used as your main source of calories.


Reduced appetite

One of the benefits of a low carb diet is that it reduces your hunger and appetite. When dieting this is something that can really help you stick to your diet and reduce snacking or feeling hungry between meals. Eating less carbs has been proven to reduce your appetite, this can be due to many carbohydrates we eat are from fats burning sources, these are digested quickly and are higher in sugar so they don’t keep you feeling full.

Not feeling hungry is something that many people will struggle to do when on a diet. This is due to many diets restricting calories but with a low carb diet you are still eating the same number of calories, but they are from other sources.  Carbohydrates are the most effective form of fuel for your body, so when you are depleted of them your body will desire them and make you hungry. As your not restricting the amount of energy you are giving your body (calories) then you should still feel normal and not under energised.


Weight loss

Another quite obvious benefit of a low carb diet is weight loss. As you are depleting your body of carbs for energy it will result to using fat stores for energy so this will cause weight loss. Low carb diets are also known to help you lose weight faster then other kinds of diets.  Also, the higher intake of protein will promote weight loss and muscle growth. Water weight is something that is also lost on a low carb diet.

The most effective types of diets for weight loss are the low carb, moderate protein, and high fat ones. Although these are seen to work better you are likely to get results with standard low carb diets. Its important that your sources of fat come from natural healthy foods and you do not give into temptation and snack on some carbs. It can be hard but there are many changes that can be made for example, swapping crisps for roasted vegetable crisps or high protein yogurt. Although low carb diets are effective at quick weight loss they seem to lose there effectiveness in the long term.


Reduce cholesterol

Based on your choice of fats that you consume while on a low carb diet you can actually reduce cholesterol levels and increase levels of HDL cholesterol. This type of cholesterol is known as “good cholesterol” and it is used in many ways like removing excess cholesterol from your body, lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.

As well as lower cholesterol a low carb diet can also lower blood sugar levels and insulin levels.  Low carb diets have helped many people improve their diabetes control and reduce their dependence on medicine if they have type 2 diabetes. As sugar levels are lowered the need for insulin is less. This lowers your insulin resistance which is another way of reversing type 2 diabetes.  Lower blood pressure is also something that a low carb diet can help you achieve. This reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke or kidney failure.


Mental Benefits

A low carb diet is also seen to be beneficial for some brain disorders. This is due to a large portion of your brain using ketones for energy, which are produced when carb intake is low. This is why low carb ketogenic diets have been used for treating epilepsy in young children. As well as epilepsy keto diets are being studied for there effectiveness against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Low carb diets can also be good for stabilising stress hormones. This is due to the spike is sugar levels experienced after indulging in carbohydrates. This rise in sugar levels will crash leaving you feeling under the weather. The panicky, energetic feeling experienced off sugar is also detrimental to hormone levels so cutting this will help regulate them.


Side effects

Like everything participating in a low carb diet will have some unwanted side effects. These include headaches and nausea. These symptoms should disappear within a few days and sometimes also include confusion and a lack of motivation. It does take our body time to adjust to using fat for energy and you can beat these symptoms by staying hydrated and making sure you are consuming all the nutrients you need.


Overall a low carb diet is something that is effective and can help you meet your weight loss goals quicker. There is also many other benefits of changing your energy source from carbohydrates to fats and proteins. There are benefits to your metabolic state and mental health as well as overall wellbeing. If you have any conditions or diabetes, then its recommended you seek advice from your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet. Its also important that you still maintain your calorie intake as these diets don’t involve you restricting calories but changing the source of them.