What is Low Carb Diet? How Does it Work?

I have been asked many times, would low carb diet work for me? Let us get right in but before we dive in, the term low carb means low in carbohydrate. Carbs are mostly available in foods like pasta, rice, bread, and certain fruit.

healthy keto shift

A low carb diet does not include a well-defined step to losing weight neither does it entail any specific diet.

It is a rather free term that varies pertaining to the person who is using it.

Some certain features of low carb include consuming meals that are low in carb and glycaemic. In addition, the consumption of carbs leads your body to excrete more insulin.

Now you have the idea!

For this article, we would use the term carbs for carbohydrate, so as carbs get digested in your body.

Glucose which is the effect of insulin excretion gets burned either by your body if immediate energy is needed or are stored as fat in the body.

On a serious note, after consuming a full meal that consists of main carbs, the level of insulin in our body suddenly goes up and after a short moment, it falls drastically back to normal.

This effect makes us get hungry a few hours like 2 – 4 hours from the time we took our last meal.

Most importantly lead us to a vicious circle of being hungry, and then making us eat and store lots of fat.

The main principal ways to define a low carb diet, in contrast to the initial question, is what is a low carb diet?

Let us clarify whether you mean the actual carb that we adults consume on our day-to-day basis or the percentage of calories in our diet that we get from the carb.

The actual amount of calories advisable to intake in every adult’s diet is about 50% to 60 %

Therefore, anything more in calories that is coming in from your carb that is below that percentage considered as low carb.

The most common misconception we do have about low carb diets is that those people who follow this kind of eating plan are constantly striving to consume a zero percentage of carb, which is not advisable.

That is not only a false lie but it is also near to impossible, think about it, considering that carbs are there in almost all of the food we consume, especially those processed food.

A meal that is low in the carb as the name itself implies, tries to cut down the carb available to a low level and not to eliminate them in every way possible.

lowest cheese carbs

Another most believed myth is that a low carb diet forbids us from eating fruits and those greenish veggies

The gospel truth is that this food category is rich in carb. However, that does not mean you should eliminate them from your diet.

At this moment I am sure you are probably wondering why

Fruits and vegetables are the carbs we should consume in a diet that is low in carbs but not deprived of it.

Among these fruits benefits, you could gain from following a low carb plan is primarily the loss of weight and the boost in energy.

People think that to be less sleepy and have better concentration and some of those people believed to have been experiencing a better mood.

In addition, bad thought and depressed feelings drastically reduce and at a point you start to feel a spark and shift in energy, lifting away. However, one cannot overstate the benefits of the results of low carb diet.

Those people who actually are on low carb diet did also notice improvements in their metabolism and benefits in terms like a kick-start for a diet focused on losing weight.

A shift in the metabolism is indispensable on the battle of a healthy way of living life and weight loss process.

Let us dig further.

What Is Low Carb High Fat Diet?

The high-fat low carb is not something new, known as fat diet; it has been around for more than 150 years, supported by quite a few studies

What is keto Diet

LCHF Diet means you restrict foods that are full of carb; instead, you eat real and delicious food, with natural fats, protein and vegetables included.

Actually, if I am asked, I would say there is no calorie counting. You eat until you are satisfied and never hungry but full of energy and can think clearly and fast.

What You Should and Shouldn’t Eat?

First, you should eat plenty of fat, though it sounds very odd, but it is the healthiest way to eat. I actually mean the good fat.

This does not mean you should eat stick after sticks of butter, although caffeine with MCT oil and butter is amazing, rather you should strive for healthy fats, filled with omega 3s and low in omega 6s.

  • Carbohydrates

When it comes to carbohydrates, it is advisable not to have more than 150g of carb each day from your food.

In fact, it is not that difficult to stay under this number (150) of carb per day, you can just eat many veggies and you are done.

Nevertheless, if you want to go lower than that and eat less carbs by dropping from 50 to 25g, you will end up in the state of ketosis.

In addition, it is also advisable that if you want to naturally lose that bad fat, you should eat between 50 and 100g of the carb.

This means that your body will only supply energy from your fat bank, which is the fastest and healthiest way to lose that bad belly fat.

A team of researchers including Mark Sisson, an author of a very popular blog about healthy lifestyle, recommends having a slightly higher consumption of carb to replenish your glycogen bank if you are an athlete.

Meanwhile, it is advisable that you experiment how many grams of excess carbs you should eat to recover after you are back from training.

People usually; find that staying between 50-100g of carb is the best if you engage in things like the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 3 to 4 times per week coupled with a little strength training.

  • Protein

As you already know, protein is very important to everyone, although there is a debate on how much fat and carb you should eat, everyone seems to agree that you require more protein.

low carb food

If you do not get it enough, you may end up developing a deficiency and experience most of the following side effects:

  • Loss In Muscle
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Low sexual drive
  • And Anaemia

The U.S department of health and human services do actually recommend eating 56g each day to an average sedentary man and 46g to an average sedentary woman.

This means that you need 0.8g of that protein per kg of body weight, 0.36g per Ibs.

Although you only will need that much protein, there may be additional benefits if you cross the line and eat more.

If you are an athlete, a daily intake of 1-2.2g per kg of body weight of 0.45 – 1g per Ibs is advisable.

This should ensure that your training does not burn muscle but helps you build it.

No doubts someone will tell you that it is fad diets. Well, that is false.

The History of Low Carb Diets

The low carb diet plan and way of eating ways back to the mid-1800s and there was a man named “Banting” who published a pamphlet call “Letter on Corpulence” that was addressed to the public.

The low carb plan was the prescription of weight loss protocol in the mid-1900s. When the world lost a German doctor following the 2nd world war everything changed in the landscape of dieting.

Following the war, American doctors became more obsessed with heart problems and the theory that dietary fat was a contributing fact to heart disease.

grils for keto low carb

That led to the conventional wisdom turning to low fat and high carb sort of dieting plan.

In the early 1970s and late 1960s, Sir Robert Atkins studied the older medical literature and went ahead to publish the Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution that brought the low carb diet plan back into the public focus.

In most case, you will sometimes hear people recommend the low carb diet like the Atkins diet, since Atkins time, the low carb diet has been studied extensively.

In addition, the low carb diet is a diet that seeks to limit your intake of a dietary carb.  This when overly done tend to put your body in the state of ketosis.

For some reason and to most people, this means consuming less than 40g of dietary carb per day. That said, there are lots of variations to check on low carb diet where some have higher amounts of carb in the diet.

The ketogenic diet is however on the low carb diet plan high fat, with a moderate protein in the diet. It relies on putting the body into ketosis as a means to lose weight.

What Do You Need To Know Before Starting a Low Carb Diet Plan

First, it is not as simple as it does sound.

Carbs play quite an important role in our diets. In fact, carbohydrates are our body main source of energy due to the glucose it releases.

However, cutting down on these carbs has led many people to find success in weight loss over the years, making the low carb plan widely accepted for people trying to lose weight.

The world is filled with endless possibilities and dietary plans no exception, not to mention we have a taco diet.

There are many kinds of low carb ideas out there and while they can provide better weight loss results upfront, experts are still sceptical about certain aspects of the back end.

about low carb

The main point is if you want to try cutting on carbs to lose weight, then following a dietary plan that lets you still get the right nutrients is the best option….since it doesn’t deprive you of healthy and sustainable.

As you know, no one size fits all; everyone has their own dietary needs pertaining to their body.

In addition, if you have a certain medical concern, cutting significantly down on a bunch of food types might not be the best choice for you.

It is also important to keep in mind that weight loss as a goal is not necessarily for everyone.

Because for anyone who has a history of disordered eating, even if you’re in the state of recovery, you should speak with your doctor first before changing your eating habits.

Even if you do not have a bad history of disordered eating, it is very important to keep realistic expectations and make sure you are not approaching weight loss in an unhealthy way.

Results can be fascinating and difficult to come by, some may even take a very long time to get what you want and hard to maintain too.

Many factors are considered when we talk of weight loss, example like exercise and getting good sleep, stress management and genetic.

It is good to know that eating fewer calories may not bring the results you want quickly.

With so many facts at play to consider, it is no wonder weight loss varies so much from individuals.

However, if weight loss is one of your goals and you’re considering cutting down on carbs to do it, besides you get confirmed by your doctor that it is safe for you.

There are some tips you need to know before jumping on your preferred method to try.

Do Low Carb Diets Really Work? Helps to Lose Weight?

low carb maros weight

First, if you are cutting down on your overall caloric intake, you are likely going to lose weight drastically.

That is just math, by the way, what is more, is eating fewer carbs also means you are taking fewer processed carbs.

These are the carbs; we believe to be responsible for the increased risk of these metabolic syndromes.

Carbs that are mostly only sugar are devoid from other nutrients can’t be used for anything other than quick fleeting energy, and also cause our blood sugar to experience ups and down.

Also, an excess of this over time is connected to these markers of the metabolic syndrome.

So not only following no carb diet will help you lose that weight, but it can be boon for your health in the long journey. That said, simple carbs are not the only carbs these are.

How Too Many Carbs Affect Our Bodies?

keto healthy

Eating too many carbs, especially sugar, white flour, and other refined carbs can lead to an imbalance in your blood sugar as well as contribute to other health problems.

Low carb diets such as Atkins, do go along to help your body metabolism make the switch process of burning excess body fat to get that energy. Instead of burning the glycogen that we get from carbs.

Therefore, carbs when consumed, are converted into glucose in our body which stays in your blood to provide a quick energy supply.

They are also may be saved in your liver and muscle as glycogen to be later used for energy whenever you need it.

However, the carbs you do not need and that cannot be stored in your liver will be converted into fats.

This means your body will continue to burn that glycogen from carbs you eat and the body fat stores will not be tapped into.

For a fact, a high carb diet plan shuts down the fat burning process.

Unfortunately, since a more modern diet tends to be rich in carbs, your body does not usually get to tap into its fats stores for energy because it’s constantly being fuelled by the continuous carbs you take.

The worst part is since carbs are easily digested, they do little to stop those annoying hunger pangs. This means that after a while a carb-rich meal hunger rears its head again.

Fats and protein take much time than carbs to digest leading to fewer snack cravings.

Reducing your bad carbs intake also means that your blood sugar levels would remain stable thereby helping you avoid constant spikes and down in your energy level.

A steadier blood sugar levels mean your body is producing less insulin, which is known as the fat storage hormone that in turn means fewer hunger pangs.

Note that carbs you cut and the ones you keep is very important so be sure to notice. Dieticians and nutritionist want us to eat less refined carbs that is it.

cooking at home

However, as you are cutting those fewer than wholesome carbs, you should still be eating carbs that have nutritional benefits. It’s a key to note. Many healthy veggies and fruits contain good carbs.

Therefore, if you cut these fruits and veggies out in the process to follow a low carb diet, you are missing out key nutrients.

Carbs believed to be the main source of our energy used by the body and the preferred fuel for the brain and muscles to function.

If you are not eating any of these carbs, then the brain and muscles cannot get adequate energy.

However, the problem with most low carb diets is that they cut out on the important nutrients and are not sustainable on the long run.

All of these diets puts an emphasis on cutting carbs and eating mostly little protein and healthy fats. Diet plans like Dukan, Atkins and Ketogenic are more restrictive than the other ones

Experts do also warn that cutting fruits and veggies may make it more difficult to get the right kind of vitamins and minerals we require in our diets including fiber that is helpful for weight loss.

Because of this and the high intake of fats we eat, these diets may not be so great for a long-term heart health if we strictly follow them.

Since all these diets apart from paleo involve cutting back on food in the first place of the diet, weight loss up front is likely going to take place.

salad low carb

However, despite that, the initial weight loss is generally from fluid and muscles loss, say a professional doctor, Dr. Wright.

The problem however with all these, except for south beach and paleo plan is that sticking to them for a long run can be challenging and even unhealthy.

Professionals say, of all the low carb diet plans, south beach is the healthiest of all, this is because, after the initial phase which doesn’t cut out all veggies, it promotes a healthy way to eat for life.

Actually, some health conditions can be improved by low carbs diet plan. Because low carb diet has been approved by the American diabetes association for use with type 2 diabetes.

Research has reported that the low carb diet can improve glycaemic control for those diabetics meaning it helps keep your blood sugar levels stable.

In addition, it has been suggested that the ketogenic diet can help with epilepsy; some studies have also shown that moderately low carb diets can improve your health as far as the protein and fats come from healthy resources.

In the end, cutting back on those refined carbs and only getting your carbs from veggies and fruit and whole grains is the best way to go on low carb.

No argument, more veggies are far better for your health. In the case with most people, who might want to lose weight, I suggest sticking to about 25-35 percent of starches, and 40-50 percent of non-starchy veggies and the rest protein.

Also, I suggest to avoid refined carbs and stick to the eating of more whole grains, beans, those veggies, and fruits, along with lean protein, healthy fat and a dairy if you eat it.

Why Do You Need To Ditch the Carbs?

Low carbs diets have been attracting more media attention as some years ago. More reason to believe they really work.

Added to the fact that many people still believe that those fat clogs arteries, so the diet plan creates controversy. To be candid, fat is essential for your health but carbs aren’t.

breakfast low carb budget

Advantages of Low Carb Diets

  • Low Carb Diet For Blood Sugar And Insulin Levels

Eating carbs have the biggest impact on your blood sugar and insulin levels, as this restricts carbs in your diet has a direct result in lowering our sugar levels and insulin needs.

High sugar levels we know play a big part in almost all chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, dementia, and cardiovascular disease.

Therefore, by lowering your carb intake, blood sugars are controlled and insulin levels minimized. This is beneficial for you if you are diabetic despite the type including those with insulin resistance.

  • Advantages of Low carb For Hunger

Low carb diets promote satiety due to the balanced blood sugar levels they increase.

Unlike other diets with high in carb, blood sugar and insulin spikes throughout the day and kept at its minimum.

In a comprehensive study, which analyses food cravings and appetite, participants on a low carb diet were directly compared with participants on a typical low-fat diet.

The results showed that those in the low carb group suffered much lower craving and less likely bothered by hunger.

This is due to the satiety-promoting effect of dietary fat, if you adopt a low carb diet plan, you will know this for yourself. A diet high in healthy fats definitely encourages craving away from you.

  • Advantages of Low Carb For The Heart

Low carb diets have a does has a beneficial impact on a whole lot of heart problems with a chunk of the risk factor.

This is special because they reduce triglycerides, that is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and it increases the concentrations of HDL known as good cholesterol.

Also, they lead to reduce blood sugar, insulin and are anti-inflammation in the body, with all these things which can be damaging to the heart.

As well as this, another big advantage is weight loss since heavier weights and obesity does increase cardiovascular risk.

Here are features documented for all the Positive effect of an LCHF diet.

  • Lower Triglycerides
  • HDL levels Increase
  • Lowered levels of glucose and Insulin
  • Systemic Inflammation Reduction
  • Increased Weight loss

How Do You Follow a Low Carb Diet Plan?

mexican keto dishes

At its most basic, a low carb diet or high fat plan means eating plenty of animal foods as well as nutrient-dense plant foods and fruits.

We are always encouraged by experts to emphasize the most nutritious types of these green foods.

A good example is a spinach or avocado, there are full of nutrients yet extremely low in the digestible carb that turns to sugar in your body.

Similarly, if you examine bread or rice then sure this two do have a couple of nutrients but not so many.

Added to the fact they also do contain a significant amount of digestible carb that raises your sugar incredibly.

Therefore, if you are just starting a low carb diet plan, this can be confusing but in brief, one man’s low carb plan is another man’s high carb diet, what rocks our boat is different.

By that, I simply mean that there is no one size fits all amount of carb you can eat, you should test what works for you.

However, I will hang it here, so to get the upper hand of low carb diet, it is better to aim at the lower end of the scale but see what is good. Did I miss what works for you? Comment below what has been working for you is if you have a question

Ahmed Matar

Not just food lover, I also like to write about foods and diets, especially keto! Finding low-carb food is fun for me regardless of how others find it difficult. Besides having an interest in foods & diets I also like exercising and walking long distance regularly :)

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