Friday, April 5, 2013

Low Carb Diets

Low carb diets have always been the way to go for people looking to go on those crash diets to lose weight and fast, but do they work? The Answer is yes and no… The reason for this is because yes you’ll lose weight and fast, but it’s not going to be the weight you want to lose. You see when you eat foods dense in carbohydrates your body holds more water, approximately 3 grams of water for every 1 carbohydrate gram. So once you go on a low to no carbohydrate diet your body’s glycogen stores (the form in which carbohydrates are digested and stored as) will deplete pretty fast depending on how low you go; and along with that goes all the water that was being held leading to rapid weight loss, rapid water weight loss that is.

So if you were 180lbs. at 25% body fat, and you start eating a low carb diet and within two weeks you lose an incredible 15lbs. and weigh in at 165lbs. chances are that 90% of the weight lost was from water. Another reason why people like low carb diets is because the body’s preferred choice of fuel is from carbohydrates, so cut back on the main source of fuel then the body is going to have to move onto something else for energy and the belief is that it starts to target body fat. What a lot of people don’t realize though is that your muscle proteins are just as much of a target for fuel as your fat is, so the weight you lose beyond just water could be just as much muscle proteins as body fat. So to combat excessive muscle loss during low to no carb dieting is to always get adequate protein through food and supplementation spread out through 4-6 meals per day and especially after exercising.  That is only half of it, what many people don’t know is that carbs are in fact muscle sparing! So if you’re considering going low carb if you’re going to eat any carbs make it before and immediately after exercise; generally you’d want to eat slow digesting carbs before a workout (oats, yams, black beans, etc.) and immediately after a workout eat fast digesting carbs or foods that have a lot of sugar like fruits, juice etc. Doing this should allow for minimal muscle loss while dieting and exercising  no matter what method of dieting you decide to do.

Remember though, more importantly though, it doesn’t matter what method of dieting you do, it won’t work unless you’re in a calorie deficit, ideally no more than 500-1000 calories (less than maintenance) a day which adds up to 1-2 pounds of weight lost a week. If you have any questions feel free to email me.

No comments:

Post a Comment