Sunday, November 25, 2007

Low Carb Diets

Low Carb Diets by: Jason Hulott1

One of the most well known of the low carb diets is the Atkins diet; however there are a large amount of diets which are based on low carbohydrates with just a few minor changes in them.

The low carb diet is based on the premise that if the diet doesn’t include many carbohydrates in it, then the body will produce less insulin resulting in the body using its fat and protein stores as its main source of energy, which then results in weight loss. The body has to lose body fat in order to lose weight successfully and by keeping the amount of carbs to a minimum, the body will turn to using fat as the main source of energy while encouraging the body to produce ketone bodies to give energy to parts of the body such as the brain.

The low carb diet involves the person increasing the amount of fat and protein they take in, in their daily diet, while at the same time cutting out almost all carbohydrates from the diet.

This means that foods that are barred from your diet include bread, pasta, alcohol and rice while increasing your intake of meat, cheese and butter in your daily diet.

Any low carb diet is extremely popular due to the fact that if it is followed properly then the person can lose a lot of weight quickly quite early in the diet, which of course gives great encouragement. However once the initial quick weight loss is over less weight will then be lost. One of the biggest down sides to the diet is the fact that many see the low carb diet as just sabotaging your own body by getting it to eat away at the fat stores. The reason behind this is that while your body eats away at the fat, it also eats away at precious muscle.

Another big fault with the diet is that it doesn’t allow for much fruit and veg to be included in the diet. Therefore many essential vitamins and minerals are lost and these of course are essential if the body is to remain fit and healthy. The kidneys are also thought to be put at risk if the diet is stuck with over along period of time, this is due to the large intake of protein in the low carb diet. They have also been linked to yo-yo dieting, which means that you will lose weight rapidly then regain it only to go back and the diet and continue in the cycle which is not good for your health.

If you are thinking of going on a low carb diet then it is essential that you look into it thoroughly beforehand and also the pros and cons associated with it, along with

1 comment:

Gary said...

You didn't mention that low carb diets usually have several phases. Each phase treats the intake of carbs differently. In the early phases, the carbohydrate intake is very severely limited, as you stated. However, once a person has reached a level of weight loss that they are satisfied with, the "regulatory" phase of the diet kicks in. During this phase, one can eat an ample supply of veggies and fruits as long as they don't make a habit of it. Because the body is deprived of carbs for so long, it begins to see almost all intake as either fat or protein and it metabolizes even carbohydrates as such for a while, as long as they are not eaten in excess. The low carb diets are not meant to be short term diets. They are meant to be entire lifestyle changes. If the lifestyle change takes place, there is no yo-yo dieting as the body maintains a well balanced nutritional state as long as maintenance nutrition is continued. As for the kidneys, the problem of kidney failure can completely be eliminated with a person's consuming a gallon of water or more per day. With this intake there's really not much chance of the kidneys clogging up and failing. One thing that many folks don't know is that after you are on the diet and deprived of carbs for about two months, your appetite is almost completely lost. You have to remind yourself to eat each meal. You really lose weight fast once this level is reached. If one exercises along with the dieting, the results are even more impressive. The low carb diet is a good one as long as certain rules are followed. The ONLY time you burn up protein is when you don't get enough protein intake. The body ALWAYS uses up fats and carbohydrates before it uses proteins. If you eat adequate protein, the body will NOT burn protein. It will burn fat and carbs. This is one of the reasons that it metabolizes carbs as fats after a burns any incoming carbs right up rather than storing them. So, it is not a problem to eat some really empty carbs once your body reaches the insulin free state. Again, just don't get carried away.