Why People Choose A Low Carb Diet For Weight Loss?
Many people hop on the low-carb bandwagon to lose weight. Ever wondered why people choose a low carb diet for weight loss? Does low-carbing work? Do the kind of carbs you consume matter?
Claims that say low-carb diet works
People claim that a low-carb diet helps you shed pounds even when there is no common consensus. Here are the claims and let us see if they are true!
Claim No 1:
Carbs trigger insulin to encourage the body’s fat storing ability
When digested, carbs are absorbed in the bloodstream as blood sugar (glucose). So, your pancreas produces insulin which is a hormone that opens up the door to the cells of the body, letting glucose inside. This is used as a fuel. Insulin is stimulated by the food consumed by us in different degrees. It is carbohydrate that stimulates insulin the most when compared to other macronutrients. Protein stimulates insulin less and fat doesn’t stimulate it at all.
So, talking in terms of weight loss, the release of insulin post a meal high in carbs signals a shutdown of the body’s fat burning and the glucose from the carbs is used for energy. It is this mechanism that adds fire to the low-carb debate,
However, there is one hitch. The idea that you stimulate less insulin so that the fat is burned does not appear in research. The problem with the claim is that you are burning fat always, even at rest. Depending on your intensity, you will burn fat while exercising too. The effect of insulin on fat burning occurs only post-meal. There are a number of other factors that directly affect the body-fat composition apart from insulin. This includes:
- How many calories you consume vs the amount of exercise you get
- Strength training
- Hormonal factors
Claim No 2:
Low carb foods help control cravings
This claim seems valid. The more sugar you consume, the more of it you want. Reducing sugary sweets and refined carbs can help in decreasing your cravings over time. An easy way out is to eat more protein. Protein helps you feel full for a longer time period. It reduces overall food intake and reduces cravings.
Claim No 3:
You burn more calories to digest protein
This claim is also true. Just like its satiating effects, protein increases the calorie expenditure. All foods need energy to digest and protein is one macronutrient that uses up the most. 20 to 35 percent of the calories in protein-rich food is needed to digest it. However, you should not go overboard with protein as it can affect your kidneys.
So, if you decide to go low on carbs, you must choose healthy carbs such as fruits, whole-grains and veggies in place of refined carbs like sweets and white bread.
Low-carb eating recommendations
- Aim at food quality – Choose nutritious protein sources and foods rich in omega 3s. Include plant based fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds. Limit highly processed and fried foods. Include leafy green veggies and don’t forget fermented foods for your gut!
- Control portions – To control portions, practice the plate method. Fill half of your plate with greens and veggies. Then balance the rest with proteins, healthy fats and fibrous carbs like beans.
- Choose good quality carbs – You need not completely eliminate carbs from your diet. Begin by saying no to refined carbs and sugar. Try increasing foods with high-fibre such as leafy greens, veggies, fruits (low GI), beans and whole grains.
Hope you liked reading this post on why people choose a low carb diet for weight loss!
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