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low carb diets
cabbage soup diet
lean muscle mass
special k diet
low carb diet
atkins diet
simple sugars
animal fats
fruits vegetables
saturated fats
mom and dad
blood glucose
central nervous system
Do Low Carb Diets Work?
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Do Low Carb Diets Work?

If you do an online search for diets, you will find ideas like the cookie diet, the Special-K diet, the hcg diet, the flat belly diet, the cabbage soup diet, and one that has been around for a long time, the Atkins diet. The premise here is to cut the carbohydrates from your diet and you will lose weight. But, do low carb diets work?

There are many variations of this diet, and ultimately if you cut the carbs from your diet there is a chance that you will lose some weight. What foods contain carbs? Well, fruits, vegetables, milk, nuts, grains, seeds, and beans, for example.

So, if you are not eating these foods how do low carb diets work? Well, what people like about this is you get to eat all the protein and fats you like in place of the carbs. I remember my Mom and Dad trying this diet. Now she was not a big eater of animal fats but Dad was in “pig” heaven. The only problem here is that long term, with most calories coming from saturated fats there is an increase in the chance for heart disease, if this diet is maintained for a long period of time.

The other problem is that the body needs carbs as the main fuel sources to fuel the brain and central nervous system. Carbs that are eaten are broken into simple sugars during digestion. They are then able to be used in the bloodstream and transferred to cells as energy. If too many carbs are consumed the are stored away in different organs, or as fat in cells when too many carbs are ingested.

The low carb diet proponents claim that if you cut the carbs the body will be forced to burn stored fat for energy thereby shedding excess weight. That’s nice in theory. It’s like reversing the cause. If carbs caused the weight increase and fat stores, if you cut the carbs the body will burn the fat stores, right?

Well, not really. What actually occurs is when the body is so depleted of blood glucose from a lack of dietary carbs it will look for sugar elsewhere. So what the body does is strip water from lean muscle mass so it can break down that lean muscle tissue as a source of glucose. This glucose is then used to fuel the brain and central nervous system.

So, for weight loss do low carb diets work? Yes they do, but not in the way you want them to. Weight loss will come because lean muscle mass, which is much heavier and denser than fat, will be lost. One pound of muscle is approximately one fifth the size of an equivalent pound of fat. So, by the scale weight loss will occur. But, decreasing lean muscle mass will have long term consequences.

I am all for cutting carbs a slight bit when beginning a healthy optimal nutrition diet. But what I call cutting carbs would be to replace the over-processed whole wheat bread with some sprouted grain bread, the starchy white potato for a yam, for example. These are healthy ways to eat carbs and achieve weight loss.

It’s all about how your body reacts to the food you feed it. If you learn how different foods effect your metabolism you will be well on your way to permanent weight loss, and feeling great!


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