Let’s Talk About Low Carb Diets
Low carb diets are very effective in achieving weight loss when followed. But the key word there is that they should be followed. However, there are controversies about their “healthiness”. Definitely, people get into these diets to lose weight. But what every person getting into this is not only the aspect of losing weight but also as always, keeping the weight off. But it goes beyond that. It also involves being and staying healthy and functional in whatever we do everyday. A slim person is definitely not attractive if he or she is weak from lack of nutrients and energy due to these low carb diets.
The body uses up carbohydrates first as a source of energy. If there are more carbohydrates taken in, the body stores the surplus as fat. If there are fewer carbohydrates taken it, the body is forced to use the stored fat for its energy requirement. The principle of these low carb diets is to take in food low in carbohydrates so that the body is forced to use its stored fat.
By drastically reducing carbohydrates to a small fraction of a person’s diet, the body goes into “ketosis”. The body burns its own fat to convert into energy A person in ketosis is getting energy from ketones. Ketones are little carbon fragments that are created by the breakdown of stored fat. One feels less hungry when his or her body is in ketosis. The end result is that he or she is likely to eat less even if allowed to do so. In effect, the body is transformed from a carbohydrate-burning machine into a fat-burning one, thus making fat the primary energy source. This brings us to the most fundamental fact of dieting: the less fat you have, the lighter you weigh. The end result is the desired weight loss.
There are diets like Atkins (see below), that seem to be a dream come true. It stems from its design that a person could eat as much as he or she wants from a wide variety of food that other diets steer away from. Steaks, meat, crab, eggs, all types of protein based food are allowed since the body will burn carbohydrates first and not protein or fats. Basically, it follows the same low carb principle of reducing carbohydrate intake and forcing the body to use fat towards weight loss.
Other low carb diets are cleansing in nature such as the detox diet. It helps in the health reassessment of one’s lifestyle, eating patterns and focus on foods. Here, one becomes more aware of one’s food intake and can make a lifestyle
change is she so desires.
Discover All About The Atkins Diet – Also Known As The Low Carb Diet
Nearly everyone has heard of the Atkins Diet by now, even if not necessarily clear on what it is. Some may even know it as the source of “low-carb” diet craze in the country, but don’t know much about it beyond that. Considered as controversial as it is revolutionary, the Atkins Diet has worked successfully for a tremendous number of people, and not so successfully for a good amount of others. This article aims to place a neutral and objective eye on this popular weight loss program.
Re-introduced in the 1990’s (after an initial period of popularity in the 1970’s), the Atkins Diet is the brainchild of Dr. Robert Atkins.
The diet works in several phases, the first – or the “induction period” – lasting only 2 weeks. In this phase, dieters are not to eat any more than 20 grams of carbohydrates of any form each day. The bulk of a person’s diet during this period, then, is fats and proteins. Usually, a dieter will reach their 20 gram limit on carbohydrates simply from the small amounts in foods like salad dressing, cheese, sauces, condiments, and vegetables.
Forbidden from a participant’s diet during this 2 week induction period are fruits, grains, breads, cereal, milk, and vegetables with a high-glycemic index (a measure of the effect a food has on the body’s blood sugar).
During this period, the body enters a state called “ketosis”, where it begins burning its own residual deposits of fat in order to produce the energy for which it previously had been relying on your regular consumption of carbohydrates.
Atkins also asserts that the source of most weight problems people experience is an “insulin-resistance” that causes overweight bodies to have difficulty converting carbohydrates into glucose (or sugar) which becomes energy. In this state of ketosis induced by the induction phase of the Atkins Diet, the insulin function of the body is affected in such a way that impedes the production of more fat.
After the two week induction period ends, dieters are then permitted to increase their carbohydrate allowance by 5 grams each week. In other words: they’re allowed 25 grams of carbs per day throughout week 3, 30 grams of carbs per day throughout week 4, 35 g in week 5, etc.
Depending on the person’s body type and weight objectives, this gradual increase in carbs should level off somewhere between 40 g and 90 g per day. At this point, the dieter is considered to have entered the “maintenance” phase of the diet, where they ought to remain for the rest of their lives. Although counting calories is not a part of the Atkins Diet, studies by the North American Association for the Study of Obesity found that adhering to the restrictions imposed by the Atkins Diet led to a decrease of 1,000 calories from participant’s daily caloric intake.
A quick perusal of the recommendations published by most traditional health experts and health organizations will reveal that 40-90 grams of carbs per day is still a miniscule amount compared to that of what they consider a “standard” healthy diet.
The Atkins Diet also contradicts authorities (US FDA and the American Cancer Society included) that extol the virtues of eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grain breads and cereals. According to Atkins, even “healthy” carbohydrates are harmful in large quantities.
Studies by the Annals of Internal Medicine and the New England Journal of Medicine have actually found that participants on the Atkins Diet experienced an improvement in heart disease indicators.
Like the 80’s and 90’s were to “low-fat” and “fat-free”, Dr. Atkins has helped make the early 21st century “low-carb”. Whether that’s for better or worse is up to you.