Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How Do Low Carb Diets Work?

Losing Weight Quickly

Low carbohydrate diets are very popular with people who want to lose weight quickly. For some, the weight will stay off, but for others, low carb diets are as much of a problem as any other diet. Low carb diets generally follow this rule: no starches, no sweets, limited fruits and vegetables and all the meat (including fish and poultry), eggs and cheese you can handle. The idea behind low carbohydrate diets is that by eating less starch and more protein, the body will fuel itself on fat and will burn the fat cells faster. Unfortunately, like many best laid plans, this type of diet frequently results in lost muscle rather than simply lost fat. Losing lean muscle is not a great idea because muscle is metabolically active and it burns calories all the time, even during a resting state. So, if the amount of muscle is reduced, the body needs fewer calories each day, which makes it difficult to maintain your weight when you go off the diet.

An Incomplete Diet

Too much protein puts an incredible load on the kidneys, sometimes resulting in kidney disease and failure. The low carb, high protein diet can be a problem, particularly if you already have kidney problems. Because these diets involve reducing the intake of fruits and vegetables, they actually reduce the nutritional value of the foods eaten, creating vitamin deficiencies that put incredible strain on the body and over time, can cause disease: namely heart, kidney, bone and liver diseases. To put it frankly, low carb diets are incomplete diets. It would be much wiser to simply reduce the portions of all of the foods we eat and move more, causing the lean muscle mass to consume more calories, thereby forcing the body to lose weight.

Simple and Complex Carbohydrates

Low carbohydrate diets are generally known for reducing the amount of insulin needed by the body, but the problem is that most people trying these diets are not aware that there are two kinds of carbohydrates, simple and complex. The simple carbs (sugars) are the ones that need to be reduced in order to reduce the amount of insulin needed. Complex carbs (starches) such as bread, root vegetables like potatoes, brown rice, corn, peas and beans are beneficial to maintaining good health and nutrition as they cause the body to use its insulin more wisely. Low carb diets frequently cause the dieter to reduce both types of carbs rather than just the simple ones. Some of these diets do not prohibit the eating of carbs but they do reduce them to unhealthy levels. Technically, the main benefits of low carb diets is that they cause the dieter to reduce the consumption of high caloric foods such as cake, cookies, candy and other sweets, the reduction of which will cause weight loss anyway. The best suggestion would be to continue to eat starchy carbs and simply reduce the high sugar foods in the diet.

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