Is A Low Carb Diet Plan The Best Way To Shed Fat?

October 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Posted in Bareskin Towel, Diet, Fitness | 7 Comments
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Author: Melvolio

Everyone talks about carbohydrates now, and everyone’s an expert on what to do with them, which ones to eat and which ones to shy away from in horror. From those who wish to lose weight to those who panic at the thought of diabetes to those who just want to eat healthy, carbs have become a byword for unhealthy eating and they’re all on a low carb diet plan.

Thanks for Dr Atkins and his miracle diet, and the ones that followed, nearly everyone I know is convinced that the path to weight loss is not paved with carbs and carbs are out the window. Are they wrong? As with so many popular beliefs yes, and no.

A great example of the madness surrounding this is a woman I used to work with. She was about 50 pounds overweight and she joined a low carb diet plan. You could almost see the fat dropping off her. She got down to her target weight, went to the gym for the first time in 15 years and collapsed on the treadmill after less than 5 minutes.

The health club banned her unless she was going to start eating carbs again. She literally had eaten a zero amount of carbohydrates for months. Was she skinny? Yes. Was it healthy? No. The last I heard, she had put all of that weight back on again.

I remember a movie in which a guy and a gal go on a date and the waiter asks her if she wants some bread, to which she replies ‘I’m on TV, I can’t eat carbs’. The simple fact is, that we as a society eat WAY too many carbs and the absolute wrong ones as well. So when we get to a state of eating a regular amount, others may think that we are somehow carb deficient and that we’re on a crazy diet.

To get a defined muscular look. The look that actors get in movies, or on TV. That bodybuilders get on stage (maybe not that extreme though) you’re going to need to eat less carbs than a conventional person. That’s certainly true. But that doesn’t mean, remove all carbs from your diet and faint at the first sign of any exercise.

There are two main reasons why low carb diets work, in a fashion.

  • You’re not as hungry if you don’t eat carbs
  • Your blood sugar is more stable if you stay away from simple carbs.

This is the basis, deny it if you wish, of all the low carb programs that have been so trendy in the past few years. The thing is, as grown-ups, as adults, we don’t need to rely on weird, gimmicky crap to control our gluttony. We can plan our lifestyles and not live to eat. Now, as fitness enthusiasts, bodybuilders or sportspeople (is that the non sexist term) we are going to be quite strict on what we eat. Giant chocolate bars, loaves of white bread, huge pizzas. That sounds great, but it’s not worth it. We, because we make an effort, can be sensible and eat a reasonable amount of carbs and still get the results we need. We can, and do (mostly) eat the right type of carbohydrates. Unrefined, complex, vegetable based, we eat the carbs that will benefit us the most.

So what’s the real benefit of a low carb diet, and I’m using ‘low’ relatively as it’s nowhere near ‘zero’?

Simple. The less carbs your body uses to fuel itself, the more fat it uses instead.

That’s very important to know.

And by default you’ll eat more protein, which as every weight trainer or muscle builder knows, speeds up the metabolism and helps grow muscle.

For those of you who want cold, hard numbers. 400g of carbs a day is enough. A reasonable, medium amount of carbs to have whilst living a healthy lifestyle. Good carbs I might add.

The perils of a super low carb diet plan are many, none of them pleasant.

Like my friend above, you might find yourself low on energy. And you can’t work out when you have no energy. Working out is more important than having only 40g of carbs a day because you think it’s an easy way to lose fat.

Again, like my friend above, the second you stop that crazy low carb plan, you’ll start gaining the weight again. Making all your hard work, sacrifice and near hunger strike conditions, a complete and utter waste of time. Silly.

Low carbs, weak muscles. ’nuff said

Here’s the dreaded part that most of us don’t like to hear about.

It’s not the same for everyone.

You all know someone who eats cakes for breakfast and chocolate for lunch, as much pizza and beer as he or she can drink and they still have rock hard abs and never put on a pound and you want to kill them.

Some people just have it lucky. My opinion is, they’ll lose that ability one day, and I hope they have the willpower to stop eating like that or they’ll balloon up to giant size. And you can be there to laugh, I mean, pick up the pieces.

Always record and monitor your progress, what you’re eating, what exercises you’re doing. Then you can test the effect that lowering or increasing your carb intake has. The same of course with fat and protein. Nobody can tell you for sure, only through meticulous record keeping and applying the knowledge gained from the information you get can tell you.

I hope this small article has helped you look at a low carb diet plan a little differently. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you really know what you’re doing. For the average person however, with a normal eating lifestyle, you could probably benefit from reducing your carbs.

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About the Author

A low carb diet plan CAN help you lose weight but you should always combine it with plenty of exercise. Learn how to build muscle and the fat will drop off naturally. Visit my strength training website for more information.



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