Weight gain and obesity have become a common problem across the world. A sedentary lifestyle, busy schedule and easily available unhealthy/packaged processed foods have become significant contributors to obesity. Furthermore, most people focus only on exercise and neglect the importance of a healthy diet in an effort to lose weight. However, many different types of diets exist that effectively help with weight loss if adopted appropriately for a short period of time.
Low-carb diet helps in reducing weight. They also help in dealing with other health issues like diabetes. Low carb diet plan has become popular due to its productive and fast results or noticeable changes.
Weight Loss With a Low Carb Diet: Overview
When you follow a low-carb diet, the body uses stored fat to obtain energy due to the lack of carbohydrates. As a result, you burn more fat. Another principle of weight loss is to maintain a calorie deficit. When you follow a low-carb diet, you also consume fewer calories. That’s why people often adopt this diet for weight loss. Weight loss involves a calorie deficit diet that restricts high-carb foods such as sweets, chips, bread, etc. People on low carb diets start losing weight by the end of 2 weeks. However, these diets are only effective for a short time, and you should not follow them for long. The keto diet is an example of a low-carb diet.
Following a low-carbohydrate diet increases ketones in our bodies, which break down fat to use as an energy source. Hence, it reduces the weight significantly but following it for a long time would be dangerous for the body. This leads to various health problems like cramps, bone erosion (a side effect of ketosis), fatigue, disturbed menstruation, constipation, anxiety etc.
A low-carb diet restricts the intake of high-carb foods such as sweets, pasta and bread. In addition, it restricts high-carb fruits and vegetables. On a low-carb diet, total carbohydrate consumption is limited to 50 to 150 grams per day. Because each gram of carbohydrate provides four calories, a daily carbohydrate intake of 200 to 500 calories is reasonable. Thus, the rest of the daily calories are derived from protein and fat sources. This diet is rich in protein, fat and nutrient-rich vegetables. It also calls for avoiding carbohydrates found in grains and potatoes. Dairy foods that are particularly low in fat can be excluded from a low-carb diet.
foods to eat
- Non-vegetarian: Egg, lean chicken, tuna fish, sardines, salmon, herring, etc.
- Vegetables: Spinach, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Kale, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Carrots, etc.
- Fruits: Apple, Orange, Watermelon, Star fruit, Lemon, Green apple, Pear, Blueberry, Strawberry etc.
- Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
- Fats and oils: coconut oil, butter, olive oil, fish oil, etc.
foods to avoid
- Sugar: Soft drinks, fruit juices, agave, candy, ice cream, etc., with added sugar.
- Refined grains: Wheat, rice, barley and rye, breads, cereals and pasta.
- Trans fats: Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
- Dairy products: milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.
- highly processed foods
- Starchy vegetables: beets, corn, white potatoes, green peas etc.
- Cereals and legumes that contain carbohydrates.
The HealthifyMe Note
A low carb diet is a type of fad diet; These diets result in temporary or short-term weight loss. It helps in rapid weight loss but on discontinuing it the weight gain rapidly. In addition, such fad diets restrict dairy, legumes, grains and fiber-rich foods, depriving the body of other essential micronutrients and minerals, which outweighs the benefits of a low-carb diet. In addition, a low-carb diet can lead to metabolic problems, weakness, headaches, bad breath, and other health issues.
Some Popular Types of Low-Carb Diets
The ketogenic diet is rich in fat and low in carbs. The purpose of a keto diet is to reduce carbs sufficiently, which results in your body entering a metabolic state known as ketosis. As a result, the body’s insulin levels drop, producing many fatty acids from its fat stores. Most of these fatty acids reach the liver, which converts them into ketones. Ketones refer to water-soluble compounds that provide your brain with energy. As a result, the brain relies heavily on ketones rather than carbohydrates.
Some variations of this diet also limit protein intake, as excess protein can reduce the number of ketones produced. According to studiesKetogenic diet helps in reducing body fat and hence is popular among people, especially body builders. In a ketogenic diet, carbs are usually limited to less than 50 grams per day and sometimes 20-30 grams.
The Atkins diet is known for its low carbohydrate content. This diet is divided into phases to help you lose weight and primarily emphasizes protein and fat while limiting carbohydrate intake. The Atkins diet aids in weight loss by changing current eating habits. Moreover, it claims to be a healthy way to eat for a lifetime. According to studiesIt is a fairly healthy way to lose weight, increase energy, or improve health conditions including high blood pressure or metabolic syndrome, although more research is needed to back this up.
low carb diet
A low-carb or carb-restricted diet is what it is commonly named for. Compared to the traditional Western diet, this meal plan is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. Meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats are preferred. Individuals should avoid high-carb foods, such as cereals, dairy products that are high in carbs, potatoes, sugary beverages, and high-sugar junk foods.
The HealthifyMe Note
People with insulin resistance and diabetes have an increased risk of weight gain. A low-carb diet reduces weight and lowers blood sugar levels for a short period of time. However, in the long term, the disadvantages of low-carb diets outweigh the advantages. It is important to adopt healthy eating habits and proper lifestyle to justify the weight loss journey.
An effective weight management program is the key to a healthy life. Adopting a healthy diet and proper lifestyle is important for a sustainable weight loss journey. In addition, we need to understand the inherent imperatives of eating right, nutritional requirements, physical activity, right lifestyle changes and a holistic approach to weight loss. Shortcut weight loss methods can never match a healthy and sustainable alternative.
Fad diets have gained a lot of popularity in a short span of time. But health experts and registered dietitians don’t believe that low-carb diets like these fad diets are beneficial in the long run. Avoid following fad diets that restrict food choices or food groups.
A balanced diet with necessary modifications in your health goals will give your desired results. A successful weight loss journey combines many factors, from changing your lifestyle to modifying your foods. Following highly restricted diets, ignoring carbs can lead to short-term weight loss, but a healthy and consistent weight loss requires patience and time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. How much weight can you lose in a week on a low-carb diet?
a. Low carb diet requires strict regime and constant monitoring. This includes eating only about 50 to 150 grams of carbs in a day. Provided a person follows a low-carb diet, one can easily lose about 10 pounds of body weight in 5 weeks, which is about 2 pounds per week.
Q. How much weight can you lose in a month on low carb?
A. Weight loss requires time. In many circumstances, a weekly weight loss of 1–2 pounds (0.5–1 kg) is a reasonable goal. Weight loss occurs faster for some people than for others. It is impossible to predict because each person is unique. However, most people lose 10 pounds or more in the first month after adopting a low-carb diet.
Q. Can you lose weight just by eating low carbs?
a. Low carbohydrate diets with adequate amounts of protein and fat are quite efficient for weight loss. Restricting carbohydrates reduces appetite and leads to weight loss regardless of calories. The amount of carbohydrates needed for a person to lose weight varies depending on age, gender, body size and degree of exercise.
Q. What happens when you cut carbs for 2 weeks?
a. A low-carb diet, such as the keto or the first phase of the Atkins diet, puts the body under nutritional ketosis. By breaking down fat, the liver produces ketones, a substance produced when there is insufficient sugar available for the body to function. This process takes about two weeks after starting any low-carb diet.
Q. Will cutting carbs reduce belly fat?
a. Low-carb diets can help people achieve rapid weight loss while still getting results. Within 1-2 days, most people notice a change in the scale of the weight. No specific part of the body can be targeted for fat loss. However, a low-carb diet helps reduce visceral fat around the abdomen and organs. Therefore, reducing carbs can help in reducing belly fat.
Q. How long does it take to lose 40 pounds on keto?
A. In keto diet, weight loss depends on various factors. In addition, most of the weight lost in the first few weeks is a person’s water weight. However, suppose one follows a keto diet consistently with regular exercise and good sleep. In that case, one can expect to lose about 1-2 pounds a week, which translates to losing 40 pounds in about 4-5 months.
Q. If I am in ketosis why am I not losing weight?
A. Ketosis does not necessarily lead to weight loss. You must be in a calorie deficit for your metabolism to switch from burning edible fat to burning stored body fat. One of the most common reasons people fail to lose weight on a ketogenic diet is consuming too many carbohydrates. Carbohydrate consumption must be severely reduced to achieve ketosis, a metabolic state in which the body burns fat and not glucose to release energy.
Q. Why am I not losing weight when I barely eat?
A. The metabolism of a person decides the calories burned. If a person’s metabolism is high, then his body burns calories faster. The body is highly adaptive. If barely any food is consumed by a person, the body functions in ‘survival mode’ by reducing its metabolic rate. This means that the body burns fewer calories than normal, and no weight loss occurs. The best way to lose weight is to exercise regularly and eat nutritious food while staying in calorie deficit.
Q. Is less than 100 carbs a day low carb?
a. No certain number of calories must be consumed to be considered ‘low carb’. The number of carbs considered ‘low carb’ also depends on the purpose of such a diet. For example, if the goal is to lose weight, an intake of about 100–150 grams of carbs per day would be considered a low-carb diet relative to the average diet. However, if one wants to reach a state of ‘ketosis’, that number may need to be reduced to around 50 grams to be considered low-carb.
Q. For how long should you be on a low-carb diet?
A. Low carb diet is very restrictive. Most of the people have struggled for a long time to follow such a diet. Long-term carb deficiency leads to headaches, fatigue, cramps, etc. This is because the brain and tissues require a constant supply of glucose for proper brain function and tissue repair. As a result, low-carb diets should be followed only for a short time or until the desired results are achieved.