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Should You Go Low Carb?

Low carb diets seem to be the “go to” when anybody decides to go on a weight loss plan. But is It right for you?

What is “low” carb

This is a relative term that will not apply to everyone equally. For example, someone who is used to eating 400 carbohydrates per day, 100 grams would be low. But if someone is used to eating 150g then 100 wouldn’t be considered “low”.

Low carbohydrates would be anything less than 50% of your normal carb intake. So if you’re accustomed to eating 100g per day, less than 50 would be low for you.

Why go low carb?

If you’ve ever been on a low carb diet, you have surely seen the drastic drop in weight in the first few weeks and then a plateau after that. Why does this happen? 

When carbohydrates are consumed they get stored in the liver and in the muscle cells, binded with water, and sodium to form glycogen, a form of stored energy for the body. When you cut out carbs, glycogen is burned and not replenished, leading to a decrease in the scale from loss of fluid. 

Do you burn more body fat on low carb?

When the body consumes calories, 2 things happen. 1.) The body uses the calories for energy 

2.) The body stores the calories for later use

The stored calories get stored as adipose tissue, aka body fat. When you break down each macronutrient, protein= 4 calories per gram

carbs= 4 calories per gram

fat= 9 calories per gram

Each macronutrient plays a different role in the body, from tissue repair, to hormone regulation, to energy balance. No, you do not burn more body fat by going low carb only. All macronutrients should be accounted for and you should be in a caloric deficit to achieve fat loss.

So should I go on a low carb diet?

The best diet, is the one you can see yourself doing long term. Not for 6 weeks. Not for 24 weeks. But for years. So if you can see yourself sustaining a low carb approach for years to come, then absolutely! If not, there are numerous other sustainable approaches! 

 

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