Low Carbohydrate Weight Loss Plan
Does the low-carbohydrate diet work for weight loss? How effective is it?
Over the years, hundreds of diet plans have been formulated or created. Some of these diet plans have stood the test of time for effectiveness. And one of them is the low carbohydrate diet, which was introduced many years ago. It has gained popularity among dieters.
Carbohydrates, or carbs, are substances (nutrients) that provide your body with energy necessary to keep it functioning. There are two types of carbohydrates: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates or sugars are easily absorbed by the body. They are a quick source of energy. Sugars are sweet in taste and are often found in fruits, milk, candies, cookies, soda and sugary cereals. Sugars are also the immediate source of glucose for persons who are in a mild to moderate hypoglycemic state.
On the other hand, complex carbohydrates provide the body with sustained energy because they take longer time to be digested. This type of carbohydrate can be found in whole grains like oats, wheat germ, wild rice, etc, and in fruits like oranges, plums, grapefruit, prunes, pears and apricots. It can also be found in vegetables like spinach, cauliflower, eggplant, corn, potatoes, asparagus, and celery and in legumes such as black beans, kidney beans, lentils, garbanzo, and pinto beans.
What Is a Low Carbohydrate Diet?
The low carbohydrate diets are dietary regimens that limit carbohydrate intake for weight loss purposes or for treatment of obesity. Foods that are high in carbohydrates like pasta and bread are avoided or limited. On the other hand, foods that are high in protein and unsaturated fats and low in carbohydrates like vegetable salads are permitted. The amount of carbohydrate to be taken will depend on the type of the low carbohydrate diet.
How Low Carb Diets Work
How does the low carbohydrate diet induce weight loss? By eating the low carbohydrate diet, you are supplying your body with insufficient amount of carbs for its use. As a result, your body starts burning stored carbohydrates in the form of glycogen for energy. As glycogen is being converted to energy, water is released. This water loss is the reason for initial weight loss. Now, when the stored carbohydrates become scarce, the body will turn to stored fats for energy. As the body starts to use fats, weight loss will continue to occur. However, there is a risk when the body is depending too much on fatty acids for energy because the brain cells are more dependent on the glucose from foods. So, during this state that the brain cells cannot get energy from glucose, the body will start producing ketone bodies or fat-like molecules. Accumulation of these ketone bodies can lead to ketoacidosis, which is a very dangerous condition.
Indeed, the low carbohydrate diet has been proven effective for weight reduction. However, to avoid the negative effects of this diet plan, dieters should not go for a very low carbohydrate diet without doctor’s supervision.