The Science of Lowcarb Diets: Why They Work
You long for firmer muscles and smaller waist. Everybody does. Do you think you can’t lose weight? Yes, you can. But the truth is you can’t lose weight without a diet – a plan.
Low Carb Diet
Weight-loss experts and diet plan authors all agree that much of our excess weight comes from the carbohydrates we eat, especially the highly refined or processed ones such as potatoes, baked goods, bread, pasta and other convenient foods. To aggravate the problem, few of us get enough exercise to ward off excess pounds.
The basic science behind the low carb diet is to limit the consumption of foods with a lot of carbohydrates. The low carb diet includes many popular weight-loss programs such as the Atkins, South Beach, Zone and Carbohydrate Addict Diet.
Does It Really Work?
One of the food groups which the body needs to survive are carbohydrates. Carbohydrates also referred to as carbs come in two types – sugars and starches. Sugars are simple carbs usually sweet tasting like biscuits and sweets and easily digested. Whereas, starches are complex carbs found in bread, pasta, noodles and rice and take longer to digest.
The body transforms all these digestible carbs into glucose, the sugar that our cells use as fuel or energy. When glucose molecules pass from the intestine into the bloodstream, the pancreas releases insulin, a hormone that mobilises cells to absorb it. Muscle, fat and other cells then absorb the excess glucose from the blood and insulin levels return to normal.
After a meal high in glycemic index (ranking of foods according to how fast their sugars are released into the bloodstream), blood-sugar levels rise higher and rapidly. The insulin needed to fill all that sugar into muscles and fat cells also weaken the activity of glucagon, a hormone that signals the body to burn stored fuel when blood-sugar levels fall below a certain point. Glucose level drops so low leaving the body starved for energy. The brain and intestine then send out hunger signals. New cravings are created requiring more carb intake. We, then overeat that leads to more fat, rise in blood insulin level, more hunger, and more weight gain and the cycle goes on.
On the contrary, adhering to a low carb diet puts an end to this cycle. Reduced carbohydrates would mean decreased insulin level, increased glucagon level, weight loss, improved triglycerides (fats carried in the blood which are necessary but when excessive cause coronary damage), decrease in LDL (bad cholesterol), increase in HDL (good cholesterol).
The bottom line – Give refined or processed carbohydrates which cause rapid changes in blood sugar, trigger hunger, thereby encouraging overeating that ultimately leads to obesity smaller spots on your plate. Anyway, nobody ever died from skipping potatoes, pasta, rice and white bread.
That said; go get yourself a few good low carb cookbooks. Better still, leaf through this site’s 1,000+ low carb recipes – a seemingly endless variety of recipes. Try every recipe imaginable and make this diet as enjoyable and diverse as possible.
Yes, you can diet. Lose weight! Live longer!