Is it good to eat a low carb diet?
There has been a huge spike in the popularity of low carb diets, and this is for a few reasons.
Carbohydrates are the only non-essential macro-nutrients, meaning we don’t need them to survive. Because of this, it is a possibility to completely remove them from your diet without the dangerous side effects that you would get from doing the same with either fats or proteins.
Because this type of diet has you partially or completely removing a food group, you will end up eating less food and therefore, less calories. This is why you may see weight loss when entering a low carb diet. However, you are losing weight because of the calorie deficit (eating less calories than you burn) not because of the removed carbohydrates.
Another reason why low carb diets are so highly marketed is that they will show results fast – but only on the scale. For every 1 gram of carbohydrate you eat, your body will store 4g of water. This means that if you eat 200g less carbohydrates in a day, the next day you will come up 1kg lighter on the scale. Have you lost 1kg? Technically yes, but you won’t look any different, there is no fat lost, it is purely water.
The water which is stored with carbohydrate intake is not under the skin, it is within tissues of the body and therefore will usually not affect the way you look. So, because of this, there are no benefits to a low carbohydrate diet which technically make it a ‘good’ way of losing weight – it is just a method of creating a calorie deficit in order to allow for fat loss.
When assessing whether this will be good for you, you need to consider the sustainability of the approach.
Are you somebody who loves to eat carbohydrates?
Are you somebody who eats out regularly?
Are you somebody who drinks regularly?
Are you somebody who is very active or does intense exercise most days?
These are all factors which will make sticking to a low carb diet more difficult and less sustainable, which makes it a bad diet to follow. You need carbohydrates to fuel intense exercise, and you will likely see a performance decrease when drastically reducing your carb intake.
This was just one of the questions covered in our latest “Let’s Talk: Nutrition” evening with Ash. Our next talk will be held at tfd on Friday 28th February at 7pm. This event is free to members and can be booked now via the FitSense app.