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Healthy Eating

Here you will find tons of information about healthy eating and incorporating the principles of healthy nutrition into your daily life. Built around Dr. Cederquist’s nutritional foundation for healthy weight loss, these articles place a wealth of information right at your fingertips.

The Truth About Low Carb Diets

The truth about low carb diets is that they do typically work-and there is a very specific reason why they do.

The Truth About Low Carb Diets


Diets are a dime a dozen. Truly. You could practically follow a different diet every day of the year. And with America's growing waistlines, it's really not a huge surprise. Surfacing in around 2002, low carb diets started to become popular, especially for men-because it allowed them to eat meat.

And the ladies joined in too.

The truth about low carb diets is that they do typically work-and there is a very specific reason why they do.

First, to define 'low-carb' – this typically means you are keeping your daily carbohydrate intake below about 100 grams per day.

To enter the metabolic state of 'ketosis'-where you burn the most fat-most people need to consume fewer than 50g of carbohydrates total in a day. This would be considered a very low carb diet.

Whenever you keep total carbohydrates (which includes sugar) in the lower range, you will be automatically decreasing the amount of insulin your pancreas releases into your bloodstream. And this will absolutely help you lose weight.

Insulin is a very special master hormone – one that is only released once you've been fed – which is why it's called a fed-state hormone. Insulin's primary message to the body is very simple:

Store everything.

Store fat, store glucose, store calories.

Get glucose inside cells so that they can store up whatever they don't use for energy.

Deposit all the energy possible into the bank, and whatever is not used immediately gets delivered into storage.

Whenever your body and cells are actively burning fat, as soon as insulin is released after consuming a high carbohydrate meal, all of the burning comes to a complete halt. Losing weight stops completely.

Your body does a literal 180° from burning fat stores, and transitions into storing and increasing uptake of calories-and that means extra calories will be stored as fat.

Enzymes that usually work to breakdown fat are turned off and shut down when insulin signals a cell. Every metabolic process inside our body shifts toward nutrient uptake and energy storage once insulin is released. That means one thing. Weight gain.

If your body is in a constant push-pull of burning extra fat because you are dieting and then turning around and depositing fat after insulin is released…then it's easy to understand why losing weight can be difficult when you are consuming a high-carbohydrate diet.

Hunger control is a must whenever you are trying to lose weight – let's be honest. If you are starving, you are less likely to stick with any type of diet.

Low-carb diets should always contain an adequate amount of protein, which helps combat hunger in a big way. Protein is the most satisfying nutrient, and researchers in one study found that people who began eating 30% of calories from protein automatically ate 441 less calories each day. Adding in protein to your diet will actually help you eat less.

Some Truths about Low Carb Diets

1. They may help decrease hunger.

2. They can lead to long-term results.

3. They support improvements in many markers of health – such as HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and blood sugar in people with diabetes.

4. They are more effective than low-fat diets.

5. Help to reduce blood pressure.

Busting Common Misconceptions about Low Carb Diets

1. Low-carb diets do not starve your brain.

2. Too much meat does not cause heart disease. Inuit people have subsisted on diets that included almost no carbohydrates at all, and had no issues with chronic illnesses such as heart disease.

3. You only lose water weight. In truth, you will lose some water weight because you are burning through some of your glycogen stores. But this is actually part of the process of beginning to burn fat more readily. Carbs are your body's preferred energy source, but when you make them unavailable, your body switches to burn stored fuel, and this will help you lose weight.

4. Low carb diets are not as hard to stick with as some other diets, because you can avoid feeling extremely hungry, which helps keep you from feeling deprived. This means you'll stick with this kind of diet longer.

References:

[1] Weigle DS, Breen PA, Matthys CC, Callahan HS, Meeuws KE, Burden VR, Purnell JQ. A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jul;82(1):41-8.

[2] Hession, M., Rolland, C., Kulkarni, U., Wise, A. and Broom, J. (2009), Systematic review of randomized controlled trials of low-carbohydrate vs. low-fat/low-calorie diets in the management of obesity and its comorbidities. Obesity Reviews, 10: 36–50. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2008.00518.x

[3] Jeff S. Volek, Stephen D. Phinney, Cassandra E. Forsythe, Erin E. Quann, Richard J. Wood, Michael J. Puglisi, William J. Kraemer, Doug M. Bibus, Maria Luz Fernandez, Richard D. Feinman Carbohydrate Restriction has a More Favorable Impact on the Metabolic Syndrome than a Low Fat Diet. Lipids. April 2009, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 297-309.

[4] Gardner CD, Kiazand A, Alhassan S, et al. Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN Diets for Change in Weight and Related Risk Factors Among Overweight Premenopausal Women: The A TO Z Weight Loss Study: A Randomized Trial. JAMA. 2007;297(9):969-977. doi:10.1001/jama.297.9.969

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