Is This Diet Right For You? Part three – Low Carb Diets
Part 3 of this mini series is about Low Carb diets. Now there’s a multitude of different low carbohydrate diets on the market but the most well known is the Atkins Diet.
Short term low carb dieting will result in weight loss. As with any diet, you will lose water weight first. This is increased with low carb dieting, because every gram of stored carbohydrate in your body is stored with water. Lose the carb stores: lose the attached water weight as well. So initial feedback via the bathroom scales will be great. This may or may not be a good thing, but remember its going to happen on any restrictive diet anyway. On the up side, seeing the scale weight change can be great for motivation to stick with it.
So should you stick with it? In an answer, yes, if you can. Low carb diets are some of the most effective diets out there over the longer term. Interestingly, there’s not much data for long, long term, as most cannot stick with this restrictive plan for very long. If you eliminate carbs as is the suggestion for most low carb diets (get under or around 30g per day) you are pretty much left with meat, eggs, cheese and fish. Some nuts, seeds and little amounts of vegetables (no starchy ones) are allowed as these quickly add up the carb total.
If your body does not receive carbohydrates to use as fuel through your diet, it will turn to protein and fat as alternative energy sources. This is not a bad thing as we are sometimes lead to believe, and as long as you still consume enough calories in the form of anything but carbs, you will not eat away at your muscle in a rapid fashion as has been suggested.
A low calorie diet of any kind can cause muscle to be used as fuel-this is because muscle is a metabolically active tissue meaning that it uses energy. Your body wants to carry as little excess metabolically active tissue as possible in times of famine. If you continue to train hard, you will maintain most of your muscle mass as long as your calorie intake is not too low.
Is the FitterFaster Nutrition Plan a low carb diet? No. I recommend eating ample fruit and loads of vegetables which are both carbohydrate foods. I also recommend a serve of nuts and a serve of yoghurt every day which are also loaded with carbs too. I do recommend more protein than most people consume, but this does not make it a low carb diet. What I recommend is a blend of ‘real’ foods and to cut out manufactured or processed foods. A lot of these are very high carb: bread, pasta, pastries, biscuits etc. But I don’t recommend limiting them because of their carb content. I limit them because per calorie, they provide little in the way of nutrition. Vegetables, lean protein foods and fruit contain so much more nutrition per calorie.
Would I recommend a low carb diet? Very short term-yes. The initial fluid drop can be great motivation as mentioned above. To sustain it is nearly impossible. Its boring and lacks variety as well as limiting nutrients such as fibre and many vitamins and minerals. Up to a week is ideal to kick start a fat loss program. From there, switch to a healthy nutrition program like the plan we use at FitterFaster.
You can find more details about the FitterFaster Nutrition Program at my website http://www.fitterfasteronline.com There you’ll find lots of free stuff including recipes and meal ideas as well as free workouts to improve the outcomes of any diet.