We often hear about low carb diets and how successful they prove to be in losing weight, but what is a low Carb diet exactly?
The term “low-carb” means low in carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are usually found in foods like pasta, potatoes, fruit, bread and rice. A low carb diet does not entail any specific diet nor does it include well-defined steps to losing weight.
It is a rather loose term that varies according to the person who uses it. Some common features though, include consuming foods that are low in carbohydrate and glycemic. The consumption of carbohydrates leads the body to excrete insulin.
As carbohydrates get digested, glucose -the effect of insulin excretion- either gets burned by our body if it we need immediate energy or else gets stored as fat. More seriously, after consuming a meal that consists mainly of carbohydrates, the level of insulin in our body goes suddenly up and after a short time suddenly down. This effect causes us to be hungry only after 2 or 4 hours from our last meal, leading us to a vicious circle of being hungry, then eating and finally storing fat.
The main ways to define a low carb diet, following the initial question “What Is A Low Carb Diet?”, is to clarify whether you are talking about the actual carbohydrate that an adult consumes daily or about the percentage of the calories in a person’s diet that comes from carbohydrates.
The usual amount of calories that are allowed in an adult’s diet is about 50-60%. So any percentage of calories coming from carbohydrates that is below that, can be thought of as low carb.
The most common misconception about low carb diets is that people who follow this kind of eating plan are actually striving to consume a zero amount of carb. That is not only untrue but it is also near to impossible considering that carbohydrates are hidden in most of the food we consume, especially processed food.
A diet low in carbs, as the name itself demonstrates, tries to reduce the carbohydrates in a low level, not eliminate them completely.
Another common myth is that a low carb diet forbids you from eating fruits and vegetables. The truth is that this food category is rich in carbohydrate, but that does not mean one should eliminate them from their diet. Fruits and veggies are the carbohydrates one should consume in a diet that is low of, but not deprived of carbs.
Among the benefits one could gain from following a low carb diet, is first and foremost the loss of weight and the increase of energy. People find themselves to be less sleepy and have better concentration and some cases have shown that people are experiencing a better mood.
Bad thoughts and feelings seem to be seriously reduced or lifted away. One cannot overstate the beneficial results of low carb eating habits. People have noticed improvements in their metabolism, a benefit that is considered to be a kick start for a diet focused on losing weight, even if the weight loss is initially insignificant. A shift in the metabolism is indispensable on the road to a healthy way of life and weight loss process.