Low-Carb Diet Is The Way to Go
We’re often told that cutting back on carbohydrates is the key to losing weight.
A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2013 discovered that carbohydrate-rich foods that cause abrupt changes in blood sugar levels encourage the production of hormones linked to hunger and cravings.
This explains why many of the popular diet trends today such as the Paleo, Atkins, and Ketogenic diets are characterised by low-carbohydrate intake.
With all the buzz around low-carb diets, it’s easy to get caught up in all their supposed benefits. But is cutting carbs really the healthiest way to get rid of extra pounds?
Read on to learn more about carbohydrates and their effects on our body.
What Are Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are macronutrients and the main source of energy in our bodies. Our bodies use carbs as fuel for proper body functions as we go about our daily lives. We find carbs in the form of starch, sugars and fibre in our foods.
Carbs can be split into two groups. Complex carbohydrates like peas, beans or whole grain bread or rice take a longer time to break down and provide slow-release energy. On the other end of the spectrum are refined carbohydrates like sugar, pastries, soda and white rice.
We also get our energy from other macronutrients like fats and proteins, but it takes longer for our bodies to transform them into usable energy compared to carbohydrates.
Additionally, fats and proteins are used by the body for other purposes such as muscle building, energy storage and vitamin absorption.
Carbohydrates and Weight Gain
When it comes to food, too much of anything is bad for our health, and carbohydrates are no different.
Glucose, a byproduct of carbohydrate digestion, is broken down by acids and enzymes in the stomach to produce energy.
When our body has met its energy requirements, the excess glucose is converted into fat, which eventually leads to weight gain if not controlled.
A diet high in refined carbs can lead to obesity and increases the risk of serious illnesses such as heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
What Happens If We Cut Carbs?
At this point, you might be thinking that cutting carbs from your diet sounds like the best way to lose weight. However, there are several side effects you might encounter when shifting to a low-carb diet.
When switching to a low-carb or no-carb diet, our body turns to fat as an alternative source of fuel to make up for the lack of carbohydrates.
While it helps us to burn fat faster, a low-carb diet can cause side effects like tiredness, headaches and muscle cramps as our body adjusts to a lack of carbohydrates as well as inefficient conversion of fat into energy.
The lack of carbs can also cause your body to turn to protein for energy, which results in sacrificing valuable muscles for energy.
For those of you planning to follow a ketogenic diet, you may also develop body odour and bad breath.
This is because it is a high-fat diet, and the ketones produced in the process are released either through your skin or your mouth.
Carbohydrates provide our body with the energy to properly perform its functions, but too much of it may be converted to fat and stored in our body as excess weight.
On the other hand, a lack of carbohydrates may cause other health issues including fatigue, digestive problems, and even body odour and bad breath.
If your job requires you to sit for hours, a low-carb diet may help you keep your weight under control. However, it is still best to dedicate at least thirty minutes daily to physical activity so you burn extra carbs and build muscle strength.
Contrarily, if the majority of your time is spent on strenuous activities, do not deprive yourself of carbohydrates. Our bodies function in different ways, and not all diets that work well with one person will also work well with another.
If you need an assessment on your carbohydrate intake, don’t hesitate to contact us at Happy Slim! We’re currently offering a 5-day FREE Online Nutrition Coaching programme for all our first-time customers. Simply call (9067 9115) or Whatsapp at 9067 9115 to redeem your free trial!