It has been scientifically approved that the low carb diets work. At least 23 high- quality studies have shown it to be true. Low-carb diets also appear to have an outstanding safety profile. No serious side effects have been reported. In fact, the studies show that these diets cause major improvements in many important risk factors. Triglycerides go way down and HDL goes way up. Blood pressure and blood sugar levels also tend to decrease significantly.
A high percentage of the fat lost on a low carb diet comes from the belly area and the liver. This is the dangerous visceral fat that builds up in and around the organs, driving inflammation and disease. Low carb diets are particularly effective for people with metabolic syndrome and/or type 2 diabetes. The evidence is overwhelming.
In this article, I will be analyzing the factors that how a low carb diet works in losing weight mechanism.
Restriction Of Carbs Lowers Insulin Level
Insulin is an important hormone in our body. It regulates blood sugar levels and energy storage. Insulin tells other cells in the body to pick up glucose (blood sugar) from the bloodstream and burn that instead of fat. However, insulin stimulates lipogenesis (production of fat) and inhibits lipolysis (the burning of fat).
It has been established that low carb diets lead to drastic and immediate reductions in insulin levels.
Weight Drops Rapidly In Initial Weeks
In the initial weeks of low carb diets, people tend to lose weight rapidly. This is because of:
- Insulin:When insulin goes down, the kidneys start shedding excess sodium from the body. This also lowers blood pressure.
- Glycogen: The body stores carbs in the form of glycogen, which binds water in the muscles and liver. When carb intake goes down, glycogen levels in the body go down, and the water follows along.
This does not happen to nearly the same extent on a higher carb diet, even if calories are reduced significantly. Even though some people use this as an argument against low-carb diets, reduced water weight should be considered an advantage. I mean, who wants to carry around excess bloat and water weight all the time? Anyway, despite claims to the contrary, this is far from being the main weight loss advantage of low-carb diets.
The studies clearly show that low-carb diets lead to more fat being lost as well, especially the “dangerous” belly fat found in the abdominal cavity.
Low Carb Diets Are High In Protein
If we compare a low- fat diet with a low carb diet, we always end up with low carb having more proteins. This is because many low protein foods like grains and sugars are replaced with higher protein foods like meat, rice, and eggs.
It has been proved by numerous studies that protein reduces the appetite, boosts metabolism, and helps in an increase of muscle mass. Many nutrition experts believe that the high protein content of low-carb diets is the main reason for their effectiveness.
Low Carb Diets Have A Metabolic Advantage
Several researchers claim that low carb diets have a metabolic advantage. In other words, low carb diets increase your energy expenditure and that people lose more weight than can be explained by reduced calorie intake alone. There are some studies to support this.
A study conducted in 2012 found that a very low carb diet increased energy expenditure compared to a low- fat diet, during a period of weight maintenance. The increase was around 250 calories, which is equivalent to an hour of moderate-intensity exercise per day!
Low Carb Diets Significantly Lower The Appetite That Leads To An Automatic Reduction In Calorie Intake
Probably the single biggest explanation for the weight loss effects of low carb diets is their powerful effects on appetite. It is well established that when people go low carb, their appetite goes down and they start eating fewer calories automatically. Studies that compare low carb and low- fat diets usually restrict calories in the low-fat groups, while the low-carb groups are allowed to eat until fullness. Despite that, the low carb groups still usually lose more weight.