One of the most hotly-debated topics within health and fitness is the role of carbohydrates.
Can you eat them and lose weight being a discussion that seems to create some controversy and bring all sides of the argument to the forefront.
Low-carb diets are nothing new, they’ve been around for many years in some guise or another.
In the 90’s and 2000’s, the Atkins Diet seemed to be all the rage.
That seems to have backed off now for the more fashionable versions being Keto or Paleo.
Let’s get to the point here shall we…
Can following the Atkins, Keto, Paleo Diets or the like help you lose weight.
As long as your energy balance is running at a calorie deficit.
Meaning, your body is burning more calories than you are consuming from food and drinks.
But, the same can be said of any ‘diet’ you can think of.
As long as your energy balance is running at a calorie deficit, you will lose weight.
And it’s for this reason that I don’t ask my clients to follow any mainstream ‘diet’.
However way you dress it up, all you need is a calorie deficit to lose weight.
That may include carbs, it may not.
That would and should be a personal preference based upon the foods you like and your energy and performance levels.
What is an undeniable plus point with the reduction of carbs though is that you need to eat something and most people will replace carbs with protein.
This not only will likely fill you up for longer, making it less likely you will overeat.
But, it also provides you with the essential amino acids your body requires to achieve optimal performance and recovery.
If you’re not a fan of counting calories, a low-carb food intake can work quite well.
As by almost eliminating an entire food group, it makes it more unlikely that you will consume too many calories.
Note I said more unlikely, it does not mean it’s impossible.
Finally, a really important point worth making…
Don’t be fooled into thinking that a low-carb makes you lose more body fat, if both calories and protein levels are equated.
It’s very common for anyone reducing their carb intake to lose weight, even if they still intake the same amount of calories.
This is because when you reduce carbs, your water and glycogen levels in your body will also reduce.
Meaning, it’s not uncommon for someone new to a low carb diet to lose 5 – 10 pounds in a matter of days.
Please don’t think you’ve lost predominantly body fat, you haven’t.
This can be one of the reasons why your bodyweight might fluctuate from day to day.
If you want to try a low carb diet because you truly believe it’s a good long term option for you, go for it.
I’ve personally found it unsustainable for the vast majority of people.
I’d always encourage you to start with the end in mind, this being having a way of eating that can both help you lose weight in the short-term but be adaptable to your future needs.
Don’t forget, losing weight isn’t the hard bit, keeping it off is.
With this in mind, in my experience it’s a lot more likely for you to see longer term success if you have a balanced approach to your food intake, including a good amount of protein, and a variety of healthy fats and carbs.
Thanks for reading, have a great day.
Do you need confidential help with your health, fitness or nutrition? I have a range of services available, with Personal Training in my Private Gym in Manchester, also at your home or workplace in the surrounding areas. For clients further afield, I provide Online Personal Training, Nutritional Consultancy & Private Fitness Holidays.