After doing a bodybuilding program for quite some time and seeing great results, you might be considering looking into a fast weight loss program to shed any excess weight you’ve gained, and wondering do low carb diets work?
You now want to show off all the hard work you’ve put into your body and losing that last bit of fat still covering those muscles will do just that.
With hundreds of different easy diet plans offerings out there, it can be hard to choose which will fit the bill perfectly for you.
Remember, your best buddy might tell you such a diet worked amazingly well for him, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it will have the same benefits for you. Each person’s body is entirely unique, so the key is figuring out what easy diet plan will go well with your own preferences and body’s response.
One such approach you may consider that has been branded as a fast weight loss protocol is a low carb diet plan.
But, before you hop on this bandwagon, there are some things you should know. Going on a low carb diet unprepared could leave you falling off it in a matter of days.
Do Low Carb Diets Work Here’s what to keep in mind…
Brain Fog Low Carb Effect
If you’ve ever done a low carb diet before without too much research beforehand, you know very well what happens about 3-4 days into the diet.
You feel brain dead.
This is often described as ‘brain fog’ while on the low carb diet and will definitely impact almost everyone who is first using the approach.
Basically, your brain requires at least 100 grams of carbohydrates per day to function optimally, so if you plan on cutting back lower than that, you are going to feel the effects.
Your brain won’t have the fuel source it needs and as such, you’re bound to feel ‘fuzzy’.
Now, if you push through this time period, it typically will get better. Your brain can run off an alternate source of fuel called ketone bodies and within a week or two of being on the diet, it will switch over and you’ll notice you’re starting to feel better again.
In some cases, much better. Certain individuals who tend to function well on fat as a fuel source report having higher mental clarity and focusing ability while on low carb diets once they are adapted, so you may just find you love this new style of eating.
Others won’t ever feel quite normal on them, which is a good indication you may just be better off using a mixed diet plan instead.
Low Carb Diet Results And Energy
The next consequence you’ll face when you decide to jump onto the low carb bandwagon is the increasingly low energy levels that come with it. This also goes hand in hand with the brain fog described above.
Basically, your body has been running off glucose for quite some time and now that glucose is no longer present. Take away your primary fuel source and what do you expect to happen?
Pretty much feeling like you just want to pass out on the couch and not move.
Again, this can be overcome. If you push through the initial feelings, after a week or two, your body will adjust and adapt and be feeling better again. Then you’ll likely find you can easily go about your day as normal.
You just have to get through that initial period, which for many people, is far easier said than done. The drop-off rate of low carb dieters is highest during the first 2 week period, mostly because of this issue.
Low Carb Diets Side Effects And Nutrient Balance
Now it’s time to look at nutrition. While losing weight is your primary focus here, let’s not overlook the fact that you want to maintain good health as well. Any diet that puts your health in jeopardy to help you experience fast weight loss is not a diet worth doing.
When going on the low carb diet, you run the risk of nutritional deficiency if you are not making sure that you are eating adequate amounts of vegetables and preferably some fruits as well.
Vegetables are so low in carbs, so there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t be including them into the protocol. Eat up for your health’s sake. They’ll also help you maintain enough dietary fiber, which is vital for regularity while low carb dieting – something else that most people see go out the window.
Fruits can be eaten, but in moderation. How many will heavily depend upon how high your carbohydrate intake is. Given some fruits can easily clock in at 20 grams of carbs or more, they may not be making a regular appearance on your weight loss diets.
But do try and get them in when you can.
Then make sure that you are choosing quality food sources from the protein and fat category. Yes, this is a higher fat diet, but that doesn’t mean you should be eating fried bacon and eggs in the morning and fatty steak for dinner every night.
Keep in mind there is nothing magical about low carb diets that will make you lose weight faster than a mixed diet would. 2500 calories on a low carb diet is 2500 calories on a mixed approach.
Low carb diets can make it easier for you to maintain your target calorie intake, but they don’t have any special fat burning properties that put it ahead of an approach with a few more carbs.
Likewise, health still matters. If you’re eating bacon and eggs every morning, what do you think is going to happen to your cholesterol?
Still focus on relatively lean sources of protein – chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, and lean grass fed beef. Then add healthy fats into the mix – avocado, olive oil, coconut, nuts and seeds (in moderation as they contain more carbs).
Doing so will help you feel and function your best while on this diet, as well as after you come off this diet.
Low Carb Diets And Exercise
Finally, let’s not discount the impact of low-carb diets on exercise. This is what you really need to know.
You cannot perform intense exercise training like weight lifting and sprint cardio sessions without eating carbohydrates.
Period. Don’t try or you will regret it…
So for this fact, if you are planning on going low carb and want to continue with your usual workout session, do yourself a favor and make sure that you are eating some complex carbohydrates from grains, sweet potatoes, oats, or high starch fruits like bananas before and after that workout schedule.
This will help you maintain better performance and thus deliver you better results as well.
So there you have the main points to keep in mind on our question “Do Low Carb Diets Work“. They can work, but you need to understand them and then do them properly. If you don’t, you are going to spin your wheels and only regret going on this protocol in the first place. Done wrong, it can make you feel miserable, but done right, you’ll do much better.
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