Are carbs really the culprit?

I am sure that at one time or another you’ve been told that carbohydrates are the culprit when it comes to trying to lose weight. Too many times I’ve heard people say that they’re ‘cutting down’ or even ‘cutting out’ carbs in their diet in order to lose weight.  Despite popular claims advocating low- or no-carb diets, research suggests that following a low carbohydrate diet does not result in long term weight loss.

Carbohydrates are essential for a well-balanced and healthy diet. They are our body’s number one preferred source of energy, particularly for the brain. If minimal to no carbohydrates are ingested, our stored carbohydrates that are reserved in the liver (called glycogen) will be used as a second energy choice. Once this has been utilised the body has no choice but to start breaking down protein from muscle. This muscle breakdown results in a lower muscle mass, which negatively affects the body’s ability to burn fat.

In the short-term, following a low-carbohydrate may result in you losing weight however; the majority of the weight that is lost is in fact water, not fat. Why is this you ask? To put it simply, each gram of glycogen (carbohydrate) that is stored in the body’s liver, requires approximately 3 grams of water for it to be released as energy. So yes, you will feel less bloated and lose weight….but this is due to the result of losing water content from your body, not fat. Furthermore, following a low-carbohydrate diet may come with some unpleasant side effects including: nausea, dizziness, lethargy, bad breath, headaches and general fatigue.

If you are wanting to lose some weight, it is recommended that you consume a balanced diet that is high in fresh vegetables and fruits, wholegrains, low-fat dairy products and low in fats and processed food items. If you want more information regarding healthy eating for weight loss, come see me at the clinic where I will provide you with tailored nutrition advice that is specific to you and your body’s needs.

To sum it up: Carbohydrates are essential for our health and should not be omitted from our diet. Research demonstrates that following a very low carbohydrate diet predominately does not lead to long-term weight loss. Weight gain occurs from eating excess in overall kilojoules (or calories), which can come from a number of sources including carbohydrate, fat or protein.

 

Thank you for reading my first blog post. My aim is to educate as many clients as possible but also to spread my knowledge. If you have found this useful I would appreciate it if you shared my content through the social media links below. Watch this space!