A Balanced Diet May Come in Various Forms
As we have seen (Guide to Healthy Balanced Diet), healthy diets comes in various forms. Current evidence does not support the idea that there is only one type of balanced eating-plan, with a fixed amount of fat, carbohydrate and protein, that suits everyone. The same applies to weight reduction diets. A healthy weight loss diet may include differing proportions of fat, protein and carbohydrate, according to needs and tastes.
Reason Why Low Carb Weight Loss Plans are So Popular
Low carb weight loss plans are very popular because initial weight loss is more rapid than with regular diets. It’s great to see a weight loss of 5-6 pounds in your first week, even if most of the weight lost isn’t body fat but simply muscle glycogen and water. Even so, there’s no free lunch here! Carbohydrate provides essential energy for the brain, red blood cells and a growing fetus. It is also the principal fuel source for strenuous muscular activity. So we definitely need some carbs.
How Low Carb Dieting Works
In the absence of sufficient dietary carbohydrate, our system turns first to its reserve store of carbs (glycogen), located in the liver and muscles, in order to provide fuel for muscular activity. Burning this store of glycogen typically leads to an immediate loss of weight, as one gram of glycogen binds 4 grams of water. For example, if you burn 400 grams of glycogen then at the same time you lose 1600 grams of water: a total of 2 kilos (2.2 pounds) of body weight.
You Lose Water Weight Not Body Fat
Notice, that – whatever the scales say – you have lost no body fat. And when you recommence eating carbs, the first thing your body does is to replenish its glycogen + water reserve.
Fatigue Not Uncommon
Not surprisingly, since carbohydrate is essential fuel for physical activity such as cardio-aerobics, long-term low carb dieters often experience growing fatigue and loss of motivation to maintain the type of fitness routines needed for weight management.
The brain’s favorite fuel is carbohydrate. If absolutely necessary, the brain will utilize fat (in the form of ketones), but it performs less efficiently on this type of energy. Current evidence demonstrates a clear association between intellectual performance and the presence of carbs. For example, better performance was observed in all types of age and social groups after a carbohydrate meal. Although research is ongoing, it seems that for optimum intellectual activity, we need a regular intake of carbs.
For some people, low carb weight loss diets are successful. And, like I say, they do lead to faster weight reduction at least initially. However, they can cause problems and there is a better alternative – a better type of weight-reducing diet that offers all the advantages of low-carb eating, without the problems. This improved alternative is a low GI diet.
Low GI Diets For Weight Reduction
A low-GI diet focuses on quality rather than quantity of carbohydrates. The diet recommends the consumption of low and intermediate (moderate) GI carbs. These carbs have been proven, in hundreds of clinical trials all over the world, to form the basis of healthy eating.
In a nutshell, a low-GI plan provides all the health and weight benefits of carbohydrate WITHOUT the drawbacks.