Low-Carbohydrate Diets and Weight Loss Success Tips
by Ronnie Bussey
One particularly enticing aspect of low-carbohydrate dieting is that you can lose weight...
The downside is unless you are careful, you could end up gaining it all back plus more. While low-carbohydrate diets do help you to lose weight, it's worth mentioning that it also takes some discipline to follow a daily program and keep the weight off.
Unfortunately, many low-carb diet programs fail to include instructions for the necessary lifestyle changes that must be put into place for long-term success. Additionally, low-carb diets can literally rob the body of certain nutrients which are beneficial in the overall reduction of other potential health problems.
What Are You Giving Up?
Carbohydrates are typically found in fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains (whole wheat breads, pasta and brown rice). These carbohydrates help to reduce the risk of heart disease, hypertension, cancer, diabetes and gastrointestinal disorders.
To date, there is no evidence that high saturated fat, high protein, low-carb diets are healthy if consumed over a lifetime.
Why Low-Carbohydrate Diets Work...
Low-carb diets, as with all diets, work because people eat fewer calories while following them. On the low-carb diet, calories are lower because you are reducing or eliminating sugars, sweets, starches, fruits and vegetables.
If at the same time, you substitute high protein and fat foods, which are filling, you will feel fuller and eat less.
On any low-carb diet, a considerable amount of the weight lost is water weight. Here's how it happens...
Your body stores carbohydrates in muscles and the liver. Carbohydrates are stored with 3 parts water to 1 part carbohydrate. If you stop eating carbohydrates the body uses up its existing carbohydrate reserve to maintain your blood sugar. This releases lots of water.
That is the initial "weight loss" you experience on a low-carb diet.
What Are Some Benefits of Low Carbohydrate Dieting?
Weight loss for the overweight helps to improve overall health in many ways. It can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It can have positive effects on self-esteem and body image.
It can be a great motivator for anyone who has had difficulty losing weight following other diets.
The Low-Carb Food Craze: Pay More Lose More?
Don't be fooled. These foods can have plenty of calories and are expensive too.
In the last few years, more than 1,000 products labeled "low-carb" have made their way to grocery shelves. To reduce the carbs, most products substitute soy flour or cellulose (not unlike wood pulp) for refined flour. They add artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, which have half to one-third the calories of sugar, instead of sugar...
And taste is definitely not their biggest selling point.
Low-Carb Dieting Drawbacks...
Most people can only follow a low-carb diet for so long before they start craving some sweets or starches. The problem is that when you start eating these foods again you will begin to retain water and this will appears on the scale as "weight gain."
If you have been on a low-carb diet and want to work back to a diet that includes complex carbohydrate begin by slowly adding small portions of grains into your diet. (A slice of bread or ½ cup rice or potatoes.)
Expect to see a few pounds of water weight gain but remember - it's not fat weight!
Cut The "Junk Foods" And Drop The Weight!
You don't have to follow a special low-carb diet to lose weight. Eating fewer high calorie and high fat foods and increasing your exercise can also result in successful weight loss. I know, you've heard that before, but it really is true. The average man eats about 2600 calories a day, the average women about 1900.
A pound of fat a week can be lost by reducing your intake by 500 calories a day. One 20 ounce can of regular Coke contains 250 calories and a Snickers candy bar contains 280 calories. Cutting down on sweets can produce weight loss without sacrificing overall nutrition.
Add a mile or two walk, or jog, several days a week (100-200 calories burned) and you are well on your way to weight loss. Cutting the "junk foods" can be a strategy in itself. At the same time, eat more fruits, vegetables and salads.
Try filling up without "junking up" and your chances of successful weight loss will increase dramatically.
About the author: Ronnie Bussey is a writer who likes to promote healthy living in today's fast paced society.