So, you want to lose weight and you’re considering a low carb diet. The low carbohydrate diet limits carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, grains, starchy vegetables and fruit and emphasizes proteins. There are tons of testimonials about the effectiveness of lowering your carbs, and many people have, in fact, successfully reduced cravings and lost weight via a low carb diet. But how much weight can you lose on a low-carb plan? That depends.
In order to lose weight you must burn more calories than you take in. So it’s always a good idea to find a plan you can stick with in the first place--a plan that works for you.
What are Carbohydrates?
Simply put, a carbohydrate is the amount of sugar left after your body breaks down food. Almost everything we eat contains carbohydrates--even vegetables. Your muscles and liver use the sugars that come from carbs for energy and the liver stores it up to convert to glucose for fueling the brain.
Is the Low Carb Diet Right for You?
If you can’t live without your morning bagel, or if your meal isn’t finished until you’ve had a piece of pie for dessert, here is something to consider: the low carb diet is going to require you to cut back on starch and sugar. Quite a lot. That may make it harder to start the low carb diet and stick to it. On the other hand, lower carb intake can reduce those cravings by reducing your need for them. Eating large amounts of carbohydrates raises your blood sugar levels. Your body responds by making insulin to balance out the sugar, which then makes you want more carbs. Many experts believe that lowering carbohydrate intake breaks that cycle.
Are Low Carb Diets Effective?
Cutting calories no matter how you go about it will result in weight loss. But cutting carbs can result in faster weight loss, quicker even than fasting. How? Fasting forces your body to hold on to its resources so you won’t starve. A low carb diet keeps you fueled and stabilizes your blood glucose, which allows you to lose weight. How much weight you lose depends on your body type, your activity level and the amount of calories you cut. Keep in mind that it is typically not safe to lose more than 1 to 2 lbs. per week.
Is the Weight Loss Permanent?
A low carb diet will help you lose weight as quickly as is safe, over a short period. Once you stop following your eating plan, you might find it easy to gain the weight back. Therefore, it’s important to have a maintenance plan in mind to help you keep the weight off.
Experts don’t know the long-term effects of being on a low carb diet. You can lose weight quickly, but if you have a lot of weight to lose, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor first.