Could a low-carb diet give you an edge in losing weight? Help you keep weight off permanently? Here’s what you need to know about the low-carb diet. A low-carb diet limits carbohydrates — such as those found in grains, starchy vegetables and fruit — and emphasizes foods high in protein and fat. Many types of low-carb diets exist. Each diet has varying restrictions on the types and amounts of carbohydrates you can eat. A low-carb diet is generally used for losing weight. Some low-carb diets may have health benefits beyond weight loss, such as reducing risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Check with your doctor before starting any weight-loss diet, especially if you have any health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.
In an era of fast dieting and quick weight loss, low-carb diets are having a major moment. If you want to drop pounds stat, proponents of low-carb diets say there’s no better and faster way to do it than to limit or completely eliminate carbs. Protein gets a pass and that’s because protein is very satisfying, but the truth is carbs aren’t bad. It’s the company that carbs keeps. Carbs are energy giving and provide a wealth of vitamins and fiber, which most of us don’t enough of. Unlike protein and fat, carbs are our body’s go-to energy source, so it burns through carbs before it burns through fat. Protein, on the other hand, isn’t used for energy and is the building block for muscle repair. So if you lead a very active lifestyle, carbs are essential in your diet.
Committing to changing the way you eat takes effort, so it’s natural to wonder if your efforts will pay off—and when. The truth about low-carb diets for weight loss is that it’s very difficult to predict who will lose weight, how much they will lose, and how long it will take. There are simply too many variables at play. It’s also important to understand that the definition of a low-carbohydrate diet is loose. For some people, it may mean casually cutting back on refined carbs, but for others it might mean reducing total carbohydrate content to a specific goal. While research has shown that people can lose weight on low-carb diets, there is no guarantee that you’ll have the same experience. However, most people can expect to lose some weight whenever they make dietary changes like reducing their carbohydrate intake. Understanding the science behind the diet will help you see how and why it works. Knowing what your body does in response to dietary changes as well as the timeline it follows can inform your weight loss estimates and keep you on the right track as you progress.