Here’s the deal friends!
There’s a lot of talk out there about low carb or keto type diets right now. I wanted to share the top 4.5 reasons, I’ll get to that .5 later, why people lose weight on low carb to very low diets. Let me just start by saying there is nothing magical about eliminating carbs for a large majority of the population that will lead to increased fat loss. I say fat loss for a reason because low carb diets can lead to some initial weight loss but not necessarily fat loss. For more on that, check out my post on How Fast You Should Lose Weight.
So here are the 4 reasons you might lose weight when you switch to a lower carb diet.
1) Water Weight; Our bodies store a substance called glycogen in our muscles and liver. Glycogen needs to be accompanied by water. Glycogen is made from glucose aka carbs so when you cut carbs your body will also lose some of that water that it was storing due to the reduced levels of glycogen in your body.
2) You Pay Attention To What You Are Eating; Rather than a free for all and eat whatever is in front of you, you start making conscious decisions about what you are going eat. That usually leads to better decisions.
3) You've Just Eliminated a Whole Food Group; This could mean anywhere from 400-1,000+ calories out of your daily diet. Chances are you aren’t replacing all of those calories with bacon, cheese and chicken breast. You therefore have created a calorie deficit!
4) You Upgrade Your Food Choices; If you do replace carbs with something it is likely going to be something more filling like protein rich foods or fibrous dense foods. These foods fill you up more which means you consume less most likely. On top of that they take more energy to digest which means bigger calorie deficit.
4.5) Hormones; Why the half??? Well because I think people run to this one first and discount the first 4 reasons. Lowering carbs in some people can help with hormonal regulation, mainly insulin and leptin. If those are out of whack the way you consume food and process can get a little wonky. By reducing carbohydrates in a person that has issues with these, their appetite and energy processing could improve. Even if you do have issues with this things eating a balanced diet with moderate carbohydrate can improve your situation and is likely the more sustainable approach.
Here’s the takeaway! You need to pay attention to what you are eating if you want to lose weight. There is nothing magical about cutting carbs that will help you lose weight if you are still consuming too much food. If you enjoy bread, pasta and rice then eat them just watch your portions and make sure you are getting plenty of protein and veggies with your meals.
If you are curious how many carbs you should be consuming checkout my calorie calculator and submit your results to get a free macro plan with your protein, fat and carb needs.