Low Carbohydrate Diet - a scientifically Proven Method?

by : gisbert

Although not as wildly popular as they were several years ago, the low carbohydrate diet still has a sizeable following. The simple reason for this is because it works! Clinical studies show that people on a reduced-carb regimen lost more weight than those on a traditional low fat diet within six months. But there's a downside to this, not the least of which is health experts' concern about the diet's recommendation of fatty foods. Before you go on a low carbohydrate diet, weigh the positives against the negatives and decide whether it's the right weight loss strategy for you.

Arguably the most popular low carb diet is the Atkins diet, founded by the late Dr. Robert Atkins several decades ago. Since its explosion onto the scene, similar diets have sprouted, including the South Beach Diet, the Zone Diet, Sugar Busters, and Protein Power. All these diets require you to vastly reduce the amount of carbohydrates you consume, but not eliminate them (as so many people assume). Your primary carbohydrate sources should be natural foods like vegetables and certain fruits. You will then find yourself eschewing many of the starchy and nutrient-deficient goodies that so many of us consume on a daily basis, like junk food and fast food (which, health experts agree, are bad for you anyway) and going for low carb foods.

Refined flour and sugar are perhaps the vilest villains that cause weight gain. Excessive intake of food products rich in these two ingredients can cause your blood glucose levels to increase, triggering the additional production of insulin, and causing the body to convert carbs to fat. Eating low carb foods would ensure that you get only the amount needed by your body. Deprived of surplus carbs, your body would then burn its fat stores instead of carbohydrates, and you start losing weight. What's more, if you stick to the diet, you'll find that you'll tend to shed pounds at a faster pace.

Several studies show additional benefits of consuming low carb foods aside from weight loss. Lowered blood sugar levels will make you less vulnerable to diabetes. Also, clinical evidence shows that a low carb diet helps improve blood cholesterol, reducing your risk for heart disease and stroke. Another finding suggests a relationship between acne and carbohydrates. A diet high in carbohydrates increases insulin production, which would cause a series of hormonal changes that lead to clogged pores and oilier skin - fertile ground for the bacterium that causes pimples.

If the low carb diet has so many health benefits, why have many people abandoned it? One major reason is the diet's advocacy of fat that is found in food like meat and dairy products. While it is true that low carb diets permit the consumption of fatty, low carb foods like butter, cheese, and pork chops, they do not in any way encourage the gluttony. You should eat only up to the point you don't feel hungry anymore - there's no "eat all you can" mentality involved.

Another reason may sound mundane, but is a serious challenge for many people: food boredom. A number of dieters find that they can't do without the starchy, carb-rich they have become accustomed to; things like bread, pasta, candy, chips. However, if you do decide to go on a low carbohydrate diet, remember that there are many substitute products out in the marketplace that would still enable you to enjoy comfort food, but without the burden of carbs and sugar. For instance, instead of bread products made with refined flour, you can opt for whole grain breads or those made with soy flour and the like.

The abundance of naturally low carb foods cannot be underestimated. Fish, shellfish, and other seafood are rich in protein and low in carbs; so are poultry, meat, and many vegetables. Once you start incorporating all these natural and healthy foods back into your diet, you will find that you won't miss the junk that you used to consume. And this practice of choosing nutrient-rich foodstuff will be something you will carry with you even after you reach your ideal body weight.

It's not enough to go on a low carbohydrate diet, or any other diet for that matter, without getting the right amount of exercise. Even though the diet does not focus on calorie-counting, a calorie is still a calorie and if you eat more than what you burn, then you'll become fat. So if you do decide to go on a low carbohydrate diet, make sure you do it right.