A very popular diet craze is eating foods low in carbs and high in protein. As with many of fad diets, the results are short term and can lead to yo-yo dieting. If you have considered trying one of these weight loss diets, there are some factors to consider before trying a low card high protein diet.
• A lack of carbohydrates can lead to a depletion of glycogen. Glycogen is broken down to glucose or sugar which gives you energy. When glycogen stores are low, dehydration and fatigue can set in. This is what allows for an abrupt drop in the number being read on the scale with fad diets.
• Your brain feeds off of mostly carbohydrates and the depletion of this energy source is not healthy.
• Glycogen depletion can lead to muscles loss. Glucose is the broken down form of glycogen and is the choice of fuel for the muscles during movement. Muscles working or at rest are unable to reach full contraction and you will tire more quickly.
• Low carb diets may cause insulin levels to become consistently low and the breakdown of muscle increases as protein synthesis stops.
• Less muscle causes a slowdown in your metabolism because your BMR decreases and your body doesn’t need as many calories to maintain itself.
• Ketosis can set in, which is a condition where the liver has been depleted of stored glycogen and switches to a chronic fasting mode during long periods of starvation, noticeable by bad breath.
• Low carb diets lack fiber leading to an increased risk of bowel disorders. Soluble fiber has been scientifically proven to reduce blood cholesterol levels, which may help reduce your risk of heart disease.
• Excess protein can lead to kidney problems such as kidney stones and Gout.
• The chances are high that you will regain the weight. Loss of muscle tissue, rapid fluid loss that cannot be maintained long term, and decreased energy to continue being active a few reasons contributing to your chances of gaining the weight.
Fad diets of all types are not a healthy way to lose weight. And it certainly is not worth the medical risks associated with this kind of drastic reduction in essential nutrients. By choosing to eat a well balanced diet and exercising consistently, you greatly increase you chance of having success with your weight loss goals, not only immediately but for the rest of your life.