Can you really lose weight on a low carb diet

If you’ve been searching for the most effective ways to lose weight, you must have come across low-carb diets. As a matter of fact, most health gurus tell you that if you are dead-serious on shedding off those excess pounds, a low-carb diet is the way to go.

But what exactly is a low-carb diet? And can you really lose weight on a low-carb diet? A low-carb diet is basically a diet that restricts or limits carbohydrates such as those found in grains, bread, pasta, and sugary foods. Instead, it emphasizes foods that are high in protein, fats, and healthy vegetables.

How does a low-carb diet help you lose weight?

Although studies show that a low-carb diet results in weight loss and improve health markers, the principle behind it is almost always easily misinterpreted. It is common knowledge that carbohydrates (simple or complex) which are the main source of fuel for the body are higher in calorie content compared to fats and proteins.

During digestion, complex carbohydrates such as starches are broken down into simple sugars and then absorbed into the bloodstream where they are now known as glucose or blood sugar. Consuming foods that are rich in carbohydrates will cause your body to produce more glucose which in turn triggers the body to release insulin that helps glucose enter your body’s cells.

Can you really lose weight on a low carb diet

While some glucose is utilized by the body to fuel all your activities, extra glucose is either stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen for future use or converted to fat. The principle behind a low-carb diet for weight loss is that decreasing carbs stabilizes your blood sugar and decreases the level of the fat-storing hormone insulin which causes your body to burn stored fat for energy that ultimately leads to weight loss.

“Low carbohydrate diets can help with weight loss because they stimulate a much lower insulin release.” – Holly Klamer

Starting with the basics

Weight loss is the primary reason people go on a low-carb diet but it can also reduce sugar cravings, according to Cassie Bjork. She said that since carbs turn to sugar in the body eating fewer carbs can actually reduce sugar cravings and helps with weight loss.

However, simply going on a low-carb diet does not guarantee you’ll lose weight. You need to make sure that you’re not taking in excess calories by overdoing it on burgers and cheese because that could ultimately lead to weight gain. You should start on a low-carb diet responsibly, which means not loading up on high protein foods such as cold cuts, steaks, and cheese, and not thinking carbs as the enemy.

Can you really lose weight on a low carb diet

You can start by just changing your snacks. Instead of biscuits, pastries, and juice, go for nuts and seeds, or low carb fruits such as berries. Know which foods are high in carbs and then build with your plate with protein, a fruit or non-starchy vegetable, healthy fat, and whole grain. Have half a cup of brown rice rather than a whole cup or a small sweet potato.

One mistake that people on a low-carb diet make is forgetting to add good fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oil into their meals. Healthy fats keep you full and will take the place of some of the carbs you used to be eating.

So, can you really lose weight on a low-carb diet?

Absolutely! A low-carb diet aids in weight loss. But it is important you understand that a low-carb diet is not a magic solution as it may be detrimental to your health if you take its principles to the extremes. While a low-carb diet helps with weight loss, you don’t want to go too low.

Can you really lose weight on a low carb diet

Make sure you still consume carbs from healthy sources like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains as carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients necessary for a healthy, balanced diet. 

12 thoughts on “Can You Really Lose Weight On A Low Carb Diet?”

  1. Hello Alice,

    Umm…CARBS….Yumm! This is so hard to do for me. I started limiting myself to no carbs after 2PM 2 months ago and I feel great. My job keeps me walking and on the go, so most of my meals have to evolve around carbs and liquids. I’m a skinny guy so there is always the misconception that I can eat whatever I want, when that’s not true. I still get sluggish. Even though I don’t need to lose weight I can still eat healthy.

    1. I can totally relate with you Jaywhon. I also cannot totally give up carbs because like you, my full time job also requires a lot of walking so I really need to load up before starting off with work. I do not recommend totally eliminating carbs from your diet, unless you really need to lose weight. Otherwise, you can enjoy carbs but you may want to go for the healthier ones.

  2. This is a great post and is close to my heart as I lost 60 pounds on a low carb diet 2 years ago and have kept it off. Thank you for mentioning the importance of adding the healthy fats. Eating lots of fats is the most important thing. LCHF is a great way for anyone who is in poor health due to being overweight get life back!

    1. Hi Wendy, thanks for confirming that a low carb diet does not only help one lose weight, it also helps to keep those pounds off. While carbs are the number one source of energy for the body, we need to understand that they’re also the biggest contributors to weight gain, which in turn can lead to obesity. And obesity is one of the major factors for poor health as it may lead to a lot of health problems such as diabetes and hypertension.

      But the question most people who want to lose weight ask about having a low carb diet for the purpose of dropping those excess pounds is, “What then can I eat in place of carbs?” The good news is that, other than the fact that we can opt for healthy carbs such as fruits and vegetables, a high protein or a high fat diet (healthy fats that is) are also great alternatives.

  3. Thank you for this wonderful article. When I was on my journey on losing 10 pounds in the past, the internet is a great place to find all the information you need, but sometimes that overabundance of information can be overwhelming, confusing and conflicting. I wish I knew your website in the past; it would’ve made my life easier. This article is straight to the point, very easy to understand and follow. Losing weight does not have to be hard if one has the right information in front of them. I will be sharing this article with my friends who are struggling to lose weight. Thanks again for sharing!

    1. You’re right! The internet has all the information people need in order to lose weight. However, you’re gonna have to go through a lot of articles, skim through each of them and have to try every single one of them to see which one is effective.

      But you do not have to go through that, even the smallest changes in your eating habits and lifestyle can help you achieve you goals of losing weight.

      Thanks for dropping by Hong.

  4. Thanks for the great info! I’ve been been wondering about this low-carb diet for years. I heard people talk about how a low-carb diet can help lose weight but I never really gave it that much thought.
    Now I have a better understanding about what it’s all about and I’d be happy to recommend trying this to friends and acquaintances who are having issues with their weight.

    1. Hi Angie, you’re welcome and thanks for dropping a word.

      For someone like myself who enjoys eating bread, pasta, rice and noodles, going on a low-carb diet could be the toughest challenge. However, I believe that the best motivation in order to beat this is the determination to stay fit and healthy. After all, health is wealth.

  5. I love carbs and they are so addictive, but you are right! A low carb diet really does work, it is just hard to get started. I know that once I start seeing results, it gets easier and easier to stick to it. Do you find that it is okay, to have a “carb day” once a week to help with the carb cravings? I have not done this yet, but seems I might have an easier time getting started again.

    1. I love carbs too and I can’t survive a day without them. “Carb day” once a week? It depends on what you mean by that. If you mean stuffing yourself with carbs for one whole day once a week and then zero carb for the remaining 6 days, I don’t think that is ideal. What I recommend is having a “once-a-day” meal of healthy carbs because our body needs carbohydrates too as they are the main source of energy.

      You’re right, getting started with a low-carb diet is the hard part especially when we are used to having them at least 3 times a day. It just takes a lot of motivation and discipline and like I said, the best way to start is by doing it gradually and replacing our carb snacks with fruits, seeds or nuts.

  6. I like to reduce my carbs in the evenings or rather I eliminate them. I don’t like to eliminate them completely because I like to build a little muscle because I have found it harder to lose weight with age. Do you have any meal ideas you can recommend for someone lowering carbs? Thanks!

    1. Hi Melissa,

      I don’t also recommend totally eliminating carbs from our diet because our body needs them in order to function well. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy and as you said they are also essential for building up some muscles. The important thing to consider when taking in carbs is going for the healthy ones such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. I believe that you can never go wrong with a meal that is rich in fruits and veggies.

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