Potentially the most popular dietary approach amongst women everywhere is low carb. Low carb dieting is catching on like rapid fire as people are showing good results time after time.
Is this type of diet for you though? Should you really put yourself on a low carb diet?
Why Low Carb?
The theory behind low carb is that by preventing any carbohydrates from going into the system, you are therefore forcing your body to run off of dietary fat instead. Sound like a good option right?
Well, there is something you need to consider.
Most commonly, low carb diets will increase the fat content of the diet in order to make up for these missing carbohydrates. So while yes, you are definitely not consuming carbs for your body to use for fuel, thus forcing it to run off fat instead, you are also causing more fat to be ingested that it must burn off first before it gets to your fat cells.
Again though, as long as you are consuming fewer calories each day then you need to maintain your weight, you will in fact lose fat. THAT is the key; not whether the calories come from fat or carbohydrates.
Water Weight Loss
Next, you need to keep in mind that when you go on a low carb diet, much of the initial weight you first lose will be mostly water weight.
So, while again, yes, you are losing weight, if you were to revert back to a normal mixed diet, you would likely see a corresponding weight gain again.
Note that this does not mean all the weight you lose on low-carb is water, just that the initial rapid weight loss is. If you can get a grasp of this and understand this fact, then you are fine.
The other issue that needs to be addressed that is often associated with low carb diets is lack of energy.
Cut out all of your carbs and there is no doubt, you're going to be dragging.
Now, the good news is that if you can push through this, within a week or two, energy levels should return back to normal. BUT, and this is a big but, if you are going to persist in any high intensity exercise, you absolutely must consume some carbs at some point.
This can be done during a weekend 'carb-up' phase, where you consume a large quantity of carbs in order to 'restock' your muscles for the coming week, or where you only eat carbohydrates around the exercise period.
Doing it in this manner will supply the body with the fuel it needs for this intense exercise, so you can continue to train effectively.
If you are only going to be doing moderate exercise then you likely can get away with either forgoing the carb-ups or else reducing their frequency or intensity.
So, when deciding whether or not low-carb is a good option for you, be sure to keep these points in mind.
For some people, they feel great on the diet and adopt is as a life-long approach to eating. There are many positives such as hunger control, easier weight management, and for some, increased ability to eat the higher-fat foods they enjoy. But, this does come at a cost as there are some drawbacks as stated above.