Do low carb diets work

Low carb Diets

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Low carb diets have become highly popular with many claiming to have lost weight successfully by using these diets.

The big question, “Do low carb diets work or is the weight loss just temporary?”

Your body needs a certain amount of calories a day in order to function properly.  Calories are derived from three main sources – carbohydrates, protein and fats.

Low carb diets, in theory, reduce the amount of calories that you obtain from carbohydrates so that you consume less calories per day. While one concept of weight loss is to reduce calorie intake to force your body to draw on it’s fat reserves this is not necessary the correct approach.

When there is a drop in calorie intake, your body not only starts to draw from fat reserves but also reduces your metabolic rate. This means that less fat or calories is converted to energy in order to preserve your energy resources.

While you may lose weight initially as a result of the drop in calorie intake, the slowing down of your metabolism will soon result in you reaching a weight loss plateau. As soon as you start to eat normally again and increase your calorie intake your metabolic rate is still slow and so the extra calories are stored as fat.

You may find that you gain more weight than you lost.


As mentioned above, calories come from carbohydrates, protien and fats. However calories are not always equal.  Calories obtained from carbohydrates burn quickly as energy whereas calories from fats tend to be more easily stored as fat on the body.

In a research conducted by Dr Olaf Michelson in 1975, it was found that young men on a diet that included a whopping 12 slices of bread a day were still losing lots of weight. Over a period of 8 weeks the men on  high fibre bread lost an average of 9 Kg each while those on normal bread diet still lost just over 6 Kg each.

Further research at the university of Stanford showed that up to 25% of calories in carbohydrates “dissapeared ” before the food entered the intestines in comparison with a mere 3% of fat based calories dissapearing. This means that out of 1000 calories consumed from cabohydrates, only 750 end up being absorbed by the body while in the case of 1000 calories of fat based calories at least 970 get absorbed.

Carbohydrate calories tend to get converted to energy quickly while fat based calories seem to find their way to body fat far easier.

In conclusion, a diet high in carbohydrates may help you to to lose weight and keep the weight off far better than a low carb diet. Click here to learn more about a balanced diet plan.