You see a lot of push anymore towards the low carb as a long term diet. Ever wondered just how good it is for you in the long term?
Well, low carb diets work by depleting healthy gylcogen stores from your muscles and liver.
Since glucose binds to water, there is usually a drop on the scale due to lost water which can also = dehydration.
Glycogenesis (formation of glycogen) occurs in the liver and muscles when adequate quantities of carbohydrates are consumed – very little of this happens on a low carb diet. Glycogenolysis (breakdown of glycogen) occurs when glycogen is broken down to form glucose for use as fuel. Glucose can be made in the body from ALL carbohydrate sources ; sugars, vegetables, fruits, grain, grain, dairy, nuts.
Depletion of Glycogen stores causes you to fatigue easily
As the body must turn to breaking down muscle protein and it very inefficiently turns that to glucose to complete the glycogenis process so that the body may have fuel.
Depletion of glycogen leads to muscle loss.
Ya, read that line again .
Which loss of muscle mass equals a lowered metabolic rate, resulting in a slower metabolism. Eating excess protein does not prevent this. As the body can not store protein (the amino acid pool is only so big). When insulin levels are chronically too low as they may be in very low carb diets, catabolism (breakdown) of muscle protein increases, and protein synthesis stops.
Another fun thing to note is that your muscles and skin may look saggy and not firm and full. Again, glucose binds to water. Giving your muscles and skin a nice “toned” look. You can drink a ton of water tying to fill out and may possibly even be excessively thirsty, but water will never be able to achieve the ‘tone’ look by hydrating as it has not enough glucose to bind to .
The initial weight generally lost on a low carb diet is usually water weight and as such there is no other recourse then that that it will be gained back at some point. Along with possibly additional weight as low carb diets are generally lacking in fiber, nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, micro and macronutrients. So the body is essentially starving for micronutrients.
Low carb puts the body in state of ketosis a type of metabolic acidosis
You may have heard the phrase, “fat burns in the flame of carbohydrate”. Excess acetyl CoA cannot enter the Krebs Cycle due to insufficient OAA. In other words, for fat to burn efficiently and without production of excess toxic ketones, sufficient carbohydrate must be available. Ketosis can lead to many health problems and can be very serious at it’s extreme.
Now, if you want to try the low carb and see how tired, irritable you feel, and then watch the weight pile back on; go for it. But it’s certainly not something I would recommend long term.
Now, if you’d like help learning how to eat food you love while keeping the weight off and fueling your body with complete macro and micronutrients, hit me up. I’d be happy to help!