Low carbs or low calories – Which is better for your health?
Low carbs or low calories
The aim of any diet is to reduce the number of calories that the body uses for energy so that the body will use its fat storage to provide energy. So, if this is the case, should you choose a low calorie diet over a low carb diet?
Very Low Calorie Diets (VLCD)
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Anyone considering a very low calorie diet should first check with their physician (this is generally good advice and should be apply for anyone thinking about starting a diet, especially if they have health concerns).
A VLCD plan allows for no more than 800 calories per day. This low calorie intake can cause side effects. Even if you try to provide some balance in the nutritional intake (eating fruits, vegetables, or nutritionally balanced formulas), this is just too low to provide the nutrients the body needs and the body will go into semi-starvation mode. This will cause you to lose weight but it also cause important tissue loss as well.( How To Lose Weight Fast )
When the calories are cut too low, protein and muscle tissue will be lost as the body will start to use some of these tissues to provide energy.
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Low Calorie Diets
Anyone, who once tried to lose weight with a low-calorie diet, knows that this diet is very effective, but at the beginning only, and, unfortunately, it is practically impossible to keep the results achieved. In many cases the weight returns fast after quitting the diet. ( Lose weight meal plan )
Why it happens?
Daily intake of a man is equal to about 2,500-2,800 calories. With the low-calorie diet we should decrease amount of consumed calories to lose weight. For example, if we decrease our intake to 1,900-2,000, we will create a deficiency of 600 calories. It is logical that our organism, which gets used to receive 2,500-2,800 calories, suffers from that deficiency of calories and will try to compensate it with its own stock, in particular with the body fat. So decrease of the amount of calories inevitably leads to weight loss.
Unfortunately at some moment (individually for each man) the process of further weight loss comes to its end in spite of strict following to the diet. Why it happens? After our organism has began to get only 1,900-2,200 a day, it adapts to that intake and uses it more effectively, as the result your weight becomes stable again. Then things go from bad to worse. We stoically stick to the diet, but our weight is going up. Terrible! We eat less but our weight grows.
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What is the reason? ( Home Remedy To Lose Weight Today )
It is quite simple. Limitation in our ration has triggered survival system of our organism. It gets used to decrease in energy supply and balances its consumption with the received energy. Even if we decrease intake for other 300 calories a day, our organism will adapt to it as well. Undernourishment of the organism raises its resistance to the process.
If you ever tried a low-calorie diet, you know perfectly well that any small deviation from it, such as the Thanksgiving Day, can inflict gaining of 4-7 lb in a single day, to lose which you have spent several weeks. If you miss one meal, your organism falls in panic. And you can be sure that next meal it will make up for the missed energy and it makes stock in any case.
The low-calorie diet has three consecutive stages: weight loss, stabilization of the weight and restoration of the weight. While every next attempt to lose weight with the low-calorie diet will be less effective than the previous one. You remember that your weight is recorded in your genes, don’t you?
Michele Montignac, a famous nutritionist, in his books pointed at the above mentioned shortcomings of the low-calorie diets. I am not going to dispute opinion of that prominent international executive for US pharmaceutical industry. The only remark is about his hereditary obesity: he followed his father and suffered from excess weight in his youth. It suggests that he developed his famous method for people suffering from obesity and for them only
As for me, I have no “bad” heredity and I have experience of my own with a low-calorie diet. It cannot be defined either success or failure. I did not jump to the diet like into the cold river, but decreased the amount of calories gradually. ( Detox Drink Before Bed )
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In the first three months I lost 26 lb. It exceeded my expectations, and I raised calories in my meals.
The process went slower, practically, the weight remained at the same level. There were days when I gained even 3 lb, but it was nothing, compared with lost 26. So, keeping a reasonable low-calorie diet (without hunger fainting) I kept my weight for almost 2 years. If I exceeded the amount of calories one day, the next one was a fasting day.
I should note that any low-calorie diet requires strong self-discipline. Literally, before you open your mouth you have to calculate how many calories you are going to put into it.
Further developments in my life prevented me of keeping the diet and my earlier weight, which I almost forgot about, returned in less than 6 weeks. Alas and alack!
In any case if you decide to follow this path of fight with excess of your weight, I wish you patience and willpower, patience in calculation of calories and willpower to keep the diet.
You should remember that the organism of every man is strictly individual. You should try and see results to make a conclusion on a diet. The most effective diet is a reasonable diet (here I agree with Mo.
Montignac) even if it goes about low-calorie diet. Do not look around, but listen to your organism only. If a diet helped one of your friends, it does not mean that it will be effective for you.
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Low Calorie Diets Tips
These diet plans are fairly simple and only allows for 1500 to 1800 calories per day.
What I don’t like about this is that it allows you to eat anything as long as you count your calories and ensure that you do not go over your calorie limit. I would much rather a focus on healthy foods that provides a balanced nutrition. I love cheesecake and I could see me eating 1500 to 1800 calories of cheesecake on a daily basis!
Side Effects of Low Calorie Diets
The body can manifest a number of side effects when going on a too low calorie diet. These are constipation, nausea, diarrhea, gout, gallstones, dry skin and hair loss. It is advised that children, adolescents and pregnant women not go on this diet.
In general, it is suggested that dietary supplements should be taken when on a low calorie diet. This helps to replenish the body. Also, in the early parts of the diet, you should plan on getting a little hungry. After a while, though, your body will adjust to the feelings of slight hunger.
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Low Carb Diets
Trying to decide between a low carb vs low fat diet? Which one is right for you?
The diet industry is like a pendulum, swinging back and forth. About 10 years ago, all we heard about is low fat, low fat, low fat. Fat makes you fat!
Now it seems we’re hearing a lot more about low carb, low carb, low carb. Carbs make you fat!
What? It can be completely confusing for you as a dieter. So which one really works?
Well, the good news is that both diets work – but it depends on YOU!
Yes, you are the deciding factor. Before we get to that though, let’s back up and define what I mean by a low carb diet vs a low fat diet.
There are basically 3 types of energy/fuel units that make up your diet – protein, fats and carbs (there are micronutrients and vitamins, minerals, etc, but we won’t get into that for this article).
So in a low carb diet, you’re decreasing the ratio of carbs and increasing the ratio of protein or fat – or both depending on the kind of low carb diet you’re following. ( Loss Weight In 2 Weeks )
Most low carb diets generally try to keep your daily carbs around 30 grams a day. The idea behind the diet is this: carbs require your body to release insulin. Insulin keeps your blood sugar under control. But it’s also a fat storage hormone, signalling your body to store fat.
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So when you eat too many carbs, your body goes into fat-storage mode and you store the extra carbs as fat due to the hormone insulin.
A lower carb diet also forces your body into burning fat for energy – instead of carbs (a process called ketosis). So if you’re burning fat for energy, the theory is that you’ll lose fat faster.
Now for the low fat diet. Using the ratio example above, a low fat diet reduces your ratio of fat calories and increases your amount of either carbs or protein – usually both.
The reasoning behind this diet is that fat contains 9 calories per gram whereas carbs contain about 4 calories per gram – so by decreasing your fat, you naturally decrease your calories and lose weight.
Another reasoning behind this is that our body’s don’t need to do much to process the fat we eat. So it easily gets placed in our fat stores. However protein and carbs do take energy to digest and process – so less of these calories get stored as fat.
Obviously, there’s a lot more details about these two diets we could cover, but that’s a general overview.
Now let’s talk about you. You are unique and your body works in it’s own way with unique needs.
So it will actually tell you which diet is best. How? With results and energy. For example, the first few days of any diet, you’ll probably be a bit tired. But if you’re still tired after a week – that’s not a good sign.
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Another way your body talks to you is by the weight loss results you’re getting. So for example, if you aren’t losing weight after a week on your diet (especially the first week!) and you’ve stuck to it faithfully, that’s a sign the diet isn’t right for you.
I’ll give you an example. I’ve tried both low carb and low fat diets.
For a while I was convinced that low carb was the way to go. And I did lose weight on a low carb plan.. But after a while I noticed that I felt awful on a low carb program. I had no energy and was really down. I felt apathetic and didn’t want to do anything!
But once I started adding carbs into my diet (and cutting the fat), I not only lost weight but I started feeling more energetic and happier. Now I didn’t go overboard with the carbs, but I definitely increased them and noticed a big difference.
So my body obviously needed more carbs than the 30 – 40 grams a day I was giving it.
Another thing I noticed is that when I ate more fat (from the low carb diet), I felt really tired. So that told me that my body wasn’t so good at digesting fats – whereas someone else might be fine with that level of fat in their diet and not feel tired.
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So the bottom line is that you have to find out what works for your body. I would suggest you try both types of diets for at least a week if not a month – and see what happens. Your body will give you feedback on what it likes and what it doesn’t like. And then you’ll have found the best weight loss plan for you!
Low carb diets have several advantages over other diets. Some of these are:
- Lose weight effectively with a balanced nutrition.
- Healthy cholesterol levels.
- Improved triglycerides levels.
- Lowers blood glucose levels in diabetics and prediabetics.
- Lowers insulin level.
- Improves mental health and well being.
It seems that a VLCD does have its place as a 1997 study showed that it is an effective way for overly obese people with Type 2 diabetes to lose a substantial amount of weight. Other than this, a very low calorie diet is not a diet I would feel very comfortable about.
The less stringent low calorie diet, eating whatever you feel like as long as you count your calories, is also not for me, though a lot of people don’t seem to mind this.
All things considered, I think it is a healthier proposition to go on a low carb diet than a low calorie diet.
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