Firstly a huge “well done” to everyone I’ve had the pleasure of training this week! We've had some really pleasing results and progression. Every one of you are getting visibly stronger & recovering much quicker...it’s very rewarding to witness.
A few of you have been experimenting with your eating plans. One idea we’ve discussed in the gym this week is “Low Carb”. Now I don't advise any client to go on a particular diet other than the healthy eating guidelines I supply you with. But for education purposes I’m happy to shed some light on the “Low Carb” diet.
Studies have shown that low carb & low- glycemic index diets work because they don’t cause the surge and crash in blood sugar & they don’t trigger the starvation response. The lower the carbohydrates, the better the metabolic effects.
1) What is Low Carbing?
Low carb means you eat low to very low measures of carbohydrate (funny that!) This leads to a reduction in the body's insulin production, resulting in fat stores being used as its main energy source. When this happens a person produces 'ketone bodies' to fuel parts of the body that cannot use fat as an energy source - the brain, and red blood cells. When this happens a person is said to be in a state of ketosis.
2) So what do I eat?
People experiment with different amounts of carbs to get the desired weight loss. You can take it extreme and cut out most carbs or you can taper down to somewhere around 150g daily. You then increase your protein and fat intake. So you cut out things like pasta, bread, rice and alcohol, yet you eat lots of meat, cheese and butter.
3) Does it really work?
Most people who go on low carb diets do lose weight. However, you must have the correct protein and fat intake along with your minimal carbs to avoid losing muscle. We all know muscle tissue is metabolically active, and burns calories even when you are at rest. A decrease in the amount of muscle tissue will lead to a decrease in the number of calories you need each day to maintain your weight, making it much harder to keep your weight under control when you stop following the low carb diet.
4) How would I feel if I tried low carb?
Everyone reacts differently. If you taper down your carbs slowly, over time the effects can be minimal. Nausea, dizziness, grumpiness, hunger and fatigue are all common within the first week of low carbing. Once your body adapts then these symptoms ease and eventually go. You have to be very disciplined to get through this stage!
5) Why would I want to do it?
Remember we don’t get too bogged down with total weight loss. Changing your body composition is what we focus on. More lean muscle mass and less fat mass. This is the ideal result. There is no doubt that a lower-carb approach works. It’s a matter of being in fat-burning mode, and out of fat-storage mode.
So remember guys...I don’t recommend you low carb. But I have experienced what it’s like and what happens to your body so I’m happy to discuss it with you in the gym and give you the support you need.