Bodybuilders understand the concept of getting lean and stripping the body off all the fat. How do they do this year after year regardless of their age? The key is to follow a low carbohydrate diet. A low carbohydrate diet gives your many hormonal advantages and the body’s metabolism goes up when you are on a low carbohydrate diet.
Lets look at some of the advantages that a low carbohydrate high protein diet gives us over other regular diets:
Higher thermic effect
As discussed in earlier chapter, the thermic effect of proteins is magical. It burns out 30% of the total calories contained in proteins, which reduces your total calorie consumption. As a result, you can eat more quantity without getting fat. These calories would otherwise transform into a few grams of fat everyday.
When carbohydrates are reduced, the ratio of protein has to increase and consequently the thermic effect of the entire diet increases. This helps in the reduction of overall fat in the body.
The insulin advantage
Whenever your body produces insulin the body subsequently produces fat storing enzymes. As a result there is a reduction in enzymes that breakdown fat.
Fats cause almost no insulin release and protein causes only a small insulin release, whereas carbohydrates produce an optimal release of insulin. Therefore, by increase the proteins and reducing the carbohydrates in your diet you gain an overall fat burning advantage.
The glycogen advantage
Reducing the consumption of carbohydrates causes less amount of glycogen to be stored in your body. Therefore your body has to process and burn down fat to release energy.
Reduced water retention
Carbohydrate molecules have a tendency to hold onto water molecules. This in turn makes you appear more puffy. However… a diet high in protein gives your body a muscular and ripped definition.
Disadvantages of low carb diets
Even though the low carbohydrate diets may seem appealing after knowing the advantages, extremely low carbohydrate diets also have their own set of disadvantages.
Difficult to maintain
A very low carbohydrate diet thrives on high protein, meat and fat with limited amounts of carbs from green vegetables and natural starches. As a result, such a diet is very hard to stay on for long and many people give up such a diet very soon.
The lower you drop your carbohydrates, the more your body rebounds to gain weight when carbohydrates are consumed. This is one of the major reasons why people who go on a low carb diet to lose weight regain almost all of their lost weight very soon and even add extra pounds.
Loss of balance in diet
Once the diet becomes very low on carbohydrates, the balance in the diet is lost and your body gets deprived of many essential nutrients.
Increased risk of chronic disease
Switching to high fat intake to make up for low carbs can be fatal if you have a family history of heart disease or other chronic health issues.
Low energy levels
As discussed here, carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for high intensity workouts. Without carbs you will suffer from low energy throughout the day and you will feel tired, grumpy and your productivity will also suffer consequently.
Breakdown of proteins
When your body is deprived of glycogen which acts as the immediate fuel source, your body can breakdown proteins for energy causing a reduction in muscle mass, converting muscle tissue into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis.