In this post I will explain exactly why low fat and low carb diets don’t work. I will also briefly mention what kind of diet does work.
First I will tackle the low fat diet.
We are eating less fat than ever before, and yet the number of overweight people keeps increasing. Why is that? We’ve been told for so long that low fat diets are good for us. After all we have to stop eating fat to lose fat, right?
Wrong! Studies have shown that we have to turn it around. We actually have to eat fat to lose fat!
Here are the reasons why:
- Low fat diet makes you feel hungrier. -Fat makes you feel full and satisfied. This will make you eat less, and also lose weight.
- Low fat diets decrease your blood sugar stability. If your blood sugar keeps rising and falling the production of insulin in your body will spike which cases an increase in the rate of fat storage. This also decreases how fast you burn fat. Basically eating fat will help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Not eating enough fat will eventually make you gain weight.
- Low fat diet decreases your bodies levels of testosterone. No matter if you’re a man or woman, testosterone helps you burn fat and build muscle.
- Low fat diets increase level of fat storage in your body. Fat is in food for a reason. Our bodies need it for energy and health. When it doesn’t get enough fat through what you eat, it tries to protect you by slowing down your metabolism to save energy. A slow metabolism will make you gain weight.
How much fat should you eat?
I’ve heard that fat should make up about 15-20 % of your total calorie intake. What I like to do is to use common sense. Everything can be harmful if we eat too much of it. So don’t be afraid of fats, but use it in moderation. Also, if you can, try to sense what your body needs. It has a way of letting us know if we just learn to listen.
Ok. So we’ve talked about that it’s important to include fat in your diet. But this doesn’t mean to eat a bunch of chips every day. Here is a list of some healthy fats that you can enjoy.
- coconut oil
- extra virgin olive oil
Ok. I said low fat and low carb diets don’t work, so what is wrong with a low carbohydrate diet. The thing is that this diet will work if you’re able to stick with it. And a lot of people aren’t. Studies also showed that those people who stuck with eating few carbs felt more moody.
Here are the lasts points to why low fat and low carb diets don’t work.
- A lot of people find a low carb diet socially restriction. When going out with family and friends there’s often food involved, and a lot of that food will be carbohydrates which you can’t eat.
- Carbohydrates can boost the level of serotonin in your brain. This hormone makes you feel good.
- It’s just hard to give up all the food you love and a lot of these will be carbohydrates.
- Not eating carbohydrates can affect the way your brain functions. The brain needs carbohydrates for energy.
The good news is that you can eat carbohydrates and still lose weight. The most important thing is to stay away from the simpler, processed foods such as white bread and pasta. Here are some good carbohydrates:
Ok. So low fat and low carb diets don’t work. What diet does work?
I feel that the best diet is a balanced diet of protein, vegetables, fruit, healthy fats and some grains. Basically eat healthy. And eat whole foods that come from the ground of an animal like nature intended. And what’s also very important is exercise and eating smaller meals more often than just a few big meals a day.
It’s a combination of all this that makes up a good diet. And to really make it work it needs to be realistic. A diet that will help you lose weight, and help you keep it off.
But If I had to choose between low fat and low carb diets, I’d go for the low carb one. That one will work. But like I mentioned it is hard to stay with it, and usually people gain the weight back. Low fat diets might help you lose some weight, but your body will fight hard to keep it on. It wants to protect you because fat is something that the body needs. The best thing to do in my opinion is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. And exercise.