Obesity and Low Carb Diets

Obesity is an ever increasing problem and being over-weight can cause many different health problems. This article gives free advice to help people in their fight to lose weight.
There are many different diets which try to help people lose excess fat, these can be very difficult to follow as the whole reason we are over-weight is because of our love for food. The diets themselves normally recommend us to eat healthy but uninspiring foods. Those diets have never really worked for me. I found it hard to stick to them. A month maybe, six months certainly not.

It has been over two years since my Mom and I created and designed our own diet and as a result I have lost (and kept off) over 50 pounds, Mom over 70 pounds. I still follow my diet today, love my food, and enjoy a wide variety of foods weekly.

The diet is “Low Carb, High Fat”, I am in ketosis (which is neither a scary medical condition nor unnatural), but I’m often asked: “Are low carb diets safe?”

Low carb diets – the most famous of which is the Atkins diet – help most people lose weight quickly. If done incorrectly people will lose both fat and muscle. I lost fat. My mother lost fat. The difference between low carb high fat and (say) a diet like Atkins, is allowing yourself to eat more fat and less protein.

Dr. Atkins has taken a lot of flack over the years but for weight loss on the scale, his diet works. Many people have discovered that when they lost 50-60 pounds it was substantially muscle mass and they were less toned at the end of the diet. Exercise – even just walking daily – can resolve most people’s loss of tone. Swimming is better for all over tone.

Unfortunately many people return to a high carb way of eating once they’ve lost the weight. This results in weight gain again because they did not learn how carbohydrates affect their body and failed to keep their insulin response (blood sugar) under control. Furthermore, if a dieter doesn’t increase their muscle mass, or tone up, they lose the benefits of muscle’s high metabolic rate.

In other words, when you put on weight again, you are putting on body fat instead of muscles if you do not exercise. You will gain more, be less healthy than before you went on an Atkins diet.

An Atkins diet requires you to cut down drastically on your consumption of carbohydrates. At one point over the years it was suggested that almost no carbohydrates were consumed for the first 2 weeks.

I recently read an article that cited Dr Lyn Steffen and Dr Jennifer Nettleton from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health – published in a Lancet report. The doctors were reported as saying, “Low carbohydrate diets for weight management are far from healthy, given their association with ketosis, constipation or diarrhea, halitosis, headache and general fatigue to name a few.”

The report may be valid but the quote is a little irresponsible. Ketosis is a natural state for our bodies and is simply our bodies ability to burn fat instead of sugar for energy. Constipation or diarrhea can be managed or corrected through many foods that are allowed on a low carb diet. And after a few weeks on a low carb diet neither headaches nor fatigue are a problem.

The doctors warned that a low carb diet increases protein load on the kidneys and alters the balance of acid in the body – which it does not. A balanced low carb diet – such as the low carb high fat diet that I’ve been following for two years – does not result in a higher protein load on the kidneys nor disruption in acid.

Furthermore, I’ve kept all my muscle tone and feel great.