Beginners Guide to the Low Carb DietMade famous by a certain Doctor called Atkins and his best selling books. Here is the lowdown on the low carb diet.
A brief history lesson...
A low carb diet was first documented as being used for weight loss in 1862. A Doctor (not Atkins) used it to treat a patient for an illness caused by obesity. There have been many reincarnations of it since but none have caught on like Dr Atkins.
Despite many of Dr Atkins peers at the time who disagreed if a low carb diet would work he went ahead and found that it did. He first published these findings in 1972. Twenty three years and 10 million selling diet books later, the techniques are still being used today.
How you do the low carb diet
Simply eat low carb foods instead of high ones. Low carb foods include red meat, poultry, salads, fish and cheese. High are breads, pasta, rice and cereals. See individual labels on foods and add the daily total.
How the the low carb diet works is not fully known and has resulted in two main theories. First is that low carb foods tend to be low in calories and it is the lower calorie intake that causes the weight loss. Second is that the level of insulin in the blood dictates how much fat is stored. Eating less carbs is said to lower the amount of insulin in the blood so the body is less inclined to store fat.
Side effects of the low carb diet
The main function of carbohydrate in the body is to
provide energy. When the body is short on supply it will find an alternative source.
This will be from the extra fat and protein you eat to replace the carbs or if there
is a calorie deficit, your body will use it's fat stores. Many people report headaches and other
symptoms in the early stages and this adjustment could be the reason.
Summary of the low carb diet
The low carb
diet will make you lose weight and it's not due
to fluid loss (your body adjusts by making you feel thirsty). However the problem is the
body simply needs carbohydrate. Evolution still expects us to
be physically active and carbs are our main source of energy.
Dr Atkins diet books are among the top 50 best selling books in the world, ever!
Carbs per day
The FDA recommend you eat 330 grams of carbs per day.
Despite helping millions lose weight, some have not been so kind to Dr Atkins about his weight.