I wonder what this year’s new crop of ridiculous, and dangerous, fad diets will bring. Perhaps it’s the Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Diet? Or the Cotton Candy Diet?
If you’ve already run across one of these crazy fads this year please share it in the comments below to amuse (and warn) all of us.
The truth is fad diets never work.
Sure, you can drop some weight. But once you go back to your old eating habits all the weight will come rushing back, often with a few extra pounds to boot.
To lose weight and shed unhealthy fat—and keep it off—you’re going to need to make a lifestyle change. One that is in sync with how we as human beings naturally evolved.
I know, that may sound a bit scary, but don’t worry, it’s going to be so much easier than you imagine. I’ll have all the basic details you need to get started in just a few moments.
But first let’s take a quick look at what’s behind this back-to-basics revolution in eating.
The basics behind low-carb eating
The low-carb diet, and its cousin the very low-carb or ketogenic diet, are fantastic strategies when it comes to losing weight, trimming belly-fat and, most importantly, getting healthy.
The low-carb diet is usually defined as eating 100 grams of carbohydrates a day or less. When your carb count drops to 50 grams or below it’s called a ketogenic diet.
The ketogenic diet gets its name from the ketone by-products that are produced when your body switches over to primarily burning fat for fuel.
Now you’ve probably heard of low carb dieting before, but you might be wondering what it actually means in the real world. At their most basic level the low-carb and ketogenic diets mean eating a lot less starchy carbohydrates and eating more tasty lean proteins, healthy fats, nutrient-dense veggies and whole fruits.
It’s really that simple. (See, I told you I was going to be easier that you imagined.)
Scientific research proves low carb works
Unlike those ridiculous fad diets we talked about earlier, a low carb diet is GOOD for your health. It can dramatically improve your blood sugar control and the function of your blood-sugar hormone insulin.1
And regardless of whether or not you’re diabetic, blood sugar control is important.
You see, every time you eat it is insulin’s job to head out and herd the sugars from your bloodstream into your cells where it can get used for energy.
But the more overweight or out of shape you are the more insulin your body pumps out in order to get the job done. With more insulin circulating in your blood stream your body’s ability to burn off stored fat gets blocked. This condition, known as “insulin sensitivity” is an early warning sign for type II diabetes.
Lose weight without counting calories
Carbohydrates directly impact how much insulin your body is pumping out. So when you reduce your carbs—and eat more healthy proteins and fats in their place—you will improve your body’s insulin sensitivity.
In other words, your body automatically becomes more efficient at using the fuel in the foods you eat for energy instead of storing it as fat.
In a meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Nutrition 1,400 folks who had adopted a low-carb diet2…
- Lost a significant amount of weight
- Lowered their triglycerides (so-called “bad” cholesterol)
- Raised their good HDL levels
In another impressive study obese low-carb dieters who had NO calorie restrictions lost more weight than a group on a low-calorie low-fat diet or a Mediterranean diet, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine.3
You see, the beauty of the low-carb diet—and why I told you it wouldn’t be difficult to adopt—is that you can easily lose weight, and keep it off, without ever having to count calories!
Say goodbye to hunger pains as you slim down
When you go low-carb you don’t have to worry about feeling hungry all the time like you do on so many other diets. The low-carb diet is naturally high in hunger-satisfying proteins. So you feel full and satisfied longer.
Plus when you eat low carb your body gets better at utilizing leptin, the hormone that signals your brain that you’re satisfied and no longer hungry.4,5
Low-carb eating naturally causes your body to begin burning fat as its primary fuel source.6
In addition, your body has to work harder to produce glucose when you eat low carb. This means you end up burning more energy.7 The end result is a slimmer and healthier you.
But the low-carb diet benefits don’t end with weight loss.
Research shows low-carb eating also improves8,9,10…
- blood pressure
- heart health
- cognitive function
With a list like that it’s easy to see why making the switch to low-carb is one of the very best things you can do for your health.
Low carb eating leads to dramatic improvements in both your weight and your health. And it all stems from simply eating more in-tune with how your body has naturally evolved.
Don’t let old diet myths keep YOU unhealthy
I’m sure it’s beginning to become clear that low-carb eating is one of the best things you can do for your health, especially if you’re overweight or out of shape.
But unfortunately there are still some old and outdated diet and nutrition myths floating around out there that keep many from making the one move that could turn their life around.
One of the most common mistakes people make is to avoid saturated fats. For years we’ve been told that they will hurt our heart health and cause us to gain weight. But nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, research continues to pour out of the scientific community confirming that your dietary intake of saturated fat doesn’t impact your blood levels. Studies show that instead it’s carbohydrates that are the REAL culprits.
If you’re overweight or out of shape it’s carbs that increase blood levels of saturated fats alongside a key marker associated with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type-2 diabetes.11
In other words, cutting the carbs will help you get your weight and health back on track.
Paleo is the perfect fit for low carb diets
If you’re looking to try on the low-carb lifestyle you might want to check out the Paleo Diet.
When you follow the Paleo Diet you eliminate grains which are one of the biggest sources of carbohydrates in our diet.
In addition Paleo is high in lean proteins, healthy fats, and nutrient-dense veggies making it a perfect fit for low-carb or very-low carb eating.
If you’re new to the Paleo Diet, or have a lot of weight to lose, start slowly by adopting a low-carb diet—100 grams or less—every other day of the week (so, for example, Monday, Wednesday, Friday).
When you’re ready, increase to five or six days per week (for example, Monday to Friday, or Monday to Saturday).
Be sure to include one or two “cheat” meals per week, where you can loosen the rules and not feel too restricted. Remember this is a lifestyle change, not a short term diet.
Nutr Res.2013 Nov;33(11):905-12
Br J Nutr. 2013 Oct;110(7):1178-87
Physiol. Behav. 2008;94:300–307
Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 2013;67:759–764
Annu. Rev. Nutr. 2006;26:1–22
Clin. Nutr. 2012;31:246–249
Med Food.2011 Jul-Aug;14(7-8):681-7
NEJM.Sept 2013 Vol 369
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2001;21:968-970
Plus ONE 2014, Nov 21:1-16
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