It’s pretty much an indisputable fact that low-carb diets work – in fact there have been over 20 high-quality studies conducted to prove it.
Additionally, these diets seem to be very safe to follow, with no major side-effects. They’ve also been shown to have many health benefits such as lowering blood sugar levels, as well as blood pressure, and reducing dangerous fat build-up in and around the organs, plus many more.
So why do these diets work? Unfortunately, the reason isn’t completely clear just yet – but let’s have a look at some of the benefits to low-carb diets, and the potential reasons they’re so effective.
For me, one of the biggest advantages of a low-carb, high-fat diet (especially compared to other diets I’ve tried), is that it seems to magically curb the appetite. One of the main reasons that diets are so hard to stick to is that you get hungry, which makes you feel miserable, and eventually you get so fed up with restricting yourself that you give in.
A ketogenic-type diet stops you from feeling hungry, so you end up naturally eating less, and you don’t need superhuman willpower! I have also found that I hardly get any cravings when I’m doing this type of diet.
This leads me to my second point – because of the appetite suppression and the fact that you’re eating less, you don’t need to worry about counting calories. You simply eat when you’re hungry – sticking to things high in healthy fats and low in carbs and sugar. It couldn’t be easier.
Another reason to try this kind of diet is that it improves your health. When compared with a low-fat diet, a LCHF (low-carb high fat) diet has been shown to lead to more health benefits, with no dangerous or difficult side-effects (as I mentioned earlier).
Now for the possible reasons as to why it works…
Firstly, restricting carb intake lowers insulin levels. Insulin is the hormone which regulates blood sugar levels and energy storage. Insulin stimulates the production of fat, and inhibits the burning of fat. Low carb diets quickly work to lower insulin levels, meaning the body starts to burn fat for energy instead of burning glucose.
Secondly, low-carb diets are generally also higher in protein. Numerous studies show that consuming more protein can reduce the appetite, boost metabolism and help to increase muscle mass. Some experts believe that the effectiveness of these diets is due to the high protein content.
A third reason is something I already touched on – the fact that low-carb diets dramatically reduce your appetite, therefore lowering calorie intake. There is also some evidence to suggest that these diets have a positive effect on appetite regulating hormones such as leptin and ghrelin.