Pros and Cons of Low Carb Diets

Dieting has become one of the main topics discussed among Americans. Low carb versions of your favorite foods stock the grocery shelves. You have heard plenty of news on the Atkins diet and the similar diet trends that have garnered a large following in the name of fighting obesity. But before you jump on the low carb diet bandwagon, weigh the pros and cons of low carb diets.

There’s so much hype surrounding the low carb movement that if you (like most of us) want to lose weight, chances are you’ve been tempted to try Atkins or some similar low carb diet. But is low carb, high fat eating the healthiest option? Some controversy exists as to this matter. The pros and cons of low carb diets must be weighed by each individual before making a decision, which is why we’re going to cover the pros and cons of low carb diets for you.

The bottom line of the low carb diet: the fewer carbohydrates you consume the better. Carbohydrates are found in plates of spaghetti, breads, crackers, and even fruits and vegetables. The idea that fruit contributes to weight gain may seem absurd, but when it comes to low carb diets the sugars in fruits are not your friend.

In fact, the low carbohydrate diet is designed to get rid of all of the sugar in your body for energy. Once the sugar is expended your body will be forced to burn fats for your energy source. This method of losing weight is what leads to the uncertainty surrounding low carb diets. If weight loss is your primary goal, you will achieve it quickly with a low carbohydrate diet. However, the pros and cons of low carb diets may be more than you want to chew.

It is likely that you will lose weight soon as you start the diet. This is a result of the body expelling the sugars stored for energy through urine. As your body rids itself of the sugars it is also getting rid of a lot of water. The initial pounds you lose will be pounds of water weight. You may also suffer headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and crankiness as a result of the loss of sugars. The lost of water weight will also make it difficult for your body to gain or retain muscle mass. However, that is only one problem because once you pass this initial phase of low carb dieting you enter the long, difficult lifestyle. You will then be allowed to eat a few carbohydrates a day. Usually the limit is about 60 grams (the equivalent of one bagel) a day. This makes comfort food an impossibility and protein rich foods more likely to land on your dinner table. These protein dense foods pose another problem, since steak and eggs are heavy on your heart. If you decide that the low carb diet is too difficult a life style after you lost the initial weight, it’s almost a guarantee that you will regain that weight as soon as you lost it, usually plus some additional pounds. Once you start to eat carbohydrate rich food again your body will start retaining the water that you first expelled.

Overall, the pros and cons of low carb diets are many. These diets undoubtedly succeed in their purpose: to help people lose weight. And yet the lifestyle is so difficult for some to lead that they end up gaining the weight back because they were unable to maintain the diet. Whether the low carb diet is right for you depends on many factors including your eating habits, your willpower, whether your cholesterol is high, and how overweight you are. Consult with a doctor before beginning any new diet plan.