The Dangers of Low Carb Diets

May 18, 2010

Low carb diets are really big right now in the dieting world. Although they can make you lose weight very quickly they have their drawbacks and even health hazards. Some of the most popular low carb diets on the market today are the Atkins Diet, The South Beach Diet and the Sonoma Diet.

We will look into the potential problems with these diets below as they are things you need to consider before you decide to jump onto the low carb bandwagon.

1. Low carb diets will deplete the body of it’s glycogen stores (a form of body fuel).

When these glycogen stores are depleted they cause you to dehydrate. This will give you the impression that you are losing body fat, but you are really losing is the bodies essential water that will need to be replaced eventually. This is what makes the scales drop so quickly at the beginning with these types of diets.

When your glycogen levels are really low, there is less fuel available for your body to perform it’s functions, which can leave you feeling fatigued, tired and depressed for the duration of the diet. When you feel less energetic you are less likely to want to exercise or be active which limits the amount of calories you burn.

The problem with lowered glycogen levels also can lead to a loss of muscle tissue. Your muscles need glycogen for food and movement. You will naturally want to use your muscles less because you will feel that you just don’t have the energy to do anything.

This lack of muscle use will slowly cause the muscles to break down and lose their tone. Your body will also actually start to use protein from muscle tissue as fuel when there is little glucose available. This process is known as “Catabolism” and it is when the body breaks down protein in the body rather than creating it.

2. The majority of people will re-gain all of the lost weight on low carb diets.

A high percentage of people will re-gain all their weight lost regardless of the type of diet they chose, but that percentage is even higher for people on low carb diets.

This is due to mainly three things. You have lost lean muscle tissue that causes a slower metabolism overall. Muscles burn calories for fuel and so the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn during the day. If you go back to how you ate before you started dieting, you will actually put on weight much faster than you did before.

Next, as you start to consume carbs again, your body will slowly start to re-gain it’s lost fluids. Although it’s not fat tissue, it can bring the scales back to where they started before the diet leaving you frustrated.

Lastly, these types of diets are really difficult to maintain for the long-term. It would take an extreme amount of will-power to allow yourself to feel so miserable for several weeks let alone several months.

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