Why No One Must Never Diet Again; Especially Low Carb Diets!
First, the word diet gives it away. A diet is always restrictive of some foods, and you cannot maintain “a diet” permanently; a diet is a temporary state. The authors of these low carb diet plans recommend the restriction of all carbs including fruits in the initial phases of the diet. Reason being, when you cut out all forms of carbohydrates, then the sugar stores in your muscles and liver will get depleted.
Your body will call on the first source of fuel, which is the sugar that has been stored in your muscles and your liver called Glycogen. Once carb depletion occurs after 2 weeks of cutting out carbohydrates from your meals, your body will start calling on the fat stores and start converting the fat into a substitute energy form called ketones. Then you are in a state called ketosis. Ketones can be detected in the urine by performing a simple test that you buy over-the-counter called Ketostix.
As a pharmacist, several times a week, I have customers ask me for urine ketone strips, and I immediately know what they need them for. I realize that some diabetics may need to test periodically for the presence of ketones in their urine for purposes other than dieting, but low carb dieters want to find out if ketones are present in their urine, which signals that their carbohydrates stores are already depleted. I proceed to tell them the consequences of the ketosis state.
First, ketones are not efficient sources of energy and cannot provide your working muscles and brain with efficient fuel. Whenever you are in the state of fuel deprivation, your body will start breaking down your own muscles in order to be converted to sugar and consequently provide you with energy (you don’t have to remember this; but this state is referred to pharmacologically as gluconeogenesis).
The net result of a ketosis type diet is that you lose a good chunk of precious muscle mass. Also, whenever you lose your sugar stores (glycogen), you also start losing water through urination to a total 4 pounds of precious water loss; and of course you lose some fat. Since muscle weighs more than fat, when it is lost for dieting purposes in the manner described here, it tips the weight scale further south.
People on a diet feel good and get excited when they see their weight drop quickly initially but soon this quick weight loss stops. Loss of muscle mass causes the metabolic rate to drop and consequently fat weight regain becomes very likely.
Not only that, but your brain’s main fuel is glucose or sugar. Once your body’s glucose is depleted, your mental acuteness and memory suffers. Also, side effects of this diet, such as headaches, hair loss, and constipation, start affecting your quality of life. You also feel tired, due to loss of sodium and potassium because of dehydration, and you are less likely to remain active.
You also have increased your chances of developing kidney stones and light headaches (which are due to reduced blood pressure). So go through that whole ordeal of deprivation and compromised quality of life and these unpleasant side effects for weeks to do what? To activate your fat stores and lose weight?
Guess what activates your body’s fat stores in just 4 to 5 minutes? Guess what helps you burn your fat as fuel and helps you lose weight and keep it off? Regular physical activity!
Read more about the magic of the benefits of activity to your health and to improving your quality of life and ability to ward off diseases and disease complications in my other articles and posts.
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