People constantly use the term low carb diet without understanding what it means. The term is actually quite subjective. Keto, Atkins, Paleo, and maybe some other less popular diet plans fall under low carb diets. Then there are also the simple low carb diet plans which are what most people often refer to when they say that they’re dieting.
Simply cutting back on carbs automatically puts you on a low carb diet. But for a diet to be effective there has to be more to it than that. This also explains why there’s variability in results between people who cut back on carbs. Not having a strict regimen and a plan to follow leads to poor weight loss.
Our bodies rely heavily on glucose for energy. When very little glucose is available, our bodies can switch into ketosis. Ketosis is the process of using ketones in the blood to satisfy the body’s energy needs. This is the premise in a Ketogenic diet. No glucose means relying on ketosis and its fat-burning effect.
A person on a low carb diet won’t necessarily enter ketosis because despite not eating plenty of carbs, they’ll still be eating enough to keep their metabolism reliant on glucose. This induces a state of limbo which isn’t good for the body. While on a low carb diet, a person may possibly get hypoglycemic and that may lead to plenty of unpleasant symptoms and effects.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia include low energy, hormonal changes, decreased libido, mood changes, thyroid issues, and fatigue. These symptoms are also encountered when a person first starts on a Ketogenic diet until the body switches into ketosis. People who want to follow a Keto diet should expect these symptoms for a couple of days, and understand that they’re expected and part of the process.
Several tools can be used in order to tell whether or not you’ve entered ketosis. Blood and breath ketone monitors are the best and most accurate tools to use.
The keto diet is highly better than a simple low carb diet. It’s associated with decreased inflammation, mental clarity, abundant energy, reduced cravings, and better fat burning. Weight loss is overall much faster and has greater results with Keto. The Ketogenic diet is more effective than any simple low carb diet as well as other low carb regimens like Atkins and Paleo.
If you decide to go for the keto diet, then keep in mind that the largest portion of your diet should consist of fat. A common mistake is to make up for the lack of carbohydrates by eating too much protein which is absorbed in the form of amino acids. In a state of hypoglycemia, your liver can take these amino acids and convert them to glucose which will keep your metabolism fixated on using glucose rather than ketones.
Low carb diet is a term that encompasses multiple diets. When used colloquially, however, it often means that a person is just instinctively eliminating carbohydrates from what they eat. A simple low carb diet can be harmful rather than beneficial so, for better health and weight loss, consider other options like the keto diet.