Low Carb Diets and Your Metabolism


Metabolism and weight management go hand in hand, whether you are overweight, underweight or currently enjoy an ideal body weight.

In addition to directly influencing how much you weigh, your metabolism also has a say-so in how healthy your cardiovascular and respiratory processes are. The metabolic process in all living organisms is very complex, and in humans it basically has to do with how the body converts food into energy.

If your metabolism is healthy, the process at which you burn energy is naturally and correctly regulated. This means you don’t suffer the adverse effects of a dangerously fast or slow metabolism.

How Carbohydrates Affect Weight Gain

One of the many factors that affects your metabolism is one that you have a large degree of control over; that is, how many carbohydrates you consume.

Carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy for the human body. This is mostly due to the physiological requirements of our ancestors, which we have inherited. Their lifestyle demanded large energy requirements to enable their survival, including catching prey and avoiding being prey themselves.

Today, the situation has reversed. We require far less energy provision to live our lives, yet food, especially simple carbohydrate food, is abundant. The problem is, if you are continually consuming carbohydrates excess to energy requirements, this excess energy is stored as fat, in anticipation for a famine which will probably never come. If you never burn up those energy stores, you start packing on the pounds.

This process leads to a number of health conditions which are linked to overweight and obesity. Being overweight slows down your overall metabolic process, which further influences your odds of carrying too much bodyfat.

How Does a Low-Carb Diet Influence My Metabolism?

Simply put, when energy inputs exceed requirements, the body is in storage mode. Almost everyone is aware of the lethargic, sluggish feelings associated with excess simple carb intake. When this is regular, or ‘normal’, the body’s BMR is suppressed and slowed. At a cellular level, while the body is in an accumulation phase, it has little reason to exert itself.

For a number of reasons, lowering the amount of unhealthy carbohydrates you eat can positively boost your metabolism. Since your metabolic process is involved with promoting the healthy functioning of multiple bodily processes, a low-carb diet can help you not only reach and maintain a healthy body weight, but also delivers other significant mental and physical health rewards.

When you limit the number of carbohydrates in your diet, especially when you do so significantly, quick weight loss is often the result. This type of diet has been linked to lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and a reduced risk of developing chronic diseases linked to inflammation and the visceral fat that surrounds important organs when you are obese.

A low-carb diet has also been linked to preventing and treating type 2 diabetes.

Protein and Fat

In a low-carb diet, fuel has to come from somewhere. This means that carbohydrates are replaced as a fuel source by ingested protein and healthy fats, and by breaking down of existing bodyfat stores into useable energy.

Protein and complex carbohydrates are essential components in maintaining a healthy metabolism. In most low-carb diet plans, high-carb foods like grains and sugars are replaced with low-carb, high-protein alternatives such as fish, eggs, meat and protein-rich vegetables.

All those dietary items have been linked to a positively healthy and strong metabolism. This metabolic advantage from low-carb eating has been shown to be dramatically better than a low-fat diet for healthy weight maintenance.

Additionally, many of the foods eaten in a high-carb diet are “junk foods”. Foods with sugar, pizzas and french fries, pastries and other baked goods, and other highly processed foods have a directly negative effect on your metabolism.

These foods are avoided in low-carb diets, and replaced with healthier, metabolism-friendly alternatives.

Since many highly processed foods have low levels of protein and nutritional value and high levels of unhealthy, simple carbohydrates, replacing them with healthy protein and essential fats provides additional benefits for your overall health.

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