If you are stuck on the fence about whether to switch to a low carb diet or jump back into the sea of grains, this article is for you.
We will go over topics such as:
- What a low carb diet is
- The Myth about low carb diets
- Physical benefits
- Mental benefits
- How to beat the transitional struggles
But, before I can get into really dispelling any myths about low carb diets, it’s important you know the truth about what you might’ve learned as a child, and probably an adult.
History of Diet Guidelines
In 1991 the USDA published what we know today as the food guide pyramid (1). Sadly, the high-carb laden path it “guided” us down was one that studies suggest could lead toward metabolic disorders, inflammation, and non-existent abs. (2, 3, 4)
We were told by the USDA that the main food group needed in order to live a healthy lifestyle was grains.
Fun fact: the first food guide pyramid suggested to the USDA by nutrition experts featured vegetables and fruits as the biggest group, not breads. However, this research-based version was kneaded into non-existence by folks in the grain industry, which is heavily subsidized by the USDA. You know, folks like W.K. Kellog.
Sorry Tony the Tiger, Frosted Flakes aren’t gr-r-reat after all.
Thanks to the Age of Information, we’re no longer reliant on the USDA’s biased nutrition “advice”, and anyone remotely interested in health and fitness can learn the path to a fit body via Google (isn’t that brought you here?).
What is a Low Carb Diet?
A low carb diet is a diet based around restricting your carbohydrates. The term itself is an umbrella for several other types of low carb diets, many of which I go into greater detail in this article.
Don’t believe the naysayers, a Low Carb Diet is healthy.
Some “experts” (i.e. nutritionists, and dietitians) will tell you a diet based around restricting carbohydrates is just a fad, that they’re unfounded, simplified, bad for the brain, and all such other bucking bullshit.
But you shouldn’t listen to them, and here’s why: the average Nutritionist prescribes poor diet advice based on what they learned in college; misinformation that had little to no scientific support decades ago when it became the conventional advice, and that hasn’t changed much since.
We learn more about nutrition and the role food plays in our health every day, and as we do a lot of interesting studies come about showing how low carb diets can not only help build a fit body, but also, a better overall life.
9 Benefits of Low Carb Diet
1. Low Carb Diets Reduce Appetite
Feeling constantly hungry sucks, there’s no way around it. Luckily, studies have shown that those doing low carb diets felt less negative affect and hunger as opposed to those adhering to a
2. Low Carb Diets lead to more weight loss at first
This is due to the natural water weight you’ll lose from restricting carbohydrates, as glycogen is bound with lots of water, and once you break down the glycogen, the water follows. While after 12 months, studies show that weight loss can be comparable, the weight loss in the first six months on a low-carb diet is significantly greater. (6)
3. More Fat Loss in Abs Area
There are two main types of fat, subcutaneous and visceral. Excess visceral fat likes to hang out around organs, you know, areas around your abs. Studies have shown that low carb diets are more effective when it comes to burning “trunk-fat”. (7)
4. Increased levels of good HDL cholesterol
Not all cholesterol is bad. In fact, having a high HDL (
5. More sustainable energy
You know that sugar crash you get two hours after eating your morning muffin? Or even the crash you can get from eating your morning Wheaties four hours later? Say goodbye to it. Fats provide a longer lasting energy since they don’t spike your blood sugar.(9)
6. Therapeutic for those with mental disorders and can help with depression
Eating a diet low in carbs typically forces you to eat real foods as opposed to highly processed foods. This can help with offsetting inflammation in the brain.
Due to the increase in blood sugar which comes from eating carbohydrates, we tend to have energy spikes and crashes. Anyone who has depression (or bipolar disorder like myself) needs to avoid those as much as possible. Relying more on sustainable energy foods such as clean fats and proteins minimizes issues.
Low carb diets (keto especially) can increase the rate of neurogenesis — how often you make new brain cells. This is important because a low neurogenesis can impair moods, while a high rate neurogenesis improves emotional resilience. If you’re like me and love learning anything about how to improve moods and cognition through diet (or need more convincing about this part) check out this article from our friends over at Bulletproof.
7. Simple Method to Reduce Calories
This isn’t exactly scientific, but it’s straightforward. If 50% of your daily caloric intake is coming from carbs, and you cut that way back, then you’re significantly reducing caloric intake. Yes, you’ll want to increase proteins and fats for energy purposes, but since those macronutrients leave you feeling fuller, you won’t need as much as you would with carbohydrates.
8. Anti-Aging Benefits
Carbohydrates, simple carbs especially, spike blood sugar and consequently increase insulin. While insulin in itself is a necessary hormone, too much of it can lead to a shortened lifespan. By switching to a LCD, you will be optimizing that.
9. Focus enhancement
Not even counting the roller coaster ride of eating carbs, a low carb diet can be perfect for cognitive function due to the foods you’ll naturally be consuming; those like walnuts, and fish for omega-3 fatty acids, and leafy greens for B-complex vitamins, then high arginine in poultry. Together, these foods will improve cognitive function.
How to Supplement a Low Carb Diet
The transition phase of going low carb can be difficult, and often people will quit before they even start reaping the benefits, then claim low carb didn’t work for them.
What you need to understand is that this is natural. Sugars are the most abused ‘drug’ in American society today — that’s right, I called them a drug — and just like quitting any drug, there’s going to be some withdrawals.
Supplement the Transition
- Exogenous ketones: this will aid you in transitioning to utilizing fats for energy faster,* because ketones create a feedback loop. When your body and mind runs out of them it more aptly switches to using its endogenous ketones for fuel rather than glycogen.*
- Stag and Doe: If you’re not already taking a multi-vitamin, then you should be getting on that now anyway, but when switching over, you especially need to ensure you’re getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals
- Deer Antler Spray: Up until now, you’ve been using glycogen as a primary source for energy. Without it, you will likely feel sluggish. Deer Antler Spray combats that by improving recovery.*
- WOKE AF: When you’re in the brain fog, a high stimulant pre-workout with three different stimulants is exactly what you need.
- Bullseye: While we’re on the subject of brain fog, why not add in some nootropics to increase cognitive function?*
Supplement for improved fat loss:
- Heat: With clinically proven ingredients for energy,* focus,* metabolic function,* and thermogenesis,* you might as well make the most out of your decision to improve your life and build a fit body, by adding in some extra fat loss aid when combined with exercise.*
- RACKED Branch Chain Amino Acids: This is a great supplement that’ll help with both muscle recovery and fat loss as its stacked with a perfect amino acid profile as well as ingredients to turn your fat into energy when combined with exercise.* Burn fat without wasting muscle.
- Buckfeed Grass-Fed Whey Protein: A perfect meal replacement, Buckfeed is a powerful grass-fed whey protein with digestive enzymes so you’re utilizing the nutrients more efficiently,* and not having any of the negative side effects that come with most soy-fed whey protein powders.
Wrapping it up (in a low carb tortilla)
Now that you’re fully convinced a low carb diet is for you, the next step is deciding which version you want to try. Check out this blog to learn more about your options.