If you’re on a mission to lose fat, chances are good at one time or another you have tried a low carb diet. Low carb diets are extremely popular and they can produce good results.
But do they produce truly great results? Often not.
Low carb diets are flawed for a few different reasons. The fact is that adding carbs back into a your fat loss diet plan can often do you more good than you realize.
Let’s look at a few reasons why carbs are in and how to include them in your menu.
Carbs And Leptin
The first and most important reason to be including carbs in your diet plan is because they have a strong influence on one particular hormone in the body called leptin.
Leptin is a hormone produced by your body fat cells and carefully monitors incoming energy intake, incoming carb intake, and your current body fat stores.
When carbs or calorie intake begins to drop, leptin production begins to slow. This in return sends a signal to your body that a famine may be taking place and a number of unwanted symptoms tend to occur.
These include ravenous hunger, high levels of fatigue, irritability, and a slower metabolic rate. Carbohydrates, more than any other nutrient, seem to impact leptin levels.
By keeping your carbohydrate intake up on your fat loss diet plan, you can delay this drop in leptin levels, thus side-step these unwanted side effects longer.
Most often when people begin noticing these side effects, that’s when they begin falling off their diet plan.
Carbs And Exercise Performance
The next reason that carbs are in when it comes to fat loss is because they help boost your exercise performance. Your muscles can only utilize carbohydrates (glucose) as a fuel source during very intense exercise, so if you plan to hit the gym regularly, you need those carbs.
And since intense exercise is a big part of succeeding on a weight loss diet plan, it’s not something you can likely do without.
Trying to perform intense weight lifting workouts on a very low carb diet is incredibly challenging and will likely have you wanting to quit in no time.
Carbs And Motivation
Finally, the last reason why you’ll want to include more carbs in your fat loss diet plan is simply because it can help with your motivational levels.
When you eat carbohydrates, your brain is going to release a substance called serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that helps put you in a good mood, eases stress, and calms anxiety.
Ever notice how on a very low carb diet you feel irritable all the time? This often has to do with the fact you are not releasing much serotonin at all. And at the same time, when you do eat carbohydrates, you immediately feel this wave of relaxation and happiness wash over you. It’s not just because your taste buds are happy – it’s because there is a chemical reaction taking place in your brain.
This feel good effect can really go a long way towards helping to boost your overall motivational levels to stick with the diet itself. When you feel miserable 24/7, it only stands to reason it’s going to be that much harder to keep up with whatever plan you’re following.
On top of that, you’re also that much more likely to experience strong food cravings when on a very low carb diet, which can surely send you running for the nearest bakery and falling off your plan.
So as you can see, carbs are not to be feared when your goal is fat loss. By eating the right types of carbs at the right time, they can be part of a very effective fat burning program. You just need to be sure that the carbs you do eat are those that are going to digest slowly, providing a steady stream of nutrients and energy while also providing you with quality nutrition.