The Hidden Dangers of Zero-Carb Diets
It is a well-known fact that reducing our consumption of carbohydrates will lead to weight loss. If this is the case, then why not simply cut them out completely? This is actually a common mistake that will produce more harm than good. Carbs are an essential fuel as well as the primary building blocks of bone and muscles. Carbs also represent a secondary source of energy; powering our bodies throughout daily life. The main intention of a diet is to change the proportion of specific nutrients in order to achieve the desired results. If we reduce one substance, it only stands to reason that another will be increased.
There are primarily two main types of modern diets:
- A low-carb diet
- A ketogenic diet
However diets low in carbs might also be referred to as a “high carb” regimen due to the subjective nature of each individual. Diets low in carbohydrates are also associated with higher levels of protein and a minimal consumption of fat. On the other hand, a ketogenic routine embraces high fats, a medium consumption of protein and no carbs whatsoever (it also encourages individuals to consume high levels of carbs during certain days of the week). It is therefore apparent that these two systems are inherently different.
The main mistake is to opt for traditional low-carb diets that contain not a single carbohydrate, as some believe that it will be easier to lose weight (more about this later).
Here are two metrics to consider:
Dietary energy is measured in the form of calories. The main goal of a healthy diet is to consume fewer calories than our bodies require each day. This ultimately causes us to lose weight. Still, a lack of calories will eventually reduce muscle mass. Our bodies will begin to metabolise this type of protein in order to procure a reliable energy source.
Carbs are the primary nutrients within our bodies. This arises from the fact that it is very difficult to obtain energy from fat (such as when performing intense exercise). Still, it is possible for proteins to be broken down into carbohydrates; allowing them to represent excellent energy sources if little fat is present.
Assuming that insufficient carbs are present, we will enter into whats is known as a caloric deficit and our bodies will begin to utilise muscle mass as an alternative source of energy. This is intended to offset the deficiency of carbs. This is commonly the case when referring to zero-carb routines. As protein is the main nutrient present , the body is automatically encouraged to use this substance for fuel. As a result, protein will not be employed to build and/or maintain muscles; further contributing to muscular breakdown. It should also be mentioned that a lack of carbs will cause the metabolism of the body to decrease; producing feelings of sluggishness and lethargy (although this is not pertinent within our current discussion).
No diets should cause you to suffer from a deficiency of nutrients. Either carbs or fats must be present in order to provide you with a sustainable source of energy so that you can achieve your goals.
Summarily, a zero-carb routine that is low in proteins and high in fats is not a healthy diet whatsoever. Deliberately removing carbs from your daily consumption will always produce more harm than good. This is why we highly recommend the ketogenic alternative (already proven by the results that Matt has obtained). Conjugated linoleic acid may also represent an excellent accelerator to incorporate.