Why Does A Low Carb Diet Work Better Than A Low Calorie Diet?

Have you wondered what the real difference is between a low carb diet, or food plan, and a low calorie diet is?  Is there really a big difference?

A low calorie diet cuts all calories, sometimes fat more than the other micro nutrients, which your body will adapt to over time and lower your metabolic rate.  Since you’re not cutting carbs as a percentage of total calories, insulin will be released every time you eat which inhibits the release of stored fat for fuel.

A low carb eating plan, for instance where carbs are less than 20% of total calories and maybe as low as 5-10%, allows blood sugar levels to remain low and keeps insulin releases lower and less frequent.  This allows stored fat to be broken down and released for fuel into the bloodstream.  The effect of this eating plan often provides more satiety, less hunger and fewer calories to be eaten because body fat is being utilized.

Calories In, Calories Out Doesn’t Work!!

The theory of “Calories In, Calories Out” really doesn’t work, primarily because we are not machines with a single fuel source and only one way to store and burn fuel. Our bodies are hormonal and those hormones have a tremendous effect on how we burn and store fuel, both glycogen and fat.

The calories in, calories out approach assumes that if calories are reduced below the body’s needs, whether through exercise or reduced intake, that your body won’t adapt and reduce its caloric need to match the calories available. The reality is that our metabolisms do adjust and an approach of caloric restriction can set you up for “yo-yo dieting”.

The ideal approach would be to restrict carbohydrates to a level that allows stored fat to be burned for the majority of the day while still eating sufficient calories to maintain a healthy metabolic rate and feed tissues.

Improve Aerobic Metabolism with Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting provides a longer fasted period during the day during which your body has to rely more on fat stores. This may take a couple weeks to get used to at first, but your body will get more efficient at releasing and using stored fat for fuel and will supply your energy needs until your first meal, usually around lunch time. Ideally you want to have about a 16 hour window from the last time you ate the day before until your first meal the next day.

Our bodies are should be very capable of providing enough energy for our day to day activities, and even some moderate exercise, with fat stores alone. Water and some black coffee or tea is fine, and will even help, during the fasted period. Moderate exercise during the fasted period will improve the training effect. This trains your fat burning metabolism, or aerobic metabolism, to work more efficiently.

What Affects Our Metabolic Rate?

April 13, 2016 Metabolism, Weight Loss

We hear a lot about things we can do to boost our metabolism but how much of an impact do those actions really make?  The majority of our metabolic rate comes from organ function and supporting our tissues.  About 10% comes from the digestion of food (TEF) called the Thermic Effect of Food and 10-20% from our activity, depending on how active we are.

Rather than trying to boost or trick our metabolism into burning more than we eat or burn off what we shouldn’t have eaten, a more realistic approach is to eat in a way that allows our bodies to use our fat stores.  Intermittent fasting and low carb eating, even just a few days a week, allows blood sugar and insulin to stay at low levels and create a window for fat to be released for fuel.