Are low carbohydrate diets more effective for fat loss?
First lets discuss what foods are actually carbohydrates. Food such as honey, bread, fruit and sugar straight out of the bag. Are foods considered to be strictly carbohydrates.
Foods that most people would consider carbohydrates like chocolate, crackers chips and cookies are both fat and carbohydrates. Which you can see in the picture below.
If we take a look at the labels. With
fat having 9 calories per gram and
carbohydrates having 4 calories
The bag of lays potato chips has
90 calories coming from fat and
70 coming from carbohydrates.
Therefore these foods are not
just carbohydrates they are both
fats and carbohydrates.
The combination of fats and carbs
are what makes these foods
difficult to stop eating.
But doesn't spiking your insulin make you gain weight? First you don't need insulin to store body fat.
Second, there was a study done where they used drugs to suppress insulin and no difference in weight loss was found.
Lastly carbohydrates aren't the only thing that spikes insulin. Another study found that whey protein spikes insulin as much as white bread and fish spikes insulin as much as rice.
Here is where some of the misconceptions have come in. When you intake carbohydrates its stored in your muscles and liver in the from of glycogen.
Your body typically has around 500g of glycogen and each gram of glycogen contains three grams of water.
The dramatic weight loss that most people see the first few weeks is water loss from glycogen depletion, not fat loss.
Furthermore when we ingest food we actually burn calories to process that food. This is know as the thermogenic effect of food.
Fat only burn 0-5% of total caloric intake while carbohydrates burn 10-15% of total caloric intake. Therefore it burns more calories to digest carbohydrates than fat.