Most people have heard of low carb diets. With the popularity of Atkins, The South Beach Diet, and many others, it seems like millions are seeing the benefits of lowering their intake of carbohydrates.
However, it may come as a surprise to some that you can make your low carb diet even more effective by increasing the amount of fat you consume. A low carb high fat diet is rapidly proving to be the key to success for people currently battling against their weight.
Diets that are low in carbohydrates but high in fat are known as ketogenic. This name is derived from the fact that the goal of this method of eating is to induce a metabolic state known as ketosis. It is through this mechanism that your body turns into a fat-burning machine and the pounds begin to simply melt away.
The human body normally runs on glucose. Insulin turns glucose from carbohydrates into the fuel that powers the body. However, when a diet is too high in carbohydrates, insulin resistance can develop. This means that the body is no longer effectively converting glucose, causing the level of sugar in the blood to rise. Insulin resistance is often the first step in the development of diabetes.
Humans were not meant to live in our current world of high-sugar, carbohydrate laden era of abundant food. Ancient humans had periods of abundance, for example finding a bee’s nest full of honey or a fruit tree laden with food, then followed by times of scarcity, where we relied on fat that was stored by the body during the feast.
Whether you have already developed insulin resistance or are just looking to shed some weight, inducing ketosis is a smart way to do it. When the body is deprived of carbohydrates (a major source of glucose), it doesn’t simply stop working. Thanks to those many years of surviving in a feast-or-famine state, the body has the amazing ability to convert stores of fat into energy. This is known as ketosis and is the goal of a ketogenic diet.
So where does the high-fat portion of the diet come in? First, it is important to understand that dietary fat is not the same as the fat stores making up your belly. In fact, it is sugar that is the primary cause of fat building up in the body. Dietary fat is key in feelings of satiety, that is, the feeling of being satisfied after a meal. Studies have shown that when a person is allowed to eat as much low carbohydrate high-fat food as they want, they end up consuming fewer calories than a person who is permitted to eat as much high carbohydrate food as they want. This is because the fat quickly signals their brain that they are full, and the feeling lasts longer too. This means that, without even trying, you will reduce the number of calories consumed while still eating as much as you want.
A low carb high fat diet is a great way to not only lose weight but completely overhaul the way you look at food. Reducing calories alone can help you lose weight, but only if you are able to stick with it. A difficult prospect when you are constantly hungry. A ketogenic diet keeps you feeling full and satisfied, so you are able reduce calories as a consequence and lose weight, without having to deal with constant hunger.