You might know it as the Atkins Diet or the Dukan Diet, but the bottom line is the same: Low carbohydrates. Although popularity for the low-carb lifestyle tapered off in the 1990s, its back with a vengeance. Here are just six of the many benefits of a low carbohydrate diet.
1. Low Carb Diets Can Reduce Hunger
One of the biggest advantages of eating a diet low in carbohydrates is that it can slash hunger. Many traditional dieters eating high carbohydrate meals complain of being hungry when they slash calories, but that’s not the case when eating low carb. Opting for protein-rich and fat-rich foods brings satiety that can mean you feel full even when you’re eating less than you normally do. Of course, not being hungry also means that you’re more likely to stick to a diet in the long term.
2. Low Carb Diets Can Lead to Immediate Weight Loss
A major struggle among dieters is sticking with a program and not seeing results right away. On a low carb diet, however, it is possible to see results immediately. When you reduce or eliminate carbohydrates, the glycogen stores in your body are depleted. As the glycogen leaves, so does all the water bonded to these molecules. This results in a drastic drop of weight, which can sometimes be as many as 10 pounds in a week. This is technically just water weight, but it can set the stage for continued success and be incredibly motivating.
3. Low Carb Diets Can Regulate Blood Sugar
If you’ve ever dealt with hunger pangs just a few hours after eating, or truly understood what the word, “hangry” means, then you may have experienced low blood sugar. Often a pre-symptom of diabetes, unstable blood sugar crops up when individuals eat meals high in carbohydrates throughout the day. When you eat a meal high in fat and protein as an alternative, there is no big creation of insulin to balance the intake of sugar. This helps regulate your blood sugar and can even go a long way in preventing both insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes, both of which are major health concerns around the world today.
4. Low Carb Diet May Target Abdominal Fat
One of the biggest benefits of a low carb diet is that it targets abdominal fat. Doctors agree that when it comes to your health, fat in the abdominal area is the most dangerous. For many dieters, however, that belly fat is the last to go. On a low carb diet that reduces both insulin response and inflammation, the stomach fat is the first to disappear. Also known as visceral fat, abdominal fat is what surrounds your internal organs and causes your favorite jeans to feel just a little bit too tight.
5. Low Carb Diets Let You Indulge in Normally Off-Limit Treats
If you’ve ever been on a diet and felt the frustration of plain chicken breasts and salad without dressing for dinner, then a diet low in carbohydrates might come as a pleasant surprise. Most low-carbohydrate diets recommend getting the majority of calories from fat and protein, which means that bacon, butter, cheese and fatty meats are back in rotation. In fact, there are several arguments suggesting that saturated fats can actually increase meal satiety and make it easier, not harder, to lose a substantial amount of weight.
6. Low Carb Diets Can Improve Mood
Limiting your diet and slashing calories is enough to make a person go crazy, and you might have already dealt with a friend or partner going through the bad-mood phase of weight loss. When you opt to eat low carb, however, the stabilization of blood sugar can actually improve your mood over time. Instead of the highs and lows that often follow glucose consumption, you can enjoy stable energy and fewer mood swings. This is a big bonus for you, but the advantages can also spill over to your career as well as your relationships with others.