Low Carb Dieting vs. Low Calorie Dieting

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Okay, I want to point something out for you. Just think about this. Low-calorie diets are fine when you first look at them. Meaning you’re losing weight. On the other hand…

Look at the facts of low carb vs. low-calorie dieting. You will see that it’s true you can lose more bodyweight in a shorter period of time using low calories. However, you will lose more muscle mass than actual body fat. Some of you might think you don’t care about the muscle, but losing muscle while dieting is like you’re in a huge rut you can’t get out of. You want to preserve as much muscle as you can. Also, with low calorie dieting your body will adjust to the low calories. It will hold on to as much body fat as it possibly can and use lean muscle tissue for energy. That is just the biomechanics of the human body.

A calorie is not necessarily a calorie.

“A calorie is not necessarily a calorie.”

Your body cannot store fat as fat which has been proven. However, carbs are almost instantly stored as fat. What happens when you first wake in the morning and eat a breakfast that includes lots of simple carbs? Your insulin levels are low in the morning when first waking up, when you eat all those carbs you get an insulin spike. This tells your body to stop burning fat and use glucose for energy.

The key point here is that the insulin spike will stop fat burning. It does not matter if you woke up and trained cardio or lifted weights, when you add in those carbs it does not matter, all fat burning comes to a halt. Then to make it worse later on in the day, you eat a snack or lunch that contains fast burning carbs and guess what you get? That’s right, another insulin spike. Here again, you are just compounding the problem by causing a surge in blood sugar levels. Your body starts to horde onto all the sugar it is producing from the carbs, especially in a low-calorie atmosphere. By this I mean it will be stored as fat.

You might think with the exercise you will burn through the carbs. That’s not necessarily the case.  Instead, it will use the most readily available source, lean muscle tissue. You see, exercise is extremely catabolic. While you think your in the gym burning fat you are actually burning lean muscle tissue if you are not protecting the muscle with the right source. What’s the right source? Adequate protein.

This is where low-carb dieting trumps all the other diets.

As I said before, fat cannot and will not be stored as fat. Without the presence of carbs in the body insulin levels stay low. This allows the body to utilize fat for energy and not muscle. This is what we want, to preserve lean muscle so it can be used as a calorie-burning furnace. Having a carb night once a week, you then can take in carbs and they will be burned as energy, they will not be stored as fat. This is why in my opinion “Carb Night” is an awesome plan for losing unwanted body fat. The brainchild of “Carb Night” comes from John Kiefer of DangerouslyHardcore.com. and carbnite.com. The cliff notes on “Carb Night” are as follows:

The First 10 Days You Go Ultra Low Carb

That means limit your carb intake for the entire day to no more than 30 grams of carbs. That is like two slices of white bread. That is all. What you want to do is eat meat, the fattier the better. Bacon is an awesome choice for this. Beef is another. Eat like this for the first 10 days so your body will start getting used to the change of using body fat for fuel and dumping your glycogen stores.

Oh The 10th Day You Have A Carb Night

This is where you can eat all the carbs you want. Potatoes, rice, pasta, and bread. You can even go for all the sweet stuff full of sugar. Just for the first part, try more carb and lower fat stuff later in the night so you can have carbs and fat together. None of the carbs you will eat that night will be stored as fat. Your glycogen levels will refill, but the excess carbs will be burned off as body heat. You have about a 6 hour window to eat carbs that night, so have fun with it. The next morning you go back to low carb dieting for at least the next 5 to 7 days, then have another carb night.

Granted, if done correctly, with carb nights you will see changes in body composition within the first week but actual body weight changes will come with time. Now with that said, carb night does work by itself without exercise but exercise is big. And let me say, exercise can provide a big bonus, especially if resistance training is added into the program. There have been numerous studies proving that fat burning continues long after the training session has ended. I won’t go into the details because you can read Kiefer’s articles where he explains all of this much better than I can do here, and he can actually do it justice.

So this is my small insight to low carb vs. low calorie dieting. Not as much dieting as nutritional timing I might add. If you are interested in looking at this visit: http://carbnite.com/

I have been on carb night since Sept.2012 and have lost a total of 97 lbs as of last week. 4-1-13. I am continuing to loose weight each week and change my body composition. I will write further articles explaining this as I go

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