If you’re planning to cut down on carbs to lose weight, stop RN. Here’s the right way to do it

Published on:3 February 2020, 18:42pm IST
You think a low-carb diet can help you lose weight? Well, a drastic reduction in carbs will only do more harm than good. Read on.
Sonakshi Kohli
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Weight loss requires smart play and consistent efforts. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

It’s simple mathematics, you see. You consume calories through food (mostly carbohydrates) and burn them off to carry out metabolic activities like digestion, blood circulation, breathing, etc as well as physical activities like walking, running, sitting, and standing.

Burn more calories than you consume or consume fewer calories than you burn and your body will start drawing energy from the stored fat in your body instead of the food you eat.

Cut the ultimate source of carbs from your diet and your body is sure to get into a fat-burning mode. Or so, you think. And this notion simply sets the tone for carb-cutting from your diet in a bid to lose weight.

Yes, this math of calories in versus calories out is effective for losing weight.

However, it can become really dangerous
“Carbohydrates are primarily a source of immediate energy for all the body’s cells,” says renowned nutritionist and lifestyle educator Karishma Chawla.

“The recommended dosage of carbohydrates is approximately 100-120 gm per day to prevent ketosis (the stage when body starts taking energy from stored fat instead of food) and sustain energy levels,” she adds.

Not meeting this requirement by cutting down too many carbs from your diet can result in withdrawal symptoms such as brain fog, headache, low energy, irritability or mood swings, according to her.

low-carb diet for weight loss
A low-carb diet for weight loss can only do wonders if it is followed in the right way. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

In fact, several studies have proven that cutting down carbohydrates drastically can actually make you gain weight by making you lose muscle and as a result, slowing down your metabolism.

Also, read: That low-carb or low-fat diet won’t help you live longer. The quality of the food you eat will

So be careful while you’re at it
While cutting carbs can lead to weight loss, not being smart about it can actually backfire and lead to bad breath, weakness, muscle cramps, fatigue, constipation, nutritional deficiencies, and poor health in the long run, says Ms. Avni Kaul, nutritionist, wellness coach, and founder, NutriActivania. Hence, she suggests the right ways to do so:

  • Don’t drink your calories
    Sugary drinks like colas and artificially-flavoured juices are extremely unhealthy. With hardly any fibre content and a buttload of sugar present in them, they only contribute to insulin resistance, type-2 diabetes, and obesity apart from increasing your calorie intake without really satiating your hunger.
  • Cut out the breads
    The toasts and sandwiches that you relish so much can’t be made without using bread. But you probably don’t realise that these breads can be very high in calories and very low in fibre.
    So, either have a full-fledged chapatti or simply switch to multi-grain breads. You can even substitute the breads with the more filling and nutritionally rich vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
  • Up your vegetable intake
    Load yourself with fibre and vitamins from fresh vegetables like cucumber, spinach, broccoli etc. to boost your health and feel full at all times.

So, before you opt for that low-carb diet for weight loss, make wise choices.

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Sonakshi Kohli Sonakshi Kohli

Twenty kilos down and struggling to maintain the weight loss by preaching healthy eating, while eating unhealthy every now and then.