Low carb vs no carb: What’s better for weight loss?

Published on: 5 October 2021, 22:32 pm IST
The health and fitness circles can’t stop talking about carbs, right? So, what is the best way to be healthy and lose weight - through low-carb or no carb?
Geetika Sachdev
Watch your weight. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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As Indians, we are accustomed to eating large helpings of rice or taking an extra roti. But are these carbs good for us? Or should we jump on to the no-carb bandwagon? Oh wait, there’s also another brigade that prefers low carbs. So, what do we really do? And are these just myths that we are falling prey to? Well, we know you have a million questions floating in your head, but worry not, because we have all the answers for you right here!

Carbs or no carbs: what to choose? Image courtesy: Shutterstock
All about low-carb diets

A low-carb diet, as the name suggests, requires you to limit your carbs, but involves more protein. This means you only 20% of your calorie intake includes carbs, 40% includes protein, and the other 40% is fat.

“This type of diet does include any form of ketosis, and offers temporary and quick weight loss, if that’s what you are looking for,” shares Anisha Singh, a Delhi-based nutritionist, with HealthShots.

How about no carbs?

This diet restricts you from consuming carbs completely, which is even worse, because you completely get all your calories from protein and fat. Of course, you can see rapid weight loss, but this is again a short-term scene.

“If you practice anything extreme, your body will show side-effects. You are likely to face fatigue, headaches, dull and pale skin, and in some cases, even menstrual health issues, “ adds Singh.

A low carb diet may just benefit you when it comes to weight loss. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
What is the right approach?

According to Heather Holden, a clinical dietitian at Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in Nashville, the ideal body weight must be multiplied by 10 to arrive at the daily calorie intake. That’s approximately the number of calories one must eat every day to have their ideal weight. Although low-carb diets and no-carb diets do promise fast weight loss, they can’t be maintained in the long run.

Furthermore, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) says that both low-carb and high-protein diets are bad. The diets are deemed unhealthy, and cause the body to shed water weight and muscle.

Instead, try these tips for a healthy lifestyle

  • Be active and walk for 30 minutes every day
  • Most women should eat 1,200-1,500 calories per day
  • Losing about 0.5-2 kilos per week is healthy
  • People who lose weight gradually are more likely to keep the weight off
  • Eat no more than 30% of your total calories from fat
  • Consume at least five servings of fruit and vegetables in your diet each day
  • Weigh yourself only once a week

Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.

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