Saturday , May 28 2022

The low-carbohydrate diet can stimulate metabolism and burn more calories


Gaining back unwanted kilos after a weight loss period is a very common problem and it's not just about marking the will. Even when people follow their diet and exercise their routine at a T, it is not unusual for their bodies to adapt to those missing kilos by slowing down metabolism and burning fewer calories. This can lead to slowing down progress or even reversing weight loss to weight gain.

Now a new study suggests that reducing carbohydrates can stimulate metabolism and help people burn more calories, according to a new study published yesterday in BMJ. The authors of the study state that their findings provoke the belief that all of the calories work the same way in the body – and suggests that resuming the scared weight after dieting can be avoided by sticking to a low-carb diet.

The study included 164 overweight people who just lost between 10 and 14% of body weight during an initial 10-week diet. These people were divided into groups and assigned either a low-moderate diet or a carbohydrate elevated for another 20 weeks. The total amount of calories in all three groups was adjusted throughout the study, so none of the participants gained or lost significant amounts of weight.

In the 20 weeks, the study authors tracked the participants' energy expenditure or the total number of calories they burned. And they found that at the same average body weight, those in the low carbohydrate diet burned about 250 calories a day than those in the carbohydrate-rich diet.

Related to: You burn the most calories at this time of day

If this difference persists – and we did not see any drop during the 20 weeks of the study – the effect would translate into a loss of 20 pounds in weight after three years without any change in calorie intake "said Cara Ebbeling, PhD, co-author of the study and co-director of New Balance Foundation's Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children's Hospital, in a press release.

So why the big difference in the results? David Ludwig, co-author and co-director of Ebbeling, ventured a possible explanation. Processed carbohydrates – which "flooded our diets during the low-fat era" – increase insulin levels, he said in a press release that drives fat cells to store excess calories. It increases hunger and slows metabolism, which is "a recipe for weight gain".

Relying on carbohydrates, on the other hand, allows the metabolism of the body to accelerate back to normal levels, the authors suggest. They also found that ghrelin, a hormone thought to reduce calorie burning, was significantly lower in the low-carbohydrate diet with high carbohydrate content.

This definitely sounds encouraging, especially for anyone who has achieved a weight loss goal just to see their hard-earned results (while their breadth is expanding) over the coming months. And this is not the first time low carbohydrate diets have gotten a big toe for weight loss: Numerous other research and anecdotal evidence suggests that these types of diets (such as Atkins or the highly popular ketogenic diet) are real results.

But again, I have heard the opposite: low-carbohydrate diets do not work in the long run, can affect the mood and can make people feel stressed and you can consume carbohydrates (even pasta!) And still lose weight . So before you decide that giving up bread and charging on meat is the answer to keeping unwanted pounds, it is important to consider all the facts.

Related to: 6 mistakes you could make on Keto Diet

First of all, this study did not refer to any low-carbohydrate food plan; included a very specific diet of pre-formulated meals, the fat, protein and carbohydrate content being calculated at the exact gram. So it's normal that people who try to follow a similar diet without the help of scientists and ready meals may not have the same success rates in real life.

Secondly, the carbohydrates supplied to all three groups were of high quality, according to the study: they consisted of whole grains (rather than highly processed cereals) and minimal sugars – not even candy or pastry products, for example.

Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, HealthContributing to the nutrition publisher, says it's important to remember that low-carb does not automatically mean healthy. "I think at this point we can all agree that low-fat diets are not optimal for health, especially when carbon sources are processed and refined," she says. However, she adds, "just as not all the calories are created equal, not all low carbohydrate diets are created equal."

Even with low carbohydrate diets, she says, there should still be room for healthy carbohydrates such as non-starchy vegetables, berries and other fresh fruits, and small portions of whole grains, pulses and starchy vegetables , such as sweet potatoes. "Think of half a cup, half the size of a tennis ball on the table, rather than none," she says.

Related: 8 Reasons Carbohydrates can help you get rid of weight

Fitting in these healthy foods will make sure you get protective antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber, she says. In addition, "herbal foods support a healthy intestinal microbe that is vital for immunity, mood and digestive health," she adds.

The authors of the study are hopeful that their results may have major implications for the treatment of obesity. But more research is needed, they say, to compare different types of low carbohydrate diets – including extreme carbohydrate restrictions, such as in the keto plane. Even if the benefits suggested in this study are confirmed, they wrote in their paper, yet more work would be needed for an optimal translation for public health.

For now, Sass says, the most important components of long-term weight loss and long-term health remain unchanged. "It is important to find a realistic, sustainable approach and allows you to feel well mentally and physically," she says.

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