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I started studying to be a nutritionist earlier this year, and have been learning so much. One topic that I have been studying recently is the always debatable low carb diet. I thought I would share with you what I have learnt and whether or not I think they are good or bad.

Why Do You Need Carbs?

Carbs are converted to glucose in your body. Your brain relies almost solely on glucose to function. Red blood cells also rely entirely on glucose, so they are important!

What Happens When You Eat Low Carb?

Your liver can actually produce glucose without carbohydrates (this is known as gluconeogenesis). Therefore your body has the ability to convert other fuels such as fat and protein into glucose, when it does not have enough carbohydrate/glucose (i.e. when you are eating low carb). When you eat low carb, your brain adapts to deriving more energy from fat so typically you will also burn more fat.

cauliflower crust pizza

cauliflower crust pizza – low carb meal

What Happens When You Eat High Carb?

When you eat a high carbohydrate meal, your blood sugar (glucose) increases rapidly. As a result, insulin is released into your bloodstream. Insulin tells your cells to move this excess glucose from your blood and store it in your fat cells.

Because glucose has been moved to your fat cells, there is less circulating glucose and therefore less glucose available to your brain. Therefore too many carbohydrates are actually worse for your brain than too little.

how to get a flat stomach

pasta – high carb meal

Summary

In my opinion, a low carbohydrate diet is actually great for weight loss. It also lowers blood pressure, blood sugar, reduces bad (LDL) cholesterol and increases good (HDL) cholesterol. This is considered general knowledge now in the fitness / health industry, but because of the traditional food pyramid and all of the “low fat” products available, most people still think that low fat is the way to go.

So what is low carb? Typically anything less than 25-30% of your daily intake from carbs. This doesn’t mean that you should eat NO carb. You still need some carbs. If you just cut out junk food, sugar and bad carbs from white sources (i.e. white bread, white pasta, sugary cereals, etc) you will be well on your way to a healthier diet!

top 5 tips to improve your health

Bonus Tips

  • If you eat a higher carbohydrate meal directly after exercise, your body will use this to replenish its glucose stores to fuel the brain, NOT to store as fat. This is the BEST time to eat carbs (directly after a workout).
  • First thing in the morning when you haven’t eaten for at least 9 hours, your body is more likely to start using fat because there is little glucose available. Therefore if fat loss is your goal, first thing in the morning is the best time to do low to moderate intensity cardio such as going for a walk.

I have a freeĀ 7 Day Lean Legs Meal Plan that will help you slim down and it is completely free of refined sugar! :)

Love Rachael xx

Picture of Rachael

Rachael is an Australian born certified personal trainer and nutritionist who holds a Bachelor degree in Science.

After struggling for years to find an exercise and diet program that is tailored to women striving for lean and toned body with no bulk she designed her Lean Legs Program. This program is tailored to each body type and focused on helping women get toned but feminine bodies, without getting bulky.

Her mission is to empower women and help them stay in shape in a healthy and balanced way.

18 comments on “Low Carb Diets – Good Or Bad?”

    Erika says:

    Can I eat brown rice and whole grain bread?

      Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Yes lovely,
      If you aren’t allergic to gluten, that’s a great option! xx

      Love,
      Diana

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