Does cutting carbohydrate lose weight? Understand the effects on the body

Many diets suggest that a diet low in carbohydrates or sometimes with almost zero amounts of the nutrient be followed .

The so-called low-carb diets became popular and are indicated for several goals besides weight loss.

Among the suggested benefits, the improvement in the quality of food, the maintenance of muscle mass, the promotion of well-being and the greater hormonal balance are the most cited.

The food plans that have gained fame and visibility are mainly:

  • Low-carb diet : low carbohydrate intake, with varied menus;
  • Paleolithic diet : food based on natural foods, consumed by human ancestors (based on vegetables, meat and fruits);
  • Protein diet:  the consumption of lean proteins (lean meat, eggs and skimmed milk) increases, reducing the consumption of carbohydrates;
  • Egg diet : insert eggs into 1 or more meals daily, usually reconciled with the reduction of carbohydrate consumption;
  • Sweet potato diet : in general, the diet plan is indicated for athletes or practitioners of intense physical activities, as it offers the body a complex source of carbohydrates. Thus, the organism has energy for longer periods;
  • Complex carbohydrate diet : the practice consists of choosing only foods with complex carbohydrates, that is, the good ones. Among them, whole grains and with a high fiber index.

What happens in the body when reducing carbohydrates?

When the body no longer has immediate sources of glycogen to convert to energy, processes are initiated that burn or expend fat cells to obtain the necessary energy.

This process is called ketogenesis. In general, the condition is a natural process of the body, which acts in order to maintain energy sources if there is a very long time without receiving food, for example, during sleep.

The body then uses fat cells to prevent blood glucose from falling (which can cause severe damage to the body) and maintain cell function properly.

So, the weight loss process through the reduction of carbohydrates causes the body to be induced to resort to adipose tissue and, consequently, results in the loss or reduction of measures.

The adoption of these so-called ketogenic practices and diets (which induce weight loss by restricting carbohydrates) still generates debates and different positions from doctors and nutritionists.

While some point out that keeping carbohydrate intake levels low would be beneficial to the body, others point out that it can cause muscle mass loss.

In addition, reports of malaise, dizziness, weakness and difficulty in adapting to the diet are frequent.

In some cases, symptoms subside and disappear over the first few weeks of the diet, but some people may experience persistent malaise and an inability to adapt.

Also read: Foods rich in carbohydrates: what to eat and what to avoid?