Low Carb Diets For The Obese

Over the past ten years, a low fat diet emphasizing plenty of energy rich complex carbohydrates has been the diet regiment that Americans have adopted in a quest for a fat free body. Combined with exercise, a high carbohydrate diet, one that includes foods like potatoes, yams, beans, whole grain breads and low calorie fruit has been used by countless millions to reduce fat stores. However, during the same time, the nation as a whole has become fatter than ever.

Many who successfully subscribe to the high carbohydrate diet believe a low carb approach to fat loss is dietary suicide. For those who have failed to attain a low level of body fat using a high carbohydrate diet, and for those who have exercised religiously, hour upon hour, week after week, and have failed to attain a "six-pack-rack" of abdominals, hard glutes, and a low level of body fat, the low carb approach may be suited for you. For the obese, who have over 50 pounds to lose, this may be a fast and easy to use plan that will work. After all, there's more than one way to get lean

The low carb diet is considered by many to be an extreme approach to fat loss. However, it is an easy diet to follow and may be much easier for those who despise counting carbs and protein, weighing food, measuring and reading labels. The low carb diet allows flexibility in this respect. The individual simply has to avoid all carbs and count protein. No calorie counting is required, (they'll certainly remain low due to very low carbs and low fat)

We already learned carbs provide fuel to the body and, like any type of calories consumed in excess, the surplus is stored as body fat. We also learned a high carbohydrate intake, especially one that does not include high fiber foods and is liberal in simple or refined types of carbohydrates will cause a chronic release of insulin. A chronic insulin level inhibits hormone sensitive lipase, the enzyme that acts as a gate keeper allowing fatty acids to flow out of fat cells. At the same time elevated insulin kicks up levels of lipoprotein lipase another enzyme with gate keeper qualities. Only this gatekeeper welcomes fatty acids into fat cells making you fatter. Besides retarding the breakdown of body fat, insulin is a potent appetite stimulant. It increases the cravings for food. So powerful is the effect, some animals injected with large amounts of insulin will eat until the stomach ruptures. The appetite boosting and fat storing effects of insulin seem to be magnified in heavier individuals. In other words, fat people tend to stay fat because, in response to carbs, they produce more or an overabundance of insulin compared to leaner people and more insulin is correlated with a fatter body. For example, an obese individual eating 40 grams of carbs will secrete more insulin than a lean individual eating the very same number of carbs. Talk about tough luck!

It seems a low fat diet that matches basal metabolic needs and activity levels may not always be the best bet for the obese. Reducing calories might not work. The body appears to adapt to caloric reductions faster than that which occurs in leaner individuals. And exercise might not work. Many very overweight individuals are so out of shape, it becomes completely exhausting to try to continue with regular exercise. Plus, the obese tend to rely on sugar as fuel rather than fat. This fact makes it difficult for the obese person to exercise as blood sugar levels fall too quickly leaving them feeling extremely light headed during all forms of exercise. Sugar burners, those individuals who never burn fat - and instead use sugar as fuel - will benefit by restricting sugar/carbs as low glucose levels forces the body to rely on fat as fuel and when this occurs, there is a adaptation within the fat burning system, a 'switching' effect, where a greater amount of fat is used as fuel over glucose.

The best way to initiate serious fat burning may be to resort to the extreme. In this case, the extreme is a very low carbohydrate diet. Cutting way back on carbohydrates; no bread, no sugar, no potatoes, pasta, rice, cereal etc. will radically lower the total amount of glucose in the blood. Easy to understand, right? Cut out carbs - nothing more than a fancy word for glucose - and the blood stream becomes nearly devoid of glucose. When the blood is low on glucose for more than 5 days at a time, a fountain of hormonal reactions occur that favor fat burning.

When carbs fall, the body fights back and sends out a team of hormones and enzymes to try to raise glucose levels closer to 70; the lower end of "whats' normal." Specifically, glucagon from the pancreas and epinephrine from the adrenals, raise blood glucose levels by forcing the liver and muscles to breakdown what little stores of built up glucose they may have. Liver and muscle glycogen, the storage units of glucose, subsequently "let go" of glucose which increase the concentration of glucose in the blood.

Blood Sugar

Is Low

2) Glucagon, epinephrine, hormone sensitive lipase

Glucose released to blood

Fatty acids —► fuel muscles Glycerol —» Make glucose for your brain

Epinephrine, and to a lesser degree, glucagon also stimulate lipolysis, the liberation of fatty acids from fat cells. Fat cells are made of fatty acids and glycerol. The liberated fatty a acids can provide fuel for the muscles and glycerol can be used by the liver to make small quantities of glucose to provide important fuel for the brain. So far, so good. The net effect of constant low blood sugar by avoiding carbs; low glycogen levels and an increase in fat utilization!

Fat Burning Foods

Fat Burning Foods

If you’re overweight, you are not a bad person. You’re simply overweight. But it’s important to lose the extra pounds so you’ll look good, feel healthier and develop a sense of pride and self-esteem. Once you’ve lost the fat, you’ll need to maintain your weight.

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