A symposium was held to determine what is needed for people to stick with healthy habits long enough to achieve their desired results. What they discovered was that people will change their habits if…
- the change is something they can carry out without complicating their lives
- their newly adopted habits are enjoyed and not dreaded
- their new healthy lifestyle choices provide continual evidence that their plan is working
In this post, I am going to share how adopting a low carb way of eating helps you change your habits and overcome problems that may have derailed your dieting efforts in the past.
Diet Problems & Low Carb Solutions – Summary
- Research shows that reducing your carb intake reduces your cravings and hunger.
- Studies show that both low carb and low fat diets work for weight loss. But low carb diets work better and reduce certain health risks.
- When you switch to a low carb diet, you become more metabolically flexible, meaning that your energy level is sustained as your body runs well on glucose or fat.
- Many low carb dieters share that they find the diet easier to stick with than other diets they’ve tried.
4 Problems Dieters Face that Low Carb Diets Solve [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn…
- Four different diet problems that people face when trying to lose weight.
- How a low-carb diet is the solution to these diet problems.
- Additional resources for weight loss success!
Let’s start by talking about cravings. There are many anecdotal reports from low carb dieters who discovered on their own that following a low carb diet rescued them from nagging cravings for sugary and sweet foods, helping them to feel in control of their eating.
There is also scientific evidence that shows that reducing your carb intake reduces your cravings and hunger.
In one study, overweight individuals were randomized to either a low-carb-ketogenic diet or a low-fat diet to see how the dieters would rate their food cravings. The low carb dieters reported significantly less hunger than the low-fat group (1).
Another study had a small group of overweight and obese adults follow a low-carb diet for four weeks. After that amount of time, food cravings were significantly reduced for all participants. Women reported significantly greater reductions in sweet cravings than men (2).
The reduction in cravings is partly because a low carb diet stabilizes your blood sugar, reducing the blood sugar crashes that drive hunger and cravings. This stabilization of blood sugar also keeps insulin levels low, helping low carb dieters overcome another common dieting problem, namely unsatisfactory weight loss.
One of the factors needed for people to stick with healthy habits is that they must see continual evidence that their plan is working.
There is nothing more motivating than results and nothing more discouraging than putting in a ton of effort with little or nothing to show for it. Studies have shown that you can lose weight on a low carb or low fat diet as long as your food choices are healthy (3).
However, studies are starting to emerge that show subjects who follow a low-carbohydrate diet lose more weight than those on a low-fat diet (4).
Not only are the results evident on the scale, but they are also seen with improvements in health. When a research team analyzed the findings of 17 randomized controlled trials, they found that both low carb and low fat diets work for weight loss.
But low-carb diets work better and reduce your risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) events compared with low fat diets (5).
Another problem that you may have encountered on past diets that is reversed by low carb dieting is low energy. Most traditional high-carb diets put their focus on reducing calories. Calories are energy, and they do need to be reduced to lose weight.
However, when your diet consists mainly of carbohydrates, you have a sugar-burning metabolism. Because of this, your body has no choice but to run on the sugar or glucose that comes from the foods you eat. When you reduce the amount you are eating, your energy level drops until you can “top off your tank” again with more food.
When you switch to a low carb diet, you become more metabolically flexible, meaning that your body can more easily switch between running on glucose or fat. In the first week of your new diet, the reduction in carbs will leave you feeling tired.
Because you’ve increased your fat intake, your body adapts by creating the enzymes and pathways needed to use fat for fuel. You can get fat from the foods you eat and from the fat stored on your body. Therefore, once your body has adapted, you have a steady energy supply, even if you reduce your calorie intake.
Sticking With It
The reduction in cravings, the noticeable weight loss results, and the increased energy that comes from low carb dieting contributes to the success these diets have in overcoming the fourth common problem that dieters face: sustainability.
On my second YouTube channel that I share with my husband, we did a video on the sustainability of a low carb/high-fat diet. Here are some of the comments that viewers of the video had to share.
“I’ve been at low carb/high fat and IF for about 1.5 years. Not only is it sustainable for me, it is the only way of eating I’ve done that works long term. It is the only time in my life that I feel like my body/mind is thriving, and I have no desire to stop.” ~Lance L.
“I feel much healthier when I eat a low-carb diet and, yes, it is sustainable because good quality fats (ie., olive oil, avocado, etc) plus a good selection of vegetables make food enjoyable.” ~Janice W.
I think it’s very sustainable. With any get together there is still something we can eat like a salad or meat or good veggies.” ~Sharon K.
You’ll notice some common threads in these comments. For instance, on a low-carb/high-fat diet, you have the flexibility to eat out with others because meat, fish, and seafood entrees are acceptable choices.
While the same refined treats that mentally tempt us on traditional diets like the bread basket and birthday cake don’t go away when you switch to low carb, because your blood sugar is steady and you feel more energetic, many people find these temptations much easier to deal with. As this person mentioned…
“For me, I have no choice but to stay on low carb. Before, I was overweight, diabetic, and struggling with other unsustainable diets. Why would I want to go back to that?” ~Paul J.
Unlike traditional diets, the low-carb way of eating is easy to follow, enjoyable, and effective. If you have not tried a low carb diet, I encourage you to try and see for yourself the difference it can make.
If you would like a guide, you can start with my free 0,1,2,3 strategy. It comes with four videos that are not on YouTube. It is a great way to get the right carbs into your body so you can jumpstart your diet. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!
(1) McClernon, F. Joseph, et al. “The effects of a low‐carbohydrate ketogenic diet and a low‐fat diet on mood, hunger, and other self‐reported symptoms.” Obesity 15.1 (2007): 182-182.
(2) Anguah, Katherene O-B., et al. “Changes in food cravings and eating behavior after a dietary carbohydrate restriction intervention trial.” Nutrients 12.1 (2020): 52.
(3) Gardner, Christopher D., et al. “Effect of low-fat vs low-carbohydrate diet on 12-month weight loss in overweight adults and the association with genotype pattern or insulin secretion: the DIETFITS randomized clinical trial.” Jama 319.7 (2018): 667-679.
(4) Samaha, Frederick F., et al. “A low-carbohydrate as compared with a low-fat diet in severe obesity.” New England Journal of Medicine 348.21 (2003): 2074-2081.
(5) Sackner-Bernstein, Jonathan, David Kanter, and Sanjay Kaul. “Dietary intervention for overweight and obese adults: comparison of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets. A meta-analysis.” PloS one 10.10 (2015): e0139817.
About the Author
Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.