If you cut out carbs to lose fat, it can be beneficial in the short-term. Whether it is sustainable or not is dependent on you and your body. Reasons are suggested on why you shouldn’t cut carbs out and rather having an eating plan that either reduces your intake or manages it to boost fat loss.
Solutions that you can take will be provided, in case you do decide to take the option of eating no carbs. At the end of the day it is based on your preferences and health.
1. You Might Not Get Enough Fiber
The richest carbohydrate sources have dietary fiber, like whole-grains, some fruits and vegetables. Dietary fiber is important for digestion and gut health. It also helps in keeping you fuller for longer, this in turn can lead to you eating less in a day, being in a calorie deficit and losing fat.
Check the packaging of some food that you eat to see if you’d be missing out on fiber if you don’t eat the food. Some low carb, high fiber foods are wheat bran, avocado, spinach and some fruits (blackberries) that you could try.
2. You Might Miss Out on Micro Nutrients
Some carbs carry important micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals) that are beneficial for your overall well-being. Magnesium, Vitamin B-12, Potassium and antioxidants are examples of the nutrients that are available in some carbs.
Supplementation of these micro nutrients is always an option, but do you want to spend that money monthly buying supplements? This is dependent on your preference. Otherwise, find foods that are high in these nutrients that are low in carbs.
3. Carbs Help You Build Muscle
Carbs provide your body and muscles with glycogen (broken down carbs) which provide you with energy. Low energy stores before going to gym and lift weights can lead to you being easily fatigued or weak when lifting.
Maximizing your glycogen stores leads to your muscles performing better. When you eat carbs after a workout, your muscles glycogen replenishment can happen quicker.
Unless you decide to undergo a keto diet where your body will start using fat as an energy source, it will be difficult for your muscles to perform well. You will still build muscle when lifting and eating, but the growth potential will be reduced due to lower muscle performance.
Muscles requires more energy than fat to be maintained, therefore more calories can be burned when you do build muscle.
4. You Might Develop an Unhealthy Relationship with Food
A restricting diet can be unhealthy. When you haven’t mentally prepared for the diet or your body is unable to adapt to the change, you may start getting unhealthy cravings or even develop an eating disorder.
It is always best to consult a health professional before undertaking a restricting diet. Otherwise, learn to see all food as a necessity to your well-being no matter what type of food it is, this is how life is lived. The importance is on moderating portions of highly processed food.
How to Lose Fat Without Cutting Carbs
1. Focus on a Calorie Deficit
You must be in a calorie deficit to lose fat. This is why it is more important to focus on it, no matter what you eat, if you want to lose fat. Fat contains more calories than carbs, therefore cutting out carbs cannot ensure a calorie deficit. Counting your calories and macros will.
MyFitnessPal is a great app that helps you count your calories and macros.
2. Cut Out Simple Carbs
Simple carbs contain one or two sugars and are quickly digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. They can cause a spike in blood sugar resulting in an increase in insulin secretion, which can lead to more glucose being stored as fat.
Simple carbs come in the form of sweets, soft drinks, sugar, syrups and some fruit juice concentrates. This form of carbs adds up when consumed consistently and most sources contain refined sugar.
3. Make Water Your Best Friend
A zero-calorie drink that can help suppress your appetite. Water must be carried in a bottle that you take with you everywhere you go. This makes it easy for you to consume. It can hold you up before your next meal and prevent unhealthy snacking when you’re sipping on it throughout the day.
Drinking it before and after meal can prevent you from overeating too. Try drinking at least 2 litres of water per day. Most general sized bottles are 500ml, four bottles of water throughout shouldn’t be too difficult.
4. Focus on Eating High-Protein Food
High-protein is based on lean meats, skinless chicken and eggs etc. This is because these high-protein foods are usually low in carbs and in fat. This is the best scenario to have when you’re trying to lose fat. High-protein foods are also very filling, which can lead to less food being eaten throughout the day because of this.
It is recommended that you never restrict your diet for long periods of time, because it may not be sustainable. It is all dependent on what works for you in the long run. Enjoy life and don’t be too hard on yourself.
I hope these tips are helpful for your fat loss journey and that if you do cut out carbs, it’s because it is what works for you.