Do Low Carb Diets Work?

Low carb diets work using the logic that when the body looks for energy, it goes first to the carbohydrates, rather than straight to the fat. By limiting or eliminating the intake of carbohydrates, dieticians reason that more fat will be burned as the body will have no other choice given the lack of carbs. While there is some justification for this line of thought, the reasoning fails to take into account many truths of the human body.

The Low Carb Diet

A low carb diet is a diet which is low in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates consist mostly of breads and grains like rice, wheat, oatmeal, and anything made from them. Much of our food includes carbohydrates from the breakfast muffins to the flour tortillas used in Mexican food. Eliminating all carbs from a diet can be extremely difficult on one's own since carbohydrates hide out in unlikely places. On the other hand, a number of programs offer diet and menu guides to help the wanna-be carb dieter avoid those unwanted macros. Eating low carb does NOT mean avoiding all vegetables - plenty of vegetables (and some fruits, especially berries) are low carb.

Low carb vegetables

High Protein, Low Carb Diet Plans

Some low carb diets focus on the other building block of energy: protein. That means that for breakfast, a low carb diet might call for a pair of eggs, two slices of bacon, and some juice. Anyone familiar with the idea of counting fat grams or calories will be appalled by the continuous diets suggested which include almost all varieties of meat, but cut out some vegetables and many fruits.

High-fat, Low-carb Diet Plans

The other building block of energy - namely, fat - is the primary focus of the more popular low-carb diets these days. Burning protein for energy is hard on your system and can even cause kidney damage over the long-term if you aren't careful. Many dietary experts believe that fat is a cleaner, more efficient fuel for the body. This is actually the scientific basis for the ketogenic diet. Brain and heart cells are especially fond of burning fat for energy as opposed to carbohydrates. Still, it can be hard to give up those delicious carbs - especially given how you may end up eating less food on a high-fat diet.

Fat is a more calorically dense macronutrient than either protein or carbohydrates. A gram of carbohydrate and protein only contains 4 calories each. A gram of fat holds 9 calories in total. If you're trying to lose weight, you want to maintain a calorie deficit. This means that you will be eating a smaller quantity of food (in terms of grams/ounces) than you would if you got most of your calories from protein, carbohydrates, or both. This lack of food density could leave some people feeling unfulfilled, leading to cravings and "cheating" on the diet. As everyone knows, unsustainable diets aren't going to work, no matter how much scientific proof backs up the premise. This is the main problem most people have with a high-fat, low-carb diet.

protein and fat

Weight Loss on a Low Carb Diet

Low carb diets promise weight loss of up to 20 pounds in a single month, although the respectable programs avoid such sensational numbers. In reality, no diet can safely offer permanent loss of more than a few pounds a month to the average individual. Most diet programs will cite the exceptions to the norm who lost 50 or 100 pounds, but those are the exceptions. Low carb diets will not force the body to burn fat, since the body can also use protein for energy.

During intense exercise, the body can't burn fat, no matter how much it would like to, because the process requires a minimum amount of oxygen that is not available when a person begins breathing hard. Plus, many people struggle to keep their performance up in the gym on a low-carb diet. Even if your body is burning fat for fuel, it only helps you with low intensity, lengthy workouts. The type of power you need for a short duration, high intensity workout (like HIIT cardio or a kickboxing class, for example) can only come from eating carbohydrates.

Side Effects of a Low Carb Diet

Some of the side effects of a low carb diet are no cake on birthdays, no pie for Christmas, and no rolls at dinner. If those don't sound like physical maladies, they aren't. The main problem for most people when attempting a carb-less diet comes back to just staying on the diet. Any diet, no matter how effective, works over a period of time, often a long period of time, to create permanent healthy weight loss. This translates into lifestyle change that most low carb diets don't offer. The average low carb diet presents a veritable crash course regimen meant to be conducted over a relatively short period of time.

Alternatives to Low Carb Diets

Rather than bouncing on and off of low carb diets, a safer and more long term approach of a healthy diet and regular exercise will net greater results in the long term. One of the best ways to achieve that goal is with a dietary supplement like Keto XS. Keto XS is specifically designed to help mimic the benefits of a low-carb diet in your body without going through all the pain and misery of divorcing carbs from your life.

On a low-carb diet, when the body burns its own fat for fuel, it produces something called ketone bodies. Keto XS contains these same ketone bodies in a safe, natural formula which is easy for your body to absorb. Supplementing with ketone bodies improve athletic performance, especially with low intensity, long-duration workouts. Ketone bodies also trigger satiety hormones so that you won't be plagued with the hunger and food cravings which are common with a calorie-restricted diet. Best of all, ketone supplements condition your body to prefer fat for fuel in between meals. That way, you're constantly burning fat throughout the day and feeding off of your stored fat cells instead of succumbing to the sugar crash you get in between breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You'll eat fewer calories, you'll hardly ever feel hungry, and you'll be able to kill it in the gym like never before with Keto XS!

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