Trying to decide between a low carb vs low fat diet? Which one is right for you?
The diet industry is like a pendulum, swinging back and forth. About 10 years ago, all we heard about is low fat, low fat, low fat. Fat makes you fat!
Now it seems we’re hearing a lot more about low carb, low carb, low carb. Carbs make you fat!
What? It can be completely confusing for you as a dieter. So which one really works?
Well, the good news is that both diets work – but it depends on YOU!
Yes, you are the deciding factor. Before we get to that though, let’s back up and define what I mean by a low carb diet vs a low fat diet.
There are basically 3 types of energy/fuel units that make up your diet – protein, fats and carbs (there are micronutrients and vitamins, minerals, etc, but we won’t get into that for this article).
So in a low carb diet, you’re decreasing the ratio of carbs and increasing the ratio of protein or fat – or both depending on the kind of low carb diet you’re following.
Most low carb diets generally try to keep your daily carbs around 30 grams a day. The idea behind the diet is this: carbs require your body to release insulin. Insulin keeps your blood sugar under control. But it’s also a fat storage hormone, signalling your body to store fat.
So when you eat too many carbs, your body goes into fat-storage mode and you store the extra carbs as fat due to the hormone insulin.
A lower carb diet also forces your body into burning fat for energy – instead of carbs (a process called ketosis). So if you’re burning fat for energy, the theory is that you’ll lose fat faster.
Now for the low fat diet. Using the ratio example above, a low fat diet reduces your ratio of fat calories and increases your amount of either carbs or protein – usually both.
The reasoning behind this diet is that fat contains 9 calories per gram whereas carbs contain about 4 calories per gram – so by decreasing your fat, you naturally decrease your calories and lose weight.