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Why more fat and less carbohydrates can help you lose weight?

Why more fat and less carbohydrates can help you lose weight?

This article has been automatically translated from German. While our little team is working hard to provide you the best quality and resources, our multilingual capacity is still limited. Don't judge us by the Google translation please and head over to the original version in German instead.   

Eat fat to lose weight? For many people this is understandably a contradiction. However, the latest scientific findings show that people with "too much body fat" benefit from adding some healthy fat in their diet. In this sense, welcome (back) to ketosis! A low-carbohydrate diet (also called a ketogenic diet when very little  carbohydrates are eaten) consists almost exclusively of high-fat and high-protein foods and a lot of low-carbohydrate vegetables, including fat share with about 75 percent of the majority of the diet.

In the early days of mankind, a low-carb lifestyle was not uncommon: the cavemen basically lived on fish, some meat and green leafy and root vegetables and berries (the "trend" a low carbohydrate diet), had no snacks between meals (no cravings) and spent long periods without food (today we call this intermittent fasting). Since the Stone Age, in hardly any other area of ​​science has our knowledge of what is healthy for modern humans changed so fundamentally - for the better and for the worse - as in relation to nutrition.

Why can a low carb high fight diet (LCHF) make sense? (we prefer to speak of a healthy carb diet with lots of fibers)

The formerly good image of carbohydrates has suffered in recent years. Low carb has been around for some time - again we prefer to speak of "healthy carb". While fat used to be referred to as the “number one enemy of the people”, we now know that a high fat percentage can even be healthy. However, because eating habits are shaped and solidified over long periods of time, the fundamental change from high in carbohydrates to high in fat is not easy for us to implement, especially when you look at the supermarket. In addition, carbohydrate-rich meals have been the norm for many generations, especially the processed, unhealthy carbohydrates, especially sugar, white bread, white rice, etc., but also various fruit juices (even fruit in today's cultivated form contains a lot more sugar than the original wild fruits). But targeted lobbying, limited flow of information and limited supply promoted the consumption of precisely these unhealthy carbohydrates.

In the 1960s, the sugar industry paid the scientists, among other things. also at Harvard University to downplay the link between sugar and heart diseases and instead to promote saturated fatty acids as the culprit of the disease. This campaign has had a wonderful effect on consumers for several decades. Nowadays restaurants, supermarkets and cafes offer an oversaturated supply of unhealthy carbohydrates and a limited selection of fats and proteins.

But omitting carbohydrates does not automatically lead to a healthier diet, especially if it is replaced by too much protein (especially meat)!

From low fat to low carb.

Long has been equated to low fat with healthy. It saved fat in the food and compensated for the calorie deficit with more supposedly healthy carbohydrates. It has been known for some time that high consumption of such bad carbohydrates can have serious consequences such as obesity and the metabolic disorder type 2 diabetes. The result: after low fat came low carb.

Our body needs the regular supply of energy in the form of the three energy carriers carbohydrate, fat and protein from our food to maintain its functions. If you reduce one nutrient in this mix - while maintaining the same energy supply - more must be absorbed by the others to compensate. The current low-carb diet often leads to the omission of carbohydrates in the form of protein (especially from animal sources) - we then eat an additional steak as a substitute for the unconsumed pasta or bread.

Eating a lot of meat makes this diet attractive for many, especially for men, at least for a certain time. But there are some pitfalls that can limit the success of such diets: When the protein-forming amino acids are broken down, intermediate products are formed which, on the one hand, can burden the acid-base balance and, on the other hand, can be used to build up carbohydrates, so that the protein indirectly Carbohydrate intake increased. In addition, it is now known that excessive protein intake - especially meat - accelerates aging, because the body is constantly pretended that there are good times at the moment and that certain longevity genes are no longer activated.

More fat, more healthy carbohydrates and less protein

If the calories from carbohydrates are not balanced by protein, only the fat to fill up the calorie account is considered, because really healthy carbohydrates like lettuce, cabbage or broccoli have practically no calories. Of course, even with a low-carb diet, more fat than usual is already used by the body - after all, this is the desired effect, especially for overweight people. Because when carbohydrates are reduced, our muscle cells in particular burn more fat for energy. For example, the heart can cover its energy requirements practically exclusively by breaking down fatty acids.

However, there is another effect with a diet that has fewer and therefore healthy carbohydrates, which cannot be achieved with a reduction in carbohydrates alone: ​​the body begins to produce ketones with increased fat intake. With a conventional diet, ketones are only present in our organism to a very small extent. Their peculiarity is that they can be used as fuel by all cells very quickly. Ketones can therefore effectively replace carbohydrates.

Since we usually have larger fat stores in our body, the reservoir for ketone formation is very large. However, these energy donors are only created when the metabolism, especially in the liver, has switched to fat consumption. But as soon as larger amounts of carbohydrates arrive with food, the metabolism immediately switches back to the consumption of these carbohydrates. As a result, fat is saved again, the ketone formation does not occur.

This makes it clear: A short-term reduction in unhealthy carbohydrates does not have a long-term effect. So it is important to permanently reduce these bad, processed carbohydrates in order to maintain the weight achieved.

Lose weight with "Healthy Carb"

If a diet with less - but healthy carbohydrates - is supposed to lead to weight loss, we must of course also pay a little attention to the total calories. Basically, this amount must be less than the daily requirement. However, this varies greatly from person to person, depending on the initial weight and daily physical activity. We determine this with us using the FIT 3D Wellness Dashboard. However, one can assume that for people with a body mass index of up to 30, a calorie reduction to approx. 1500 kcal (women) or 2 000 kcal ( Men) will cause continuous weight loss daily. If the BMI is significantly higher, a higher calorie intake can already lead to weight loss. The nice thing about a "healthy carb" diet is that you hardly feel hungry because the body can metabolize the fat cells effectively and therefore the brain never panics because there is too little energy in the bloodstream.

Tips

  • no processed especially carbohydrate foods
  • 3/4 of the plate should be green and colorful (green leafy vegetables, all types of cabbage, berries, root vegetables etc.) -> Count fiber instead of calories
  • more good fats like seaweed oil (omega 3 oil), olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
  • Less animal protein (substitute with 2/week fish)

Sources:

Lifespan - David . A. Sinclair

Bulletproof diet:
https://blog.bulletproof.com/
the-complete-illustrated-one-page-bulletproof-diet/

Low Carb High Fat von Nico Stanizok, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Vormann
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/well/eat/
how-the-sugar-industry-shifted-blame-to-fat.html

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