The concept of cutting carbs to get a more ripped physique isn't new. Carb depletion is actually something many bodybuilders have utilized for a long time. Since bodybuilding is such a competitive sport, participants are always looking for a new way to get an edge. That's why plenty of them have experimented with different styles of Atkins inspired diets. These types of diets minimize carbs in order to reduce body fat.
One of the most interesting things about the Atkins diet is it puts the body into an initial ketogenic phase. What that term means is the body is shifted towards burning fat as a result of not having enough carbs or protein to burn for energy. While that can help shed some initial weight, it's actually not what's responsible for extended weight loss and staying at a desired weight. Instead, transitioning to a maintenance phase that's based around a low-glycemic load is what makes ongoing results possible.
How Does This Type of Diet Compare to Others?
When this type of diet started gaining attention, a lot of people were very impressed by the results someone could get by using it as a cutting tool. Bodybuilders found that it worked especially well for rapid cutting without encountering issues with their bodies holding onto unwanted fat stores. However, that doesn't mean that it's all good news for this diet.
Over time, one common trend that emerged among a significant number of low carb and high fat dieters was that the fullness and mass of their muscles was depleted. Because that's the last thing that anyone who spends a significant amount of time lifting weights wants, less people who are focused on muscle instead of just the number they see on a scale use this type of diet for maintenance.
A low carb and high fat diet can still be an effective cutting strategy for those who want to maximize their muscle gains. But in terms of an ongoing approach to eating that will support muscle growth, it's generally agreed that a more balanced diet is best. Specifically, a diet that's based around 40% carbs, 40% protein and 20% fat. Not only is this good for mass and strength gains, but as long as someone is careful with their calories, they shouldn't have to worry about ruining their definition.
Are There Any Health Concerns About Low Carb and High Fat Diets?
For most people who want to lose fat and increase muscle tone, looking better isn't their only motivation. They also want to be able to reap the benefits of having a healthier body and lifestyle. That's why it doesn't make sense to embrace a diet that could potentially have negative health consequences. With a low carb and high fat diet, the main areas people commonly worry about are cardiovascular health and insulin sensitivity.
Surprisingly, when it comes to the former, this type of diet may actually improve risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Those factors are primarily triglyceride and cholesterol. And for the latter issue of insulin sensitivity, even though any type of weight loss can help improve it, studies have found that low carb and high fat isn't ideal. Instead, a completely opposite diet has actually been shown to yield far more improvement.
Is a Low Carb and High Fat Diet Right for You?
Based on all the findings about this type of diet, for someone with cardiovascular disease, visceral obesity or type 2 diabetes, the answer is likely no. However, for most other people, a low carb and high fat diet can be an effective way to cut fat prior to summer, a vacation or other special event. In just six weeks, a diet of this nature can help someone significantly change their body.
While a low carb and high fat diet can work very well for cutting weight, that doesn't mean it's the ideal maintenance diet. For anyone who's focused on muscle mass, a more balanced approach to eating, along with a supplement that can be purchased here, is probably best. Also, keep in mind that with this or any other diet, if you have any questions about its appropriateness for your specific body, don't hesitate to have a discussion with your doctor.
Glen Ryckman is a personal trainer. He helps clients improve their physical appearances, as well as hone in on exactly what they want out of life. He also enjoys volunteering through various community programs that help kids understand the importance of exercise and eating well.