Low carb diets are infamous for being hard, grueling and torturing on the body. But how much of all those stories and myths are actually true? Well, we’re here to find out. So buckle up, put on your reading glasses and let’s start crushing some myths!
Low Carb Diet Myths
1. Eating a Low Carb Diet Kills Your Muscles
The theory goes that if you deprive your body of some good ol’ carbs, it will start feeding on itself and destroy your gains, well that is not correct. As you decrease your carbohydrate intake your body starts reaching for glycogen that’s stored in your muscles as a substitute.
Glycogen, on the other hand, tends to pull water from your body into your muscles. Naturally, once your body starts consuming glycogen storages from your muscles, it will also drain them from water and make you look skinnier than usual. Which is probably where this myth started.
If your diet consists of high amounts of protein and is low in carbs, your body will begin to lose fat fairly fast and build your muscles. Even if you are not exercising regularly, you will build muscles. So if you manage to balance your diet with quality workout sessions several times per week, you will lean out and maintain your gains.
2. Low Carb Is Bad For Your Health
Low carb diets are often high in saturated fat, so the opinion is that this kind of extreme dieting raises blood cholesterol and increases the risk of heart diseases. Yeah, about that… low carb diets have been shown to actually reduce risks of heart diseases and increases the “good” cholesterol in your body.
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3. Carbs = Sugar
This statement is an oversimplification. Carbs do get broken down into sugars, such as glucose, fructose or galactose, but carbs themselves are not sugars. People tend to think that carbs are the same sh*t as those store bought sugars, which is entirely false.
4. You Can’t Gain Weight On A Low Carb Diet
People tend to think that as long as they don’t binge on carbs they can eat whatever the hell they want and they won’t gain weight. Food doesn’t work that way — things are a bit more complicated. Take, for example, organic peanut butter, it’s quite low in carbs and high in fat content.
If you are a peanut butter enthusiast who devours it by the jar, you will gain weight even though it doesn’t have many carbs. Same thing if you like munching on walnuts. 100 grams of walnuts contains only 16 grams of carbs but it’s filled with fats and calories. Don’t kid yourself thinking that just because you’re going low carb that you won’t get fat.
5. Low Carb Diet’s Will Affect Your Physical Performance
Athletes tend to eat a lot of carbs as a way of fueling the body for optimal performance. Meaning, if you cut down on the carbs your body will be weakened and your gym/sports performance will begin to deteriorate. Well, yes and no, it’s not that simple.
When you cut down on your carbs, your body can get into a state of shock because you are not feeding it fresh carbs and that can affect the numbers in your lifting sessions. However, your body will quickly adapt and start reaching for glycogen as it’s source of energy. Before you know it, you will start hitting your regular lifting weight again.