Why is a low carb diet healthy?
And why is a lower carb lifestyle more important today than it was even a decade ago? Back then, most people were still experimenting with all sorts of low and zero carb diet plans, which helped in some way to raise awareness of this type of eating, but they didn’t really hit the mark in terms of understanding why lowering your carb intake is so important for your health, and waist line.
I’m going to get a little bit scientific-y on you but I think it will make total sense.
It all comes back to blood sugar…
The liver uses glycogen to regulate normal blood sugar, which fuels the brain at rest. The body has the ability to store about 80 to 110g of carbohydrates as liver glycogen.
Fat primarily fuels the muscles at rest and during low intensity activity.
Muscle glycogen is really only used to fuel the muscles during intense exercise.
Fair question for you…when you exercise, is it REALLY intense?
The body can store between 300-600g of carbohydrate as muscle glycogen across the entire body, depending on your size.
So a sedentary person, or someone just doing low intensity activity like yoga or walking, is not exercising intensely. They are not really burning through muscle glycogen stores, so they do not need to worry about replenishing them with a high carbohydrate diet. (Don’t misunderstand me though, walking and yoga are wonderful additions to your exercise regime!)
Sedentary people really only need to worry about providing adequate carbohydrates to fuel the brain at rest. This can totally be accomplished with just around 100-125g a day, which is really more than you might imagine, if it’s from the right sources that will keep you full – like vegetables, nuts and seeds.
So what happens when you overdo carbohydrates?
Once your liver glycogen and muscle glycogen is full, all the excess carbs will be stored as fat. Most Americans live with chronically elevated blood sugar and insulin, which tells the body there is no need to burn fat as a fuel source. The body will never be forced to tap into its own body fat stores. Not to mention, any dietary fat that you eat will also not get used as fuel. It will simply be stored as fat as well.
I believe exercise is vital to your happiness and important for your health. But living the lower carbohydrate lifestyle may be the single most important thing that you do to be your healthiest!
Learn more from my M.A.D.E Diet ebook here.
My name is Melissa McAllister. I just turned 44! I have a son and daughter and my husband and I are new empty nesters! My husband is the reason I eat, drink, and sleep health and fitness. He has 2 speeds, GO and GO Faster. We have been together for over 28 years and married for 23 (yes, he had me at “hello!”). Don’t get me wrong though…I was a Doritos and Coca Cola eating Hoover when I was in school! Fitness has been an essential part of my life for over 19 years. I have the 3 best jobs in the world—being a stay-at-home Mom, business owner, and group exercise instructor for several large fitness chains. I have been teaching everything from yoga to kickboxing for over 17 years. I have also had the great opportunity to train, inspire, and motivate other instructors for the past 11 years. You might even see me in a few fitness videos out there! 😉 Reaching out to others who are struggling to be healthy and happy is my passion. I couldn’t tell you next Fall’s latest fashion must have or what flowers to plant this season, but I can help you achieve your health and fitness goals. With your determination and my motivation, we can find and keep the best YOU! I will inspire by holding myself and those around me accountable!