Lower Carbohydrates or Lower Calories?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a low-carbohydrate eating strategy produces better results in body composition (muscle vs fat) than a calorie-restriction plan, as it has the ability to spare muscle mass.  In general, muscle breakdown (catabolism) is prevented because protein intake is adequate. Whereas, individuals attempting to follow a low-calorie plan are forced to severely reduce animal protein as it’s higher in calories.

During any research on ‘weight’ loss, it’s been consistently proven that the higher the protein intake the LESS muscle lost, and the MORE fat lost.

One of the first things you’ll learn in Eat Meat And Stop Jogging, is that it’s not about ‘weight.’ What it says on the scale is a poor indicator of your health and body composition, as it provides no feedback with respect to muscle-weight versus fat-weight.

BGM Models

Note: All of these women are the same weight!

Those looking to lose ‘weight’ get overly obsessed with the scale, and end up getting conned into starving themselves to lose. They buy-in to the latest calorie-restricted diet, and start the lifelong yo-yo cycle of losing weight and gaining it back.

The reason they regain is because their body slows it’s energy burning rate and increases it’s energy storage rate in an effort to avoid a deficit. This means a reduction in muscle and resting metabolic rate, and an increase in fat storage. Leading to a tendency to gain instead of lose, regardless of the amount of caloric input (food) and output (exercise) going forward.

Aside from the long-term physical effects of a chronic energy deficit, attempting to ‘eat less’ or ‘cut calories’ produces inferior results in ‘weight’ loss when compared to a low-carbohydrate strategy.

A 2002 study from the journal Metabolism, took a group of normal-weight men and lowered their carbohydrate intake to 8% of calories for six weeks, while instructing them to eat as much as they wanted outside of that restriction. Not only did the participants lose over 7lbs of fat, but they actually increased their muscle mass by over 2lbs.

Largely because low carb means low insulin, which upregulates the fat-burning hormone (glucagon) and gives us the ability to burn bodyfat for fuel.  But also because there’s less hunger, and this makes it more sustainable.  Unlike a caloric deficit which depresses the fat burning hormone (leptin), and skyrockets the hunger hormone (ghrelin) – leaving dieters ravishingly hungry and reaching for low-cal high-carb foods.

low-cal-low-fat-high-carb-chips-crackers-cereal

As William Banting – the man credited for discovering a carbohydrate restricted eating strategy – wrote in 1864.

“I can now confidently say that quantity of diet may be safely left to the natural appetite; and that it is the quality only which is essential to abate and cure corpulence.”

In other words, when you’re eating the ‘right’ foods, and limiting the high-sugar, addictive, and hormone altering properties in the ‘wrong’ foods, you can eat as much or as little as you wish.

Stay Lean!

Coach Mike


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