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I don't quite understand how its supposed to work. Won't your body "starve" for energy due to the lack of carbohydrates in your diet?

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4 Answers 4

A slow-carb diet is not necessarily a low carb diet. In a slow carb diet you are choosing low GI/GL carbs. A slow carb diet is much more compatible with exercise than a low carb one. You can have a good workout on a slow-carb diet.

In a low carb diet your body can use fat and protein as sources of energy. That said, in my experience it is really hard to perform in your training session if you are on a low carb diet. I hear people say you can, say, lift weights on a low carb diet. However, performance is so poor I feel I'm wasting my time.

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Reducing carbohydrates from you diet will not make you starve. Reducing them too low (server) will cause body to turn to protein for the production of ATP and Glucose to power you through the day. The problem being, that generally the MDA recommends 40grams of protein per day for normal human body function. The body will take the Amino acids that it has available (Muscle mass or any un-used Muscles in the human body) and send them off to the liver where they're converted into Glucose. The down side to this, is that it is a very slow process, and your body will start targeting un-used muscle that normally you want to use Glucose along side ATP, and Oxygen to burn fat.

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Low-carb dieting or carbohydrate restriction is used primarily to reach ketosis. Ketosis occurs when your body is drained of liver glycogen, and it resorts to using your already or pre-existing fat stores for energy. Free Fatty Acids.

You can only start to burn these FFA's when your insulin levels are low, for example, when you wake up in the morning, you've been fasted for say 8 hours, you wake up insulin levels are low, you eat a bagel for breakfast, spike your insulin, it stays high for 3 hours, then you eat again, keep insulin high, repeat. If insulin is high, then fat-burning is low. Also consider, if you wake up and eat a carbohydrate laden breakfast before you work out, you must first burn through those carbohydrates (they are released as immediate energy) before you even touch any of the fat on your body.

Contrary to popular belief your body will not "starve" from low-carb dieting for a minimum of 3 days, depending on size metabolism, exercise schedule, etc.

From here, you're still not technically "starving" like the holocaust, but your body has now turned to catabolizing your muscle for fuel.

You're basically sending it a signal that food is scarce (keep in mind, 3rd day), and the human body's reaction is to go into a hibernation like mode, where it starts to eat away at the body for energy.

If you choose to do a carb-restricted diet, you would want to re-feed (have a high carb day) once per week to restore your bodies accustomed carbohydrate processing.

Essentially the point of low-carb is to restrict your carbohydrate intake so drastically that your body starts to burn fat, and stays in that fat burning state for a duration of time to see results. Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to do unless you're very strict, and determined to do this. All you're doing is keeping your insulin low, so HGH (Human Growth Hormone) can be raised, which in turn burns fat, and creates an anabolic environment in your body. This can also be achieved by working out (burns all the glycogen, make sure you don't eat post workout to keep this fat burning going), fasting (religious or intermittent), as well as low-carb, or carb cycling.

I am a fan of intermittent fasting. I don't like teasing myself with micro-meals 4-6 times per day. I don't like counting my carbs, so I just don't eat breakfast, don't eat post-workout, and I stay burning fat. It's actually working so well, I can't even bulk in a surplus. Very hard to gain weight at this point.

Keep up the hard work, you're doing the right thing by searching for the answers. Good luck mate!

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You can debate it all you need. I'm going with results. I'm 56, have been obese all my life. At my highest weight I was 410lbs. A co-worker lost 65+ lbs. on the slow carb diet and got me motivated. I started religiously in the 3rd week of August 2013. It is now the 2nd week of December 2013 and I have lost 84lbs! I have more energy than ever! High blood pressure....gone! Knee pain....gone! Attitude....phenomenal! Brain function and memory.....sharper than ever!

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

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Can you provide a deeper explanation as to why a slow carb diet worked? What did you do? How did you do it? The more dertails you add, the better we can understand how you achieved your end result. –  Matt Chan Dec 18 '13 at 12:39

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