*Hang on while I take a bite out of my sandwich, will ya? I love. Love. LOVE my smoked turkey and Havarti cheese sandwich — on cheese sourdough roll. And Jerry, my neighborhood sandwich maker at Vons knows exactly how to place the mustard and mayo, and lettuce and tomato, so its not too much or too little!
Hey, I know that I can’t possibly be alone when I say, ‘I tip my hat to those of you who have successfully deleted carbs from your life.” I mean seriously, how does one live happily without eating bread, pizza and pasta?
Yet many do, and the rest of us have got some catching up to do.
So what exactly happens to your body when you do stop eating carbs. Yes, we know you lose weight…but, wait (no pun intended)… apparently even THAT’s not a given.
Here are some things that can happen to your body when you stop eating carbs you…
First know this. According to nutritionist Frida Harju-Westman, “Incorporating complex carbohydrates can improve your endurance and alertness.”
OK. But what the heck is complex carbohydrates? Sounds complicated already, right?
“Complex” meaning most wholewheat carbs vs. “refined and simple carbs” such as white carbohydrates.
OK. So breaking it down that means wheat or multi-grain breads, whole wheat pasta, or anything brown basically is better than just plain white.
Wait. Maybe I should put that another way…
Oh heck, you know what i’m trying to say, right? We’re talking about food here, people!
Frida says, yes, you can lose weight but…
Most of it (weight loss) comes down to water weight. “Diets high in sodium and insulin-promoters, like refined carbs, forces the body to store more water inside and in between cells than the body needs,” she explains. “This retained water can amount to 10-20 pounds, depending on your diet. When you cut carbs, the body will rid itself of this water, resulting in weight loss.”
So that explains it.
BUT! You can also GAIN weight!!!?
F-r-i-d-a-…where you at?
Losing water weight is a short-term solution, Frida says. Because the weight will eventually get added back on. “It’s common for those who cut carbs to replace their starches high-fat foods such as nuts, avocados, and cheese. There’s nothing wrong with high-fat foods, and they are essential to your diet. Keep in mind, though, that fats are more calorie dense than carbs and so they need to be eaten in moderation.”
Oh, that’s the part right there. “Moderation! Damn you!” What’s a girl supposed to do when that strawberry cheesecake ice cream just won’t let me push it away?
OK, well, I hold myself accountable and realize this is something I’m going to have to work on.
Frida says its important for us to balance our diet after deleting those carbs because we don’t want to get…
All together now, say it with me…
Yes. There you go.
To ensure the body receives all the nutrients it needs, a low-carb diet often means increasing the amount of protein and fats you eat, while reducing your fiber intake. “This could result in constipation,” Frida says, adding: “Ensure you’re eating a balanced diet that does not result in this kind of discomfort.”
Also, we can feel more tired…
The Lifesum nutritionist explains, “Your body stores carbs in the form of glycogen, which is easily absorbed in the bloodstream and is your brain’s energy source.” So this means when we run out of carbs, our mind needs some adjustment time. We will feel tired and probably experience physical fatigue.
Frida adds: “As explained before, it will be important to incorporate high-fat foods in moderation to help the body produce fuel from healthy fats rather than sugary carbs. If you are an athlete practicing high-intensity exercise, cutting carbs can take a toll on your endurance, so high-fat foods and protein will be even more important.”
If course healthy people, usually you hikers and hardcore gym types, already know this.
But you probably didn’t realize THIS one…at least not until someone told you!
Your breath may start to stink!
Oh no. Deal-breaker. You need some gum and its probably going to have sugar. White sugar. Unless you are diligent and decide to go on the hunt for something more organic.
Frida explains: “As you cut carbs out of your diet, and the body is ridding itself of the excess water weight, it is common to experience a case of dry mouth.”
But that’s not the only reason you might get bad breath on a carb-free diet. “When you cut carbs, your body enters a state called ketosis, which is when your body starts to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs,” says the expert. “In addition to being released throughout the body, ketosis is released through your breath and can result in a fruity smell or, in extreme cases, the smell of nail polish remover.”
Frida is just getting started, you guys. Read more of her advice on what we should know about carb-free dieting here.