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Should You Be Cutting Carbs?

When someone is trying to lose weight, what is the first thing they say? “I need to cut carbs.” While eliminating carbs completely will cause you to lose weight, you may not be losing fat. Carbohydrates are stored in the liver and muscle as glycogen, which requires water to be absorbed with it. Carbs can result in water retention and weight gain, which comes off when carbs are eliminated, but you didn’t lose any fat, just water. Additionally, eliminating all carbs means no fruits and vegetables, which contain a lot of essential nutrients. So what if you ate just a tiny amount of carbs for the micronutrients and fiber, eliminated all fat except for some fish oil supplements, and ate mainly protein? You can’t get fat by eating just protein, can you? Yes you can. There are pathways by which protein can be broken down and used to create free fatty acids or glucose, both of which can ultimately be stored as fat. It’s a lot harder, but it can be done. Besides, almost all protein sources have some carbs and fats, so rarely are you consuming just protein. Any macronutrient consumed in excess will result in fat storage. Losing fat still requires a calorie deficit. A high protein, low carb diet is simply easier for some people to stick with, but the reason it results in fat loss is less net calories, not less carbs.

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