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6 Benefits Of A Low Carb Diet For Women

updated on May 14, 2024

Carbs Are Not The Devil, But It's Crucial To Know The Facts!

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When I began my journey with weightlifting and improving my diet, my aim was to gain healthy weight, feel strong, and regain my vitality. It wasn't a straightforward path. I tried every diet going. I did the typical ‘healthy’ bodybuilder style diet of protein shakes and carbs with every meal, but I just felt horrid. I spent most of my life meal-prepping and cooking. I battled with bloat and water retention. I’d have to nap after every meal, but it was all in the name of gains, right? Apparently this is what it took to get in shape - or so I thought. And then, after years of feeling sub-par, I found a better way. The Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) lifestyle changed my life. It made everything easier. I finally got my freedom and vitality back and the best bit was that I didn’t have to give up my pizza and red wine either.

It's important to clarify that 'low carb' doesn't mean eliminating carbs entirely. Remember, I still enjoy pizza and red wine. It's about making smart choices and timing. Our bodies don't need as many carbs as you might think to function well and build muscle. In fact, too many carbs at once can be problematic. Dr. Ede provides insightful perspectives on optimal sugar consumption for health.

Here's why LCHF could be a game-changer for you: Not all carbs are created equal and we don’t actually need huge amounts of them to fuel our bodies and build muscle. In fact, it’s far less than you think. The body can only handle about 5g – that’s only one teaspoon – of sugar in the blood stream per meal sitting, before things start to go a little crazy.

Have a read of Dr. Ede's take on how much sugar you should actually be eating without sabotaging your health. Protein and healthy fats are a far better option for fueling your body (and more delicious) did someone say bacon?! Sounds totally nuts, right? But, if you’re a woman who lifts weights and what you’re currently doing isn’t working for you, then read on.

Here are 6 reasons why you need to start doing LCHF to get the body and the health that you deserve.

1. No More Yo-Yo Dieting

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Carb-heavy diets that are low in fat and protein not only promote over-consumption (because protein and fats are the most satiating macronutrients, and if you don’t get enough, you'll always feel hungry), but they also provide quick energy. In fact, carbs start breaking down in your mouth as you chew, thanks to the enzyme amylase. This means you burn through carbs much faster than protein and fats. Ever noticed how you eat a bowl of oats and fruit for breakfast and find yourself starving just a couple of hours later?

What does this lead to? Over-consumption, cravings, sugar addiction, and constant hunger (in other words, no off switch!). You end up gaining weight, feeling bloated and lethargic, and looking 'fluffy.' So, you decide to go on a 'cut' to lean out, meticulously counting every morsel, tracking macros, restricting calories, and becoming glued to your calorie tracking app. This often leads to an unhealthy relationship with food and requires incredible willpower, especially with constant hunger and cravings. You might lose weight, but after several weeks, you're left feeling miserable, craving everything, undernourished, and possibly even damaging your metabolism. Then, the inevitable happens – you fall off the wagon, binge eat, overshoot your calorie intake, and gain all the weight back. And so, the cycle repeats. Sound familiar?

Enter the LCHF diet, breaking this cycle by prioritizing protein and healthy fats, while adjusting carbs to suit your individual needs.

This approach means you’re nourishing your body with what it needs to function optimally. Since protein and fats are the most filling macronutrients, you'll feel satisfied longer between meals, experience fewer cravings, and enjoy more sustainable energy throughout the day. And the best part? You'll find it easier to stick to a healthy eating plan. No more bingeing, no more yo-yo dieting. Essentially, LCHF makes dieting more manageable, offering a smoother and more sustainable journey to better health.

Bottom Line:

Carb-heavy diets often lead to overeating and less satiety, while higher protein and fat diets, like LCHF, are more effective in controlling hunger and cravings. Adjusting your diet's macronutrients may be more beneficial for weight and health management than just focusing on calorie or carb reduction.

2. Improve Body Composition

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Diets that prioritise protein and healthy fats (like LCHF) coupled with lifting weights, as opposed to high carb low fat diets and excessive cardio, have been shown to be more favourable for your body composition (i.e. building muscle while losing body fat). The key? Protein! If you don’t eat enough of this stuff, you simply won’t be able to build muscle because protein is the building blocks of every cell in your body. Cool, huh?

But, at the same time, you’ve got to monitor your carb intake. When you adjust your carb intake based on your activity levels, you get sustained energy for effective workouts without overdoing it. Overindulging in carbs without weightlifting can lead to poor body composition, more fat, and less muscle. Plus, this style of eating maintains energy levels throughout the day and is proven to preserve more muscle mass than typical low-fat, carb-heavy diets.

This study reveals that high-protein diets enhance satiety and energy expenditure, aiding in effective weight management and better body composition. The higher thermic effect of proteins also boosts metabolism and helps maintain lean muscle during weight loss. In short, high-protein diets are a more efficient way for those aiming to gain muscle and lose fat.

Bottom Line:

High-protein, low-carb diets, particularly with weightlifting, excel in building muscle and losing fat compared to high-carb, low-fat diets. They increase satiety, boost metabolism, and help maintain lean muscle, making them more effective for body composition.

3. Fats Improve Hormone Health

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Diets high in carbs and low in fats can really wreak havoc on your hormones. Chronically overshooting your carb intake leads to blood sugar spikes which can mess with insulin function, (the fat storing hormone). Combine this with constant calorie restriction and excessive cardio, and you're looking at a bunch of health issues. If you're dealing with sugar cravings, fatigue, bloating, being tired yet wired at night, mood swings, low energy, trouble losing weight, or slow gym progress, it might be time to switch to a lower carb approach.

Don't be afraid of fats! Cholesterol-rich foods are super important for your health. Your sex hormones rely on cholesterol, and your brain loves it so much that it makes its own. A balanced diet with moderate healthy fats, plenty of protein, and controlled carbs keeps your hormones in check. Happy hormones mean easier weight management.

Remember, a diet with more protein and moderate fats often works better for women. We're better at burning fat than carbs during workouts and naturally store more fat in our muscles. So using fat for energy makes sense. Go for foods like pasture-raised eggs, organ meats, beef, lamb, shellfish, avocado, nuts and grass-fed butter or ghee. These are packed with vitamins A, K, and D, crucial for hormone health and regulating metabolism and weight.

Bottom Line:

High carb low fat diets can disrupt hormones and lead to health issues due to constant blood sugar spikes and impaired insulin function. Switching to a Lower Carb diet, rich in cholesterol and healthy fats, can improve overall health, aid in hormone regulation, and support effective weight management.

4. No More Calorie Counting

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The philosophy of ‘eat less move more’ is an outdated approach to weight management. Calorie counting on a high carb low fat diet doesn’t work in the long run because it requires extreme willpower to work through the intense hunger, cravings and low energy typically experienced by dieters. It’s not just about eating less, it’s about the right type of quality nutrients so that your body can thrive and function optimally - that’s what makes weight management effortless. Basically, the quality of your food determines the quantity you eat. Some foods promote over-consumption (think carbs like bread, pasta, oats and rice), and other foods promote fullness and sustained energy levels (think chicken, beef, seafood, and healthy fats like avocado olive oil and nuts).

Who wants to count calories, obsess over labels and constantly feel guilt due to what you put in your mouth? If you focus on quality, you can forget all about counting calories. The LCHF diet that prioritises protein and healthy fats over excessive carbs allows you to eat until fullness, without compromising your fitness goals. You get a real sense of freedom from the bondage of ‘dieting’. Eating more fats keep you fuller for longer, eliminates cravings and allows you to eat delicious nutrient-dense foods in abundance - basically your body will self regulate your appetite so you can effortlessly keep your calories in check without having to rely on your tracking app.

Bottom Line:

The 'eat less, move more' mantra falls short for long-term weight management. High carb, low fat diets often lead to hunger and low energy, making them unsustainable. The LCHF diet, rich in protein and healthy fats, promotes fullness and satisfaction, allowing for easier weight management without the need for calorie counting.

5. Save Time In The Kitchen

Low-fat diets just don't cut it in our hectic lives today. Trust me, I've seen a big difference in my day-to-day routine. We're all trying to juggle a million things: running a home, parenting, careers, social lives, hitting the gym, and squeezing in some 'me time' to stay sane. The problem with the traditional 'healthy' eating approach, especially the Standard American Diet, is it leaves you hungry all the time. Low-fat meals just aren't filling, leading to constant snacking and meal prep that eats up our precious time. But here's where LCHF comes to the rescue:

  • It's packed with nutrients, so you aren't hungry every few hours.

  • Keeps you full longer, reducing the urge to snack.

  • It's satisfying, so say goodbye to those constant hunger pangs.

  • And you get more bang for your buck with each meal – less food, but way more fulfilling.

Bottom Line:

Low fat diets will have you spending more time prepping, cooking and eating food to compensate for the lack of nutrients. Nutrient dense low carb diets higher in healthy fats and proteins means you get more bang for your buck. What this means in real life is less stress about sticking to a diet, less time prepping and cooking, and more time for what truly matters – living your life and enjoying moments with your loved ones.

6. Slow Down On The Cardio

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Let’s face it. Traditional cardio sucks. It’s often something we endure, rather than enjoy because we’re told it’s ‘good for us’, (you know: heart health, fat loss, yada yada), but it’s just so dang boring! Being a hamster on a wheel just doesn’t compare to lifting heavy weights like a boss. It’s also been ingrained in us that the best way to get in shape is to eat a high carb low fat diet, count calories and up the cardio. I’m going to say something a little crazy right now that is the complete opposite - and it works. Excessive cardio is not healthy and if you don’t enjoy doing it, then you really don’t have to do it. Here's a shocker: cardio isn’t necessary if you want to get in shape. If you want to build shapely toned muscles and lose body fat, lifting weights is king, and has been shown to be better than cardio alone in the long run.

Cardio shouldn’t be the main focus of your fitness routine if you want to sculpt sexy curves, get strong and lose body fat. For the very best results, if you eat LCHF, prioritise protein and then time your carb-heavier meals around your training, there is no need to rely on cardio to get in shape. Of course, elevating your heart rate on a regular basis is important for heart health – so I’m not saying you should avoid aerobic exercise completely. But running on a treadmill every day for 45 minutes, staring into gym wall is not the only way to do it! You can swim, do a dance class, try circuit training - anything that makes you get a sweat on and heart pumping - but most of all, just have fun with it.

​Benefits Of Low Carb High Fat In A Nutshell

  • No more yo-yo diets! Build muscle and lose body fat at the same time.

  • Higher fats will balance your hormones, making results effortless.

  • No need to count calories or track macros! Let your hormones do the work for you.

  • Less prepping and cooking means you can save time, enjoy your life and still get results.

  • No need to rely on cardio to lose weight! Lift weights and time your carbs for optimal body composition.

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Shelley Darlington

Teaching women all over the world how to sculpt strong curves and gain confidence with my digital books, courses and app.

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