10 Surprising Reasons Why Eating Less to Lose Weight is Bad for You
Regarding dieting, the first thing most people cut down on is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates, the main nutrients in rice and noodles, staple foods for Koreans, have somehow become public enemies of dieting, although they are as important as other nutrients. Some even believe that taking a cutting agent after consuming carbohydrates can prevent them from accumulating in the body. But should we deliberately cut down on carbohydrates? Let’s find out how drastically reducing carbohydrate intake affects our bodies.
Weight loss effect is apparent
Indeed, reducing carbohydrate intake can help with weight loss. If you cut down on a bowl of rice for each meal to half a bowl or limit foods like bread and noodles, it is evident that you will lose weight. However, excessive limitation can harm your health.
What is the minimum daily carbohydrate intake?
The minimum daily carbohydrate intake is 100g. It is recommended to choose 3-4 different carbohydrate foods daily and consume about 400 calories while avoiding refined carbohydrates like flour, rice cakes, and snacks that can spike blood sugar levels. Recommended carbohydrate foods include a slice of bread, a potato, half an ear of corn, and the like.
Cutting out carbohydrates completely is a no-no
Carbohydrates should not be cut out completely. Consuming complex carbohydrates like whole grains would be best instead of reducing white rice or flour-based foods. Many people especially tend to skip breakfast. Consuming carbohydrates at breakfast can help maintain fullness for a long time, preventing overeating and providing energy.
Feeling extremely fatigued
If you feel highly fatigued despite leading an everyday life, it could be because you are not meeting your body’s carbohydrate needs. If you’re too tired, you might not even have the energy to exercise. In such a situation, eating fruits like apples or bananas before exercising can help supply carbohydrates and aid in regaining strength.
Severe headaches occur
If you suddenly reduce your carbohydrate intake, your body will start using fat as an energy source, and ketones will be produced as the fat is consumed. If the concentration of ketones in the blood increases, severe headaches can occur, and along with sodium, they can be excreted in the urine, causing symptoms of dehydration.
Immunity of the body decreases
Carbohydrates also help in the production of antibodies against diseases. Among those who consume less than 100g of carbohydrates daily, some people frequently fall ill due to a lack of carbohydrates. In such cases, eating unrefined carbohydrates like sweet potatoes can help restore the body to a normal state.
Severe bad breath
Did you know that reducing carbohydrate intake can lead to bad breath? As mentioned earlier, our body goes through a ‘ketosis process’ where chemical substances are released when fat is consumed. It is during this process that bad breath is produced. Therefore, if you excessively reduce carbohydrates, no matter how well you brush your teeth or floss, the ketones rising from within the body will inevitably cause bad breath.
Carbohydrates have a protein-sparing effect, meaning that proteins are consumed when the body is active. When proteins are lost, muscle function weakens, making it impossible to sustain vigorous activities. Therefore, even if you are trying to lose weight, you need to replenish carbohydrates, especially if your physical activity level is high.
Easily irritated and increased stress levels
People who eat fewer carbohydrates are often seen to be irritable. This is a perfectly normal reaction because carbohydrates contribute significantly to the production of ‘serotonin,’ a chemical that makes you feel good. Therefore, when the supply of carbohydrates decreases, one can become depressed and quickly get angry.
Choose whole grains for the same carbohydrates
Whole grains like barley and brown rice are better for the same carbohydrates. The reason is dietary fiber, especially the beta-glucan component, which inhibits cholesterol synthesis in the liver and prevents sudden changes in blood sugar, thereby having an anti-obesity effect. Beta-glucan also collects and excretes carcinogenic substances such as fatty acids, cholesterol, and heavy metals from other foods.
By. Shin Young Jeon