A Low Carb Model for Weight Management

A Low Carb Model for Weight Management

There are countless opinions on the best way to lose weight. The most well-known approach to weight loss is creating a calorie deficit by eating less and moving more. However, research suggests that the body fights against calorie restriction by slowing down the metabolism and increasing hunger.

Instead of calorie restriction, a recent study suggests that some people can benefit from a different model for weight loss: low carbohydrate diets.

“A low carbohydrate diet is one approach to weight management,” says Lori Schermers, registered dietitian and health promotion educator at the Healthy Life Programs at Holland Hospital. She adds, “Other patterns of eating have also been shown to result in losing and maintaining weight loss.”

A Low Carb Approach to Weight Loss

In September 2021, a group of obesity doctors and scientists published a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition presenting a different approach to losing weight: the carbohydrate-insulin model.

This new approach is based on the premise that eating a lot of processed and rapidly-digestible carbohydrates like white bread, white rice or pasta stimulates the production of insulin, the hormone that promotes the storage of calories into fat cells. If not enough calories are left in the bloodstream, it can trigger the feeling of hunger and lead to overeating. 

The carbohydrate-insulin model can help people control their insulin levels by reducing refined carbohydrates and replacing them with healthy sources of high-fat foods and a moderate intake of whole grains, whole fruits, legumes and vegetables. Unlike just restricting calories, it does not depend on a person exercising extreme discipline and ignoring the body’s hunger cues.

Balance is Key

“Eating routine, balanced meals with adequate fiber, protein and healthy fats and limiting added sugars is important for a healthy pattern of eating,” says Schermers. “Slower weight loss while changing lifestyle habits is likely to be more sustainable and reduce the chance of rebound weight gain.” 

For some people, low carb living works well and is one approach to consider when determining what might work best for you.

“There is no one-size-fits-all pattern of eating,” says Schermers. “The best approach is the one that is sustainable for you.” 

Where can I learn more?

Want to learn more about how Holland Hospital helps people improve their wellness through individualized approaches to healthy weight management? Click here or call (616) 394-3344 to schedule an appointment with a health care provider.

  • Lori Schermers, RD

    Lori Schermers, RD

    Lori Schermers is a registered dietitian and health promotion educator at Holland Hospital’s Healthy Life Programs. Lori uses the principles of intuitive eating and mindfulness to help people eat well, eat mindfully and optimize their well-being. She lives in Holland, is an avid cook and yogi and loves traveling and being outdoors.

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