What’s the difference between a High Carb Diet and a Low Carb Diet? Choosing a diet is hard – use these 3 questions to figure out where to start.
With all the information available online, you’d think choosing between a Low Carb Diet and a High Carb Diet would be easier. Unfortunately, it seems the no-barrier-to-entry status that makes the internet a shining example of freedom of speech also leads to endless opinions in less-than-helpful articles.
So which is right for you: the Low Carb Diet and High Carb Diet?
First, we must understand the purpose of diets.
Diets aren’t magical weight-loss programs. They apply structure to the foods you eat within your calorie target, meaning it’s usually not the diet that causes weight loss. A diet plan simply makes it easier for you to stick with healthy habits long-term by prioritizing food sources that keep you motivated and feeling your best.
Once you’ve chosen your calorie target for either weight gain or loss, it’s time to figure out what foods your body uses most efficiently.
You likely already have some evidence to help guide you:
Energy crashes after pasta loads let you know a High Carb Diet might not be for you.
Regrettable adventures in banishing all carbs left you unable to focus, and moody all day – maybe you shouldn’t quit carbs just yet.
So what questions should you consider when choosing your diet?
1. Are you a Fast or Slow Oxidizer?
It doesn’t matter how well a diet plan aligns with your goals. If your diet doesn’t make you feel good and doesn’t work with your body? You won’t last long.
As a reminder, our three main macronutrients are carbs, proteins, and fat. Carbs break down into bioavailable energy the easiest, with proteins and fats requiring more effort to convert.
So if you’re a fast oxidizer, your metabolism is particularly efficient at rapidly breaking down incoming food to fuel. As a fast oxidizer, you’ll do better on a Low Carb Diet that prioritizes slow-burning fats and proteins that keep you energized all day.
If you’re a slow oxidizer, your body takes longer converting food to fuel. Without carbs, you might feel more like a member of the walking dead as you patiently wait for your metabolism to break apart those tricky proteins and fats. You’d benefit from a High Carb Diet that gives you consistent bursts of energy throughout the day.
2. What Are Your Goals?
Now that you know the types of food your body likes to stay energized and motivated, let’s learn how to infuse your preferences into your goals.
If you’ve been underrating for years and your goal is to reset your metabolism, a Low Carb Diet is a great place to start. Low Carb Diets often prioritize large amounts of leafy greens making it difficult to overeat, increasing satiety by upping your micronutrient profile, and reversing negative metabolic adaptations.
If you’re a fast oxidizer looking to drop a lot of weight, the Keto Diet could be perfect. With slow-burning proteins and fats shifting your body away from glucose as fuel, towards ketones stored in your body fat, you’ll likely feel more energized and see bigger changes.
3. What’s stopped you from achieving your goals in the past?
It’s essential you prepare for all the obstacles that will deter you from reaching your goals. If you’ve struggled to maintain diets in this past, examine why.
Are you a fruit fanatic? Skip the Low Carb Diet in favor of a Moderate or High Carb Diet that protects muscle gain with adequate protein while satisfying carb-cravings with increased dietary flexibility.
Enjoy eating out, or often have large home-cooked meals with family and friends? Keto probably won’t fit your lifestyle and will only add stress. Try the Isocaloric Diet instead, which alternates between a more balanced 30:40:30 and 40:40:20 ratio of carbs, proteins, and fats.
While many factors can influence a diet plan’s success, before you can choose the diet plan for you — you have to know what foods make you feel your best.
Consider these questions before diving into your Low or High Carb Diet – don’t go with the flow, experiment, and choose the best diet for you.
Liked what you read? Check out my other articles posted here on Trusted Nutrition.