It may be the toughest of all endeavors, but Americans have attempted to answer to the trend of cutting carbohydrates out of their daily diets to lose weight.
This ‘carb craze’ has become a household name and has garnered great success for many. But some experts say it may not be the best alternative to lose weight.
The New England Journal of Medicine said a low-carb diet does produce greater weight loss, but results last only for the first six months with changes not significant after one year.
From the pressures of society to be thin, the low-carb or no-carb diet was created in the 1970s and gained popularity around 2001 by Dr. Robert C. Atkins and his book series titled The Atkins Diet.
Shontell Willingham, 22,a senior elementary education student from Jacksonville admits to trying many crazy diets that proved unsuccessful.
“Cutting carbs out of my diet altogether resulted in me losing over 25 pounds,” Willingham said. “I ultimately understand that you must go to the gym, put in time and work hard to look good, but if I can eliminate that altogether and still lose weight by not eating a certain food – I’m all for it.”
Experts do not dispute that the no-carbs diet gives instant and immediate results.
This diet can serve as a quick fix for people who don’t necessarily want to lose mass amounts of weight and not really concerned about their weight long-term.
Harvey Hagins, outdoor adventure program specialist for the FAMU recreational center, said: “You can’t just cut carbs and expect to meet your ideal weight goal.
You have to exercise. You have to combine the cutting of carbs with exercise, that’s the only way you’ll see results and have the weight stay off long-term.”
The National Purchase Diary group, a leading global provider of consumer and retail market research, conducted a study collecting data on 11,000 people from 2001 to 2003.
Their studies found very few people cut carbohydrates to the degree that many low-carb diets recommend.
NPD said most adults who attempt to cut carbs are still eating an average of 128 grams of refined carbohydrates daily.
For men, the average is 145 refined grams, and for women, it is 109.
This is well above the 20 to 50 grams per day low-carb diets recommend for weight loss.
Yet it is still under the average amount adults should be consuming on a daily basis.
Despite the popularity ‘carb craze’ diets have garnered over the years, Anthony James, 22, a junior graphic design student from Tampa, considers motivation to be a big factor in weight loss.
“Diets are cool if you’re trying to lose weight, but I think the best solution to weight loss is finding that one thing that will motivate you, like a workout partner,” James said. “A good diet plus awesome motivation will guarantee the body you’ve always dreamed.”
Hagins said he constantly has to remind people that anything worth having is worth working hard for. “There is no quick fix to losing weight, and cutting carbs should be a method and not the main answer,” Hagins said. “Keep your body balanced and remember: exercise, exercise, exercise.”