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huey231 t1_ir956in wrote

Negative. Carbs are not essential. Muscle glycogen is needed for energy and can be formed via breaking down protein. These proteins can come from an exogenous source (protein shake) and don't have to come from breaking down muscle. You're right in saying that protein from muscle is broken down when glycogen stores are empty, but glycogen can be made from exogenous protein via a process known as glyconeogenesis.

As for low carb and weight loss, it's a great way to stay in a calorie deficit, but not essential for weight loss. Calories in vs calories out rules above everything regardless of your diet 😎


mobofblackswans t1_ir9gfvl wrote

  • Carbs are important for serotonin production. In case anyone didn't know. Can google

plain_user42 t1_irahm0y wrote

Lots of optional things are important for seratonin. Not obligatory.

I was a zero carb power lifter for about 4 years before adding carbs back in. I had no issues. My SO runs cross country and was on the same diet as I was. No issues and regularly pushed PBs. Putting on muscle was even easier for me than a carb heavy diet. Higher energy levels too.

There are different ways to meet your chemical and nutritional needs that do not necessitate carbs. They aren't bad when consumed intelligently from healthy sources but they aren't required. Saying carbs are required is misleading.


molotov_billy t1_irag1aa wrote

Yep, and you'll have much better results building muscle with adequate carbs.

Calories in calories out - well no kidding, who said otherwise!


BlackSecurity t1_irbizoz wrote

Maybe not essential but carbs make the process easier. There is a reason big body builders eat shit tons of eggs (protein) and pasta (easy carbs).


Weisenkrone t1_irblru8 wrote

Proteins take roughly 20-30% of the calorie input to digest, carbs are closer to 5-10% and fats are 0-3% to digest.

And atop that, you are tangling up more energy and resources to trigger the glyconeogensis process, so you are at even lower efficiency.

Low carb, low fat diets work incredibly well because of that. Aside from protein being hard to digest, you also expend energy to turn it into glycogen.

Good for weight loss, awful for muscles.


huey231 t1_iri9r3k wrote

Here's a recent study showing no significant difference in high carb vs low carb for weight loss and body composition. In the study they note that the high carb group lost significant amounts of body mas, aswell as the low carb group. No significant differences were found when comparing the low carb group to high carb.

The deciding factor for weight loss?

Caloric deficit.


Weisenkrone t1_irih2zn wrote

Your calorie intake is the amount of calories you consumed, subtracted by the calories needed to digest that.

That's what I'm trying to say.

At the end of it, yes it boils down to the caloric deficit - but the caloric deficit is the result, it's not the process.

If these two groups had the same calorie intake, then the study went off effective calories not the numbers on the label of whatever you ate.

Additionally, when people reduce carbs usually they just increase fat which digests even easier then carbs.


huey231 t1_irii249 wrote

Sorry I misread what you were trying to say. Yes you're 100% right regarding the thermic effect of food on your overall caloric intake!


Weisenkrone t1_irij27h wrote

Not just thermic effect, glyconeogensis is also is a notable impact.

Carbohydrates can be directly digested directly into glucose, if you do not have enough carbohydrates in your diet, your body can synthesize it.

We're not talking a massive expense, but it's still there.


Hungshlung t1_ir9krl4 wrote

I like your part about not needing carbs for muscle growth because I am currently doing keto, have lost weight and feeling great! I’m also working out to build muscle and eating ample amounts of protein daily. What I don’t like is your “calories in vs calories out” argument. I tried that in the past which also included consuming carbs at the time and I lost very little weight very slowly. Keto has taken my fat loss to a whole new level, which I’m usually eating less than 20 carbs a day.


aim_so_far t1_ir9u8p6 wrote

A high fat diet impacts satiety greatly, meaning u feel less hungry (i.e., fuller) more often. This means u ultimately eat less... so calories in vs calories out is still the deciding factor


Least-March7906 t1_ir9vs9p wrote

Yeah, not sure how he can try to argue against the calorie deficit theory. Unless he is stating that his body magically produces extra calories


iCan20 t1_ira2nz3 wrote

Conservation of mass/energy is somehow tough for some people. It's like they aren't rooted in reality. Granted, I was a high school wrestler so understanding weight / metabolism is second nature.


TheBertinator3000 t1_ira962c wrote

There's something else, often overlooked when talking about keto.

Being a highly restrictive diet, keto also forces you to cut out most of the highly processed junk food (if you're doing it at all correctly). A low junk food diet is great for improving satiety, regardless of your fat/carb balance.


Hungshlung t1_irebmdl wrote

Not really… I eat about 2500 calories daily on keto