Thomas DeLauer breaks down the science between a low carb diet and water loss on the latest #ScienceSaturday
Transcript by Rev.com
- What's going on Jigsaw Land? A lot of people wonder about minerals, water retention, low carb, keto, and the whole enchilada. Let's talk today about why you might drop some water when you first go on a new diet protocol. It's important to know that it's not always bad to lose water weight, we just need to reframe our positioning and understand why it's actually happening. Now, believe it or not, minerals are right at the forefront of this entire equation.
- All right, so let's get down to the science of what's going on. There's really two things I want to address. Okay, the first thing is when someone starts to go on any kind of low carb diet, of course you're going to lose some water simply because carbohydrates hold water within the body. For every one gram of carbohydrate that you consume, you generally hold about 3.7 grams of water. As you can figure, this will add up.
- Now, it's not quite that simple, it's not like you consume 400 grams of carbs, and you're going to hold close to 1,600 grams of water. It's not quite that extravagant. What it is, is it's the carbs that are stored in the way of glycogen. When you first go on a low carb, or a keto diet, or even a paleo diet, what's happening is your body has no choice to go through what is called glycolysis. Where, your body takes carbohydrates that are stored inside your muscle as a stored form of energy, and releases them into the bloodstream.
- If you're glucose dominant, which means that you've been eating carbs for most of your life, and your body usually is synthesizing carbohydrates as a fuel source. The first thing that your body's going to do when it's in any kind of caloric deficit, or any kind of carbohydrate deficit, is it's going to release those carbohydrates into your bloodstream to be burned, because you're not consuming those carbs through your actual diet.
- Once those carbs are burned and evacuated from the muscles stores, then you're no longer holding the water that is associated with them. You only hold that excess water when those carbs are stored as glycogen. It's not like you consume 100 grams of carbs right here right now, and you instantly hold 400 grams of water. It's not that easy. But still, it explains why you drop some weight really, really quick. Now, is this something to be upset about? Absolutely not, and here's why.
- You see, what happens is once your body loses that additional glycogen, and it loses that additional water, your body actually reduces amounts of inflammation in it. Which means, that your body is able to mobilize fat a lot better. Your joints are able to move a lot easier. You're able to work out, and get your heart rate up that much higher. It actually plays a very big role, and acts as sort of, for lack of a better word, catalyst for more weight loss later on down the line.
- Sure, some of it may just be water. But, it's a very powerful way that your body is using its own resources to get more energy, to get more efficient, and ultimately burn more fat. It's the kickstart, and it means you're doing it right. But, there's another thing that you have to remember. When you're on a keto diet, or any kind of low carb diet, your kidneys expel more water. Simply put, when you have insulin in your system, so insulin is something that's released whenever you eat carbohydrates, or whenever you spike your blood glucose. Your kidneys are triggered to hold onto water. They hold onto sodium, so therefore it holds onto water.
- When you don't have high levels of insulin, your kidneys don't regulate quite as well. I know that sounds like a bad thing, but in this particular case, it's a good thing. It means that your kidneys signal to your body to excrete sodium. When your body excretes sodium, you excrete water too. Because, sodium is what's going to allow a lot of that water to be held. But, where does it release that water? Well, it generally releases it from the subcutaneous tissue. When you release water from the subcutaneous tissue, you're not releasing water inside the muscle. You're releasing water on top of the muscle, underneath the skin, giving you a leaner appearance.
- Now, why is this good? Well, it's good because it gives you a fair look at what you actually look like. It gives you a fair assessment of what your muscle tone is like, and a fair assessment of where you really need to go. This does some things very powerfully when it comes down to a psychological aspect. If you start to see results early on in a diet, you generally can excel a lot further throughout the entire range of that diet. Again, not saying that keto, or paleo is even a diet. It's more of a lifestyle. But it still, it helps give you that initial surge that you need. That motivation to really keep on going.
- So, it's really two reasons that you drop that water when it comes down to low carb or keto. It's nothing to be ashamed about. It's something you should be proud of, 'cause at the end of the day, that water is still affecting what you look like. Believe it or not, a lot of the weight that you're holding probably is water that doesn't need to be there. Once inflammation is modulated within your body, that water will never come back unless you start to go back to totally unhealthy habits.
- As always Jigsaw Land, make sure that you're getting your proper minerals. Make sure you're getting your sodium from your healthy diet, make sure you're getting your magnesium from Jigsaw, make sure you're getting the plethora of other minerals that you need to keep a nice, balanced body inside and out. I'll see you on the next page.