Posted by: sammy | 2004/10/29


Hey Doc

I am on a high protein diet, know many people are opposed, but I’m only following it for a few weeks. Now my question is if I eat more than 20g of carbs a day, say 35grams, will I able to work those extra carbs off. Meaning can a person only burn calories or can you burn carbs as well? If I eat say 35g of carbs a day will I still lose weight, please help I go to gym 4 times a week. Anyone to answer!


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Sammy

I'm one of the people who is opposed, so my answer is a little biased, but I hope it helps you. I think that you have to eat more carbs. Even 35 grams a day is very little. I understand that to stick with the diet, this is what you can eat, but if you are exercising, then you need to have a source of energy. Proteins are a terrible source of energy, carbs and fats are very good. Therefore, when we talk about burning calories, we are referring to burning energy, but this energy comes from carbs and fats. So, to answer the questions, yes you will burn carbs and fats. This is in fact the problem with the diet. For one thing, it provides the body with so little energy, that exercise is made quite hard, and I would encourage you to be very aware of how your body is responding to the diet. If, in two weeks you go to gym but you just are not up to physical activity, that's because your body is so energy deprived from the lack of carbs that you can't exercise, and I would then say it's time to go back to a high carb diet. The second myth propagated by this diet and Mr Atkins, is that carbs are bad for you. At this stage, there is no solid evidence that this is true, and all our evidence suggests that you have to have carbs in the diet to provide energy. The problem with carbs is that people overeat, and when this happens you cannot burn off the energy and you gain weight. HOwever, very important to realise, it's not the carbs that you don't burn off, it is the energy and it doesn't matter whether you are getting your energy from fats, carbs or proteins, if you can't burn off the calories, then you gain weight.

I hope this helps slightly,

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