Our body stores carbs as glycogen in the muscles and liver, along with three times it's own weight in water!
So 4 grams of glycogen = 1gram carbs and 3 grams water
Low carb diets tend to make you lose quite a lot of weight initially, although it is almost entirely due to loss of glycogen and its accompanying water!
The muscles store three times more than the liver and this is used to provide fuel for the muscles. The liver glycogen maintains the blood glucose levels.
The body can only store so much glycogen, a bit like filling your car up with petrol..... once it's full, it's full! Unfortunately the excess turns to fat!
The simple answer.........depends on the types of carbs!!
Fibre is a carb with zero calories..... it can help you feel fuller, therefore eat less, and be less likely to put on weight. However, refined carbs, like bread and other foods high in sugar are high in calories, so eating these carbs regularly will lead to weight gain.
When you cut carbs and lose weight, you are also cutting out high calorie foods eaten with it, like butter, cheese, cream and sugar.
But...... if you have a low carb diet and eat foods high in saturated fat and extremely low in fibre, you put yourself at risk of heart disease and strokes.
Carbs are the body's main source of energy, with no glycogen to use for energy the body will use protein and fat...... hence the theory behind the Atkin's and the Dukan diets.......
However cutting out healthy sources of foods from your diet that contain carbs (fruits, vegetables,dairy) could put you at risk of nutritional deficiencies, which can lead to serious health problems!
It may also result in not enough fibre in your diet which is needed for a healthy digestive system, prevent constipation, lower cholesterol and help reduce your risk of cancers.
Healthy carbs will be found in fruit, vegetables, legumes and dairy. From these you will get important nutrients like calcium, iron, b vitamins and probiotics.
So what do I do?
Concentrate on the quality of carbs you are having!
For example.... sugar will give you an insulin spike which encourages fat storage...... fibre, which is a carb, helps reduce our insulin levels after a meal and this discourages fat storage!