Dr Clare Collins answers your questions...
Yes, it does work in terms of making you lose weight in the short-term but it’s actually dangerous. Carbs are the primary fuel your body runs on, including your brain, heart and lungs. So if you withhold all carbs your body runs out of fuel. Side-effects from a carb intake that is too low include lethargy, headaches, nausea and bad breath. Long-term restriction of carbs can lead to serious problems such as low bone density, kidney problems and in extreme cases, an irregular heartbeat.
The reason why people see a big drop on the scales when they cut out carbs is because carbs are stored in muscles as glycogen and this is packaged into muscles with water. When the numbers drop on the scales, it’s really just a drop in fuel tank levels. It means you are running on empty rather than dropping body fat.
The best approach is to focus on including healthy carbs from wholegrains, fruit, and vegetables.
Are you Australia's healthiest eater? Try the Healthy Eating Quiz developed by the School of Health Sciences in the Faculty of Health at the University of Newcastle.
Dr Clare Collins is a Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Newcastle and consultant for The Biggest Loser.