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Reducing carbs are always a high priority with most diets. Should you stop eating carbs completely? Eliminating carbs has helped many shed unwanted pounds, but it can actually be counterproductive to weight loss and overall fitness for some people.
Carbs Make You Fat: True Or Myth?
Carbohydrates have been demonized in recent years leading to an abundance of zero carb, and low carb diets. Is it true that carbs make you fat? Not exactly. A more complete statement would be:
An excessive amount of simple carbohydrates will cause excessive body fat.
Sure, it’s not as catchy as “carbs make you fat”, but it’s more true. It’s okay to eat carbs everyday. It’s even okay to eat a few bad carbs each day. What you can’t do is eat an excessive amount of simple carbs every single day of the year.
If your meal composition consists mainly of white bread, certain pastas, and sugary treats you’re going to store excess body fat because most people can’t utilize that much energy.
Unless you’re a professional athlete running around and burning 5,000-6,000 calories every day, you have to scale back and avoid entering the fat storage zone.
Changing Your Carb Sources
If sugar was a good carb, all would be right with the world. There’d be world peace, and I’d have a yacht named The Princess Yeti.
Ah, but it wasn’t meant to be. Sugar (simple carb) is quite destructive to fitness goals because of the amount most people consume. If it were just a tablespoon, it would be no problem. But your body can only utilize a certain amount of sugar in one sitting.
When you surpass this threshold, your body has to do something with it. So it triggers a chain reaction of sorts, using hormones to store excess energy for later use.
A similar process occurs with foods cooked with white flour. These fast digesting foods can’t be utilized at a fast enough rate, so excessive amounts of energy are then stored as body fat for later use.
Fast digesting Food = You can’t utilize it efficiently = Stored as body fat
Here’s the bad stuff
– White Rice
– White Bread
– Fruit Juice
– White Flour Foods
Here’s the good stuff
– Whole Wheat Bread
– Brown Rice
– Wheat Pasta
– Whole Wheat Flour
If all you did was substitute one food on the bad list, with one food on the good list you’ll notice a decrease in stored body fat after several months. Without exercise, or even restricting calories.
Just swapping out a fast digesting food for something your body uses more efficiently will change your body composition after several months.
See also: Intermittent fasting for fat loss
Scaling Carbs For Fat Loss
How many carbs are too many? If you take an honest look at your current body fat, you’ll get an idea of how many carbs your body really needs.
If you have a noticeable layer of body fat, it means you have some stored energy that can be broken down and utilized as energy. It’s okay to scale back and reduce your daily consumption of carbs.
When you see someone fit, athletic, with noticeable muscle definition you figure they must never eat carbs. Surprisingly to most people, the leaner you get the more carbohydrates you have to consume if you’re active.
If you have low body fat reserves to tap into, and you’re on a zero carb diet, your body will have to find energy from a different source.
In this case, your body will break down and essentially cannibalize muscle tissue. To prevent this from happening, athletes consume large amount of carbs to preserve their hard earned muscle mass.
The more body fat you have, the fewer carbs you need.
The less body fat you have, the more carbs you need to preserve muscle tissue.
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