The recent tendency in fitness nutrition among gym goers or dieters is that most of them think that carbohydrates make you fat! Do carbs actually make you fat? We have touched partly on this subject in our previous articles. Let’s begin by outlining what is carbohydrate. Carbohydrate is an essential nutrient that the human body needs for basic functioning. Every gram of carbohydrate consists of 3.6 – 4.1 calories of energy depending on the source.

Primarily, you need to establish and control your calorie balance, and secondly control hormones. It is simple, but not easy. By suppressing fat-storing hormones you can melt-away substantial amounts of body fat. Thus, you need to keep your macros in check, particularly carbohydrates since they kick up the insulin level. Insulin is a hormone that drives fat storage and inhibits fat-breakdown. If you eat fewer carbs and consume low glycemic index (GI) carbs, your insulin levels will drop and you will start losing fat. Glycemic Index is a measurement used to identify how quickly/slowly food glucose is absorbed. Another measurement is a Glycemic Load which identifies the total absorbable glucose in foods.

It is ridiculously stupid to assume that the source of carbohydrate isn’t important and that the time of consuming doesn’t matter at all. Not all carbohydrates are created equally, 100g of white bread has a very different composition to 100g of brown rice. Another important point to consider when consuming carbs is the timing. Matter of fact, high GI carbs can help you to reduce fat too if consumed at the right time and the right amount.

Another hormone that you need to be acquainted to is leptin. Leptin is as important hormone in controlling body fat balance as insulin, the difference is that it does the opposite, it burns fat. The more fat you have in your body the more leptin will be available to burn fat. Hence, the lower the body fat level, the less leptin is available making it harder and harder to burn off fat. Consequently, it will decrease your energy level and bring on the feeling of laziness. For many people, this would be a breaking point, since lowering body fat level is stalling. It would be the right moment when carbohydrate reload comes into play to help you overcome this situation. We will explain how this can be performed and other vital tricks to torch your fat in our future articles, so stay tuned!

There is no one size fits all approach when putting together a nutritional plan, and same applies for carbohydrates intake. Each body work differently, and you have to find what works best for you, which sources of carbohydrates and the amounts needed. All this needs to be aligned with your overall fitness and nutritional goal.

Don't be Scared of Carbs

Are you trying to reduce your body fat before the summer? Is it a struggle!? We will give you a trick of the day for you to try yourself. Here is what you do:
1. Calculate total carbs consumption amount each day for 7 days.
2. Average out total amount of carbs consumed over these 7 days.
3. Cut this amount in half.
4. For next 7 days eat not more than this amount (half of the averaged amount).

I’m pretty sure very soon you will find out that the amount of carbs you are consuming is a bit low, so you will have to adjust accordingly by adding a fewer more carbs into your daily nutritional plan to compensate for your total daily energy expenditure. Remember that carbs is a common source of energy, therefore on the days that you do not train you may want to consume less carbohydrates than on the training days.

We have covered quite a bit about the amounts, lets us talk about the carb choices. Try to consume more low-GI and whole-grain over high-GI and refined carbs. If you do consume high-GI or refined carbs during the day try to do it straight after your workout as it will be used to restore your glycogen level in the muscles. Another important point to be concerned of when consuming carbs is speed of digestion. It is determined by various factors such as type of the carbohydrate, the way it is being prepared, other nutrients consumed with it and metabolic performance of each individual. The key is to intake protein together with carbohydrate for every meal throughout the day.

Carbohydrate can either be your best friend or the worst nightmare, but it all depends on what you want it to become for you. Ensure, you have a balanced carbohydrate intake in line with your total daily energy expenditure. Consume more low-GI and whole-grain carbohydrates and preferably around your workout as a pre and post meal. Too much carbohydrates can make you gain weight, but the same would apply if you intake too much protein or fat too. On the other hand, too little is as equally bad for your body.

By beFitness TEAM

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