Are carbs really the enemy

by Matt Elphick

Is removing carbs totally from your diet the solution to fat loss? In our opinion it isn’t.

Carbs tend to get a bad rep but is it the carbs or the amount or type of carbs that matter in this equation?

Low carb diets were once hailed as the answer to fast track weight loss. Popular diets such as Atkins and South Beach have heightened the widespread misconception that all carbs are bad and cause weight gain.

Below we shed some light on this very interesting topic that causes headaches to many!!

Why carbs have a bad reputation:

Over the past few years, low-carb diets have gotten more popular. Part of the reason for this is because carbohydrates have been demonized.

Carbs are often equated with sugar. As we’ve all been told, sugar = bad for you. Carbs have also been blamed for weight gain, inflammation issues, and a number of other food-induced health problems.

The truth is, carbohydrates are not the enemy. In fact, carbs are an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Why carbs are important for a healthy, active body

Carbs are your body’s main source of energy. Carbohydrates convert to glucose, which our brain and muscles use to function.

Because it’s the primary energy source, the body regulates blood glucose levels pretty tightly. To do this, the body stores glucose so it can be used as energy whenever it needs it. Glucose is stored as glycogen.

These glycogen stores are particularly important when you’re an active person because, without them, your muscles get tired and weak and your brain gets fried.

If you like high-intensity workouts or have an active job, your brain and body will need carbs.

Any excess of calories can result in weight gain

Your liver and muscles can store glycogen, but the storage area is pretty limited. So, any carbohydrates that are consumed beyond the storage capacity are converted to and stored as fat.

Now, don’t take this as a way to get back on an anti-carb train. ANY calories eaten in excess of what your body can store gets stored as fat–no matter if those calories come from doughnuts, protein shakes, or avocados.

Bottom line: If you eat more calories than your body can use for energy, then you’ll gain weight.

Not all carbs are created equal

Now that we’ve exonerated carbohydrates from their bad reputation, it’s important to be choosy about which carbs you eat.

High-fiber carbohydrates like beans and whole grains slow the digestion process, which helps keep your blood glucose levels stable.

High-fiber foods also make you feel full, help keep your colon healthy, and your bowel movements regular.

Who a low-carb diet may benefit:

Low-carb diets can have a place in your nutrition plan, but it’s definitely not for everyone.  If you like high-intensity workouts like CrossFit, long distance running or swimming, your body definitely needs carbs.

If you are trying to build muscle you need both carbs and proteins. If, on the other hand, you’re not very active you can play around with a low carb diet or what we call carb cycling.

Low-carb diets may also benefit people with type-2 Diabetes and heart issues.

Life is about Balance:

Indeed, no food is good or bad and yes not all carbs are created equal. 200 calories from vegetables (yes they are carbs too) are not the same as 200 calories from a donut!

But we have to find a balance in life, omitting food groups totally from our diet is detrimental for our health and mental state, unless of course it’s for health reasons.

Eating a small amount of pasta is not going to make you put on weight but eating in surplus will!

If you’re confused about what you read on social media, contact us today for a free consultation where we discuss your goals and debunks some of the social media myths!

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    About Steel extreme

    Offering the best personal trainer and nutrition advice in Malta, Steel Extreme Fitness offers you private gym membership – where you will feel right at home.

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