Are Carbs Bad For Weight Loss?

Although carbs play a vital role for our bodies to function optimally as they fuel energy for our daily activities, they have always been getting a bad rap for people with weight loss issues. People will usually tell you that carbs are bad for weight loss and to avoid them like the plague if you want to lose weight. Carbs like bread, pasta or rice should be excluded from your diet. Instead they will advise you to restrict your calorie intake by following a diet strictly based on vegetables and soup. Well these are one of those fad diets.

The sad thing about this is these people have absolutely no clue what they are talking about and they are giving wrong advice. It's actually a big myth. Depriving yourself of carbs will only result in a drastic drop in energy levels. You'll get the feeling of starving yourself and at some point in time, you might get uncontrollable hunger pangs. The end result is you'll try to binge on everything to feel satiated and this will trigger an excess of calories. A surplus of calories is what will cause fat gain and weight gain.

As you can see, carbs deprivation can have a negative impact on your weight loss goals. Carbs in itself is not the culprit for weight issues. Excess carbs consumption is. Many people usually eat carbs in excess be it rice, bread or pasta and when they gain weight, they will blame carbs.

To better understand the relationship between excess carbs and weight gain, let's first understand how carbs are processed in our bodies. When you consume carbs, they get converted to glucose and stored in our glycogen stores(sugar storage cells) to be used as energy. Glucose is simply sugar.

The problem is if your carbs intake is too high in a single meal, the excess glucose won't be shuttled to your glycogen stores as the latter can only store a limited amount. Instead, it will be stored as fat and you'll definitely gain extra weight. Since excess carbs is the culprit, you need to cut down on them and eat in moderation. Anyway you don't need that much carbs and energy at that time of eating unless you plan to exercise in the next hour or so. In that case, you can increase your carbs intake.

One fundamental thing you need to know is not all carbs are equal. There are two types of carbs ie simple carbs and complex carbs. Simple carbs are high glycemic meaning they get converted to glucose and energy quickly and as a result, they create a spike in insulin levels followed by a crash later on. Some examples include foods made from refined flour like white bread, white pasta, pizza and other foods and drinks like corn syrup, fruit juice, soda pop, white rice, biscuit, candy, table sugar, cake, jam, honey.

As for complex carbs, these are low glycemic meaning they get converted to sugar and energy slowly and don't spike your insulin levels. Some examples include wholegrain breads and cereals, wholewheat pasta, brown rice, sweet potatoes, yams, rolled oats, kidney beans, lentils, whole barley and fibrous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, green beans, asparagus, brussels sprouts and so on. While vegetables are a source of complex carbs, you can't rely on veggies alone as a source of energy if your diet was strictly based on vegetables as mentioned at the start. You can't compare getting your carbs intake from broccoli or rolled oats before your workout. Rolled oats will be highly favored against broccoli as a pre workout meal for energy.

Simple carbs are mostly empty calories and should be avoided or limited if your goal is to lose weight. Instead, stick with complex carbs as they are slow-digesting, hence provide a sustained release of energy and making you less prone for fat storage. Complex carbs are also healthier since they are rich in fiber and vitamins. Fiber is important to regulate effective bowel activity and vitamins are necessary to boost your immune system.

Not feeding yourself well and believing in fad diets will cause you more harm than good. Your body needs calories and nutrients coming from carbs, protein, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats. You can't exclude any. The key is to follow a balanced diet and eat 5-7 meals in small quantities spaced every 2-3 hours.

So hopefully this article will answer your question "Are carbs bad for weight loss?" and the answer is "It all depends how much you take.".

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