Are Carbohydrates Fat Loss Friends or Fat Loss Foes?

When the Atkins diet Carbohydrates Fat Losscame out, everyone suddenly turned against carbohydrates. They were considered to be the sworn enemy of trying to stay in shape and were blamed for every ounce of fat on the body. Carbohydrates are surely partially to blame for weight gain and fat increases when overused. But carbohydrates are also not the enemy of weight loss. Just like any other macronutrient or piece of the human diet, carbohydrates do have a role to play. For one to remove carbohydrates completely is just as foolhardy as removing protein or fats completely. In general, the rule for any dieting system is to use temperance. Too much or too little of any substance is usually worse than having controlled amounts.

What Are Carbs

While proteins are can be described as building materials for the body, carbohydrates are simply used for energy. Carbohydrates provide the energy necessary for high-intensity workouts and activities. If you consider your body like a car, carbohydrates would be the premium fuel for that vehicle. Carbohydrates are often stored easily in the body, and are utilized as the reserve energy for the body. When your body burns energy, it is usually burning a mixture of carbohydrates and fat. Which is being burned usually depends on the type of activity you are engaged in. High intensity means that you will be burning carbohydrates, while low intensity burns fat. The reason high intensity burns carbohydrates is that they are often easier to break down and provide the body with more energy than fat. Carbohydrates provide your muscles with glycogen, which is essential for muscle function. When you cut back on carbohydrates, your body cannot continue high-intensity workouts.

Correct Carb Intake?

Just like any other macronutrient, the amount of carbohydrates can vary from person to person. There is no set-in-stone amount of carbohydrates that can work for everyone. Many factors can go into what the proper amount of carbohydrates are for any one person. There is carbohydrates sensitivity, which is how the body reacts to having carbohydrates in it. There is also the general metabolic and pancreatic abilities of any given person. Then there are preexisting conditions like diabetes or thyroid problems that can cause reactions in the body regarding carbohydrates. What is more important than quantity of carbohydrates is the quality. No matter what type of carbohydrates you intake, it will end up as glucose. Nevertheless, carbohydrates are not all created equal. There are good and bad, simple and complex, natural and unnatural carbohydrates that one must consider. Each type of carbohydrate has its time and place to be consumed. More often than not, simple carbs (which we will talk about next) are to be avoided. Natural and complex carbohydrates are much more efficient to the body’s needs and can be consumed more readily.

Simple Carbs

Simple carbohydrates are also known as monosaccharaides or disaccharides. Mono of course stands for singular, which is why it is considered a simple carbohydrate. Glucose, fructose, and galactose are each a monosaccharide.  Disaccharides mean a dual-sugar compound. These too are considered simple carbs. Examples of disaccharides are table sugar or dairy sugar. These are invariably a mixture of two of the three monosaccharaides to make up a new compound. The other reason these particular sugars are called simple is how they are digested. Simple sugars are digested and utilized quickly by the body. This in turn means that the body’s blood sugar levels will rise much more quickly.

Blood Sugar Levels

When you want to lose body fat, it is important to maintain proper blood sugar levels. Your blood sugar level rising too quickly and too oftencan cause some serious weight control troubles. When your blood sugar level rises, your body will release insulin. When your body produces too much insulin, the reaction is the release of enzymes that help your body store fat. High insulin also decreases the ability of the body to break down the stored fat that already exists. Essentially, your metabolism becomes shot when you are spiking your blood sugar levels. It is important to remember that insulin is not the bad guy. It has an important function and is simply doing its normal job. Your body simply does not know how to regulate the spike in blood sugar levels when you intake simple carbohydrates. This is especially true when you bombard your system suddenly. This inability of the body is exactly why simple carbs are often considered “bad” carbs. It is not so much that they themselves are bad. It is that they are a bad idea if you wish to lose the pounds of fat. However, if you are ever stuck out in a snowstorm or on an island, simple carbohydrates and your insulin reaction is exactly what you need to survive.

Healthy Versus Simple

There are healthy simple carbs as well. Fruits have very high levels of sugars. These should not be considered “bad” carbohydrates. But they also should not be overindulged in. They simply are a more positive alternative than table sugar or diary sugar. Now that we know enough about simple carbohydrates, we can focus on more complex carbs. The complex carbs, as you can imagine, are more complex compounds. They are considered complex because it takes the body more energy and longer to break them down. Furthermore, the body is not as quick to store complex carbohydrates as fat. This does not mean that complex carbs are a free ticket to eating all the carbohydrates you would like. Examples of complex carbohydrates are whole-wheat products and certain grains. It only means that your body’s blood sugar level will not spike as dramatically. Eating and entire box of wheat pasta will still spike your blood sugar levels if eaten in a single sitting. The reaction simply will not be as dramatic as an entire box of processed white pasta.