Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates are good for you. This is surprising considering carbs have long been vilified by trainers and diet lovers since the first low-carb diet was hailed as the saviour. The fact is that carbs are not bad. They provide the energy your body needs to function to its best ability. Problems with carbs arise when you eat too much and the wrong type of carbohydrates while doing too little exercise. This leads to obesity. It isn’t the carbs fault. You just need to know how to integrate carbs properly into your diet to aid weight loss, muscle gain, and reach peak performance.
Carbohydrates are high in energy. When you ingest them, the body breaks them down into smaller glucose molecules. These are used for respiration, to provide your body with energy, or stored as fat when there is an excess. Eating carbs without exercising to use up the energy they provide leads to weight gain. This doesn’t mean you have to cut carbs out of your diet completely to lose weight. Doing more exercise will help you burn up the energy from carbs so that it doesn’t get stored as fat. But what is also beneficial, is to eat the right amount and the right type of carbs.
Knowing the difference between refined and complex carbohydrates is also essential for your weight loss journey. Complex carbohydrates are those found in unprocessed foods like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Refined carbohydrates are found in foods like white rice, white flour, white bread, and junk food like pastries, sugary drinks, and desserts. The difference is that complex carbohydrates provide a steady source of energy over a longer time. Refined carbohydrates are easier to break down into glucose which causes rapid, large spikes in blood sugar. This means more of the sugar gets stored as fat from refined carbs because you can’t use all the energy from them at once. Complex carbohydrates release energy slowly meaning you can use the energy from them throughout the day. To lose weight, focus on reducing your intake of refined carbs and replacing them with an appropriate amount of complex carbohydrates.
A diet high in refined carbs can contribute to health problems like obesity and type 2 diabetes. This is because when there is a spike in blood glucose – like the ones caused by high refined carb intake – your body releases insulin to remove the excess glucose from the blood and store it as fat. If your body continually breaks down carbs into high amounts of sugar, the high demand for insulin can lead the body to become desensitised to it. This means more insulin is needed each time to store glucose as fat. This is what leads to type 2 diabetes. If your insulin levels are consistently high, it also becomes harder to lose weight. Insulin is one of the first steps in the fat storage process so combating this with exercise is harder when insulin is at work. This isn’t to say exercise will be ineffective.
Proper exercise combined with an improved diet, tailored to you, is the fastest way to see weight loss results.
While training with me, I’ll tailor individual training programmes and diet plans for you that align with your goals. If you are looking to start your fitness journey, get in touch today on 07583163150.