The most popular way to lose weight right now is by simply cutting carbs and working out. Many people have found success with low carb diets. But simply cutting carbs may not be enough. Instead, it is also important to understand why you’re cutting carbs and what carbs have to do with weight management. There are some things to know about carbs that could help you find the success that you’ve been searching for. You don’t have to become an expert in carbohydrates, you just need to understand what is really happening when you cut carbs.
You can open the door to better weight management and loss by simply understanding the most important things to know about carbs.
What Are Carbs
Carbs are macronutrients, other macronutrients include protein and fat. Glucose, fructose, and galactose, starches, and cellulose are all different types of carbs. Your body breaks carbs down to their simplest forms, glucose or sugar. That glucose is then used by the body for energy. Here is where things get interesting. Your body will use that glucose for energy and it is even more important for your brain health and red blood cells. But like a gas tank, you can only store so much fuel. It works like this, your body breaks down the carbs into glucose. That glucose is then spread throughout the body to be used as fuel. Any leftover glucose is then stored for use later as fat. One of the most important things to know about carbs is that your body needs them. The hard part is finding the sweet spot.
How Much is Too Much
Most nutrients have a Dietary Reference Intake or DRI. The DRI is the amount of a nutrient that is recommended by the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies. However, there is no DRI for carbs. Some would say that it is because it varies based on body size, shape, amount of activity, health goals, and so much more. But the same could be said for just about any nutrient. What we do know is that too many or too few carbs could be associated with increased mortality. We can count carbs and link that to success but ultimately it comes down to trial and error. Just remember that a healthy diet is key to weight loss. More on that later.
Things to Know about Carbs | Where Are Carbs
Another one of the most important things to know about carbs is where you can find them or avoid them. Carbohydrates can be found in a wide variety of foods. Sugar, soda, syrup, candy, bread, dairy, beans, some fruits, and some veggies. However, there are a couple of different types of carbs. Simple carbs are carbs that can be turned into energy very quickly. In fact, simple carbs found in sugar, candy, milk, fruit, and refined grains will almost immediately raise your blood sugar. Complex carbs take longer for your body to breakdown. Carbs from whole grains, starch, and fiber all take a while longer to breakdown but are still considered carbs. But not every food is as easy to breakdown into one of these two categories. Of the things to know about carbs, them not being created equal is among them.
Where to Find Healthy Carbs
Not all carbs were created equal, some are actually healthy for you. Quinoa, brown rice, bananas, apples, pears, carrots, sweet potatoes, black beans, pinto beans, plain yogurt, all have healthy carbs. These are great sources of carbs that come with other health benefits as well. This is why losing weight can be so difficult. Take a singular food, for example, any food you can think of. Then break it down into nutrients. You will find that the health value may not be what you expected. Foods are complex and made of many different parts. Our bodies use those parts differently, some beneficial, some not so beneficial. But with so much complexity in something as tiny as a bean just proves how complicated nutrition can be.
Why Cut Carbs
We now know that there is a sweet spot for carbs. We don’t know exactly where that sweet spot is and it varies from person to person. Why cut carbs in the first place if we need them? Keto diets or low carb diets are meant to lower your carb intake and force your body to use the stored glucose for energy. Your body uses stored glucose for energy, that means it is eating away at your fat. But here is the tricky part, it is not sustainable. Sooner or later, you will run out of fat. Then what? Well, this is a problem a lot of people face with low carb diets. A flash of weight loss, followed by returning to old habits, weight gain. While a low carb diet is not sustainable, it could help you get started. The goal would be to lose weight and then switch to a healthy, balanced diet. These are the things to know about carbs. You can cut them to lose weight, but ultimately, you will need them again.