Long-term they’ve been victimised for causing “weight gain” or making people “fat” but is this actually true? Let’s delve a little deeper…
When we look at Carbohydrates on a basic level, they are an essential energy source (fuel) that our body requires to keep us active, energised and moving throughout the day. They are one of three macronutrients (alongside Protein and Fats).
When we look at carbs on a long-term basis without them in our eating habits : it can cause negate health effects on how we perform day-to-day. For this reason, it’s not optimal for most people to go on a completely low-carb diet for a period of months, although some will feel absolutely fine doing this.
So why do Carbs get a bad rap?
One reason why I think there is a misconception behind Carbs, is that when people cut out Carbohydrates out of their diet, they start losing weight and thus correlate this nutrient for making them put on weight in this first place.
Let me explain the two reasons for why this may happen :
1. From cutting out carbohydrates, they’ve significantly reduced the total amount of calorie intake on a day-to-day basis. ie they’ve stopped eating bread, pasta and rice (which can be heavy on the calorie front). The key point here is they’ve cut down on their calorie intake, thus produce a calorie deficit.
2. On a short term basis, they’ve actually reduced the amount of water they produce, which is indicated via scale weight.
Did you know that typically for every gram of carbohydrate we consume, our body can produce up to three grams of water.
This therefore doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ve put on more weight, but we are indeed carrying more water and potentially more water retention. If you’ve ever had a high carb meal (like a pizza and ice cream) in the evening and then weighed yourself the next morning, you will know what I mean.
On the flipside, if you are to go low-carb, you may appear lighter on the scales and this may be down to the fact that our bodies are carrying less water, not necessarily meaning actual fat loss. Successful fat loss occurs over a number of weeks or months, not over a couple of days. #fatlosstip
If you are putting on weight over a sustained period and it keeps rising, it’s highly likely you’re overeating on the total amount of calories that your body requires to maintain or drop it’s current weight.
Ultimately it’s about our total calorie consumption over the course of a week, not down to a particular macronutrient.
Pro tip : Don’t be fooled to think that carbs are causing the issue and they should be demonised, but look to address how much you putting in your mouths each day and monitor metrics such as weight and bodyfat.