What do breads, pastas, sweets, and sugary drinks have in common? – They are all loaded with carbohydrates. Although we tend think of junk food when carbs come to mind, there are many healthy ways to eat carbs and keep the fat off.
Why do carbs make you put on weight?
Carbohydrates play a huge role in weight management and fitness. Whether you are bulking up or slimming down, the way you handle your carbs can make a huge difference. Carbs contain roughly 4 calories per gram; so if you ate 100 grams of pure carbohydrates, you would be consuming 400 calories.
Carbohydrates are also the main component to affecting blood sugar and our body’s natural response with insulin. There is a direct correlation between insulin levels and weight gain.
Simply put; more carbs = higher blood sugar… higher blood sugar = more insulin… more insulin = more weight gain.
Do carbs or calories make you gain weight?
To be clear, calories (not carbs) are generally entirely responsible for your weight. If you suffer from being overweight, it’s not because you are eating the wrong kind of macro-nutrients (carbs vs proteins or fats), it’s because you are eating too many calories.
The reason why carbs make you gain weight, is because they cause a spike in your blood sugar, resulting in an insulin response. The insulin brings your blood sugar back down resulting in a “crash”. The “crash” is what we feel a couple hours after eating a junk-food-laden meal… we get tired, cranky, our head starts hurting, and all we can think about is getting our next fix.
It is a vicious cycle, because the more carbs we eat, the more we want to eat. So while it is calories that are responsible for your weight, carbs affect how many calories our bodies want.
Do carbs increase belly fat?
As stated above, carbs can contribute to fat increase by leading to higher calorie consumption. We have all heard rumors of certain foods affecting certain parts of our bodies; and this is just not true. Each of our bodies is genetically coded to store fat in its own way. While one person stores fat in their hips, another might store fat in their belly.
While we are on the topic… any workout that claims to reduce fat in one certain area is a lie. While it is possible for us, and our bodies, to determine where muscle goes, we don’t get to decide where fat goes or where we lose it.
Building muscle in a ‘trouble area’ on your body can help give the appearance of fat loss in that area.
Can carbs help you gain weight?
In the same way that carbs can hurt you by causing you to put on weight, they can also help you. In the case of bodybuilding, power lifting, fitness training, and competitive athletics, carbohydrates are a great tool to help your body absorb more nutrients. For many that take building muscle seriously, they may go through a bulking ‘cycle’ – meaning they increase their calories to put on more weight for the purpose of adding healthy mass.
Usually, when I want to bulk up, I will simply increase my carbohydrate intake. Due to the natural responses from my body, I will generally put on additional weight without even trying. When I’m ready to ‘cut’ (lose fat), I generally take the carbs back out and then by body starts shedding off some fat.
Good carb, bad carb
There are different types of carbs, and each one gives our bodies a different response. WebMD wrote good article that goes into detail on carb quality. If you want to read it, click here:
My experience with eliminating carbs to lose fat
I spent 6 months as a test to see if I could get in shape. I followed all of the rules I had learned and decided I was going to just ‘go for it’. Obviously, the exercise component was a big part; but the carbs played a huge role too. After 6 months, these were my results:
As you can see, the theory worked! I got pretty ripped, and it wasn’t even that hard. If you want to see the workout I did, I share that for free on this website. I don’t charge for it, so I hope you give it a shot. I also provide a free weight tracker tool, which is what I used to manage my weight loss.
If you want to make dieting easier, I sell a tool that I made that mimics exactly what I did during my transformation. It is not a required part of the program, but it makes things a lot easier.
How to reduce carbs to lose weight
In summary, if you want to lose weight, reduce the carbs in your diet. More importantly, completely eliminate as many “simple carbs” as you can. Replace white bread with wheat bread, white pasta, with whole grain pasta, and white rice with brown rice.
Sugar is the biggest culprit when it comes to packing on the unwanted pounds. It is also extremely addictive. It is hard to give up at first, but it gets easier. Eating a diet comprised of foods with a low glycemic index will help you burn fat like crazy.
If you want to start making some positive changes, give these tips a try. I hope you also try out my free program. I’m sure you will be happy with the results!