I’ve seen countless of Instagram posts or websites encouraging to forgo carbs completely so as to lose weight. But we don’t have to demonize carbs and we shouldn’t embrace low-carb diets.
Carbs are the best source of energy and thus, when you drastically cut out your carb intake, your body will respond by preserving fat … making it harder for you to lose weight.
Why, you ask?
When humans used to be hunter-gatherers, our bodies were trained to preserve body fat when they realized that the body’s energy source was low. Our bodies are incredibly smart and so when you start eliminating carbs, your body thinks you are in a critical situation with not much resources and instead of readily expending your energy, tries its best to preserve it – in the form of holding onto your body fat.
Now this doesn’t mean go on a pasta and garlic bread feast everyday. It means you have to choose your carbs carefully: carbs are not made all the same.
We have our complex carbs (think multigrain bread, brown rice, oatmeal; “starchy” foods) and we also have our refined carbs (aka white bread, white pasta, chips, baked goods). You want to aim for complex carbs as they are higher in fiber and also digest more slowly. You don’t get that energy spike and sugar crash, but rather a continual source of energy. This long source of energy allows you to snack less and stay satisfied for longer periods of time. Also, fiber is critical as it slows the absorption of sugars into your bloodstream, hence making you feel full longer.
For those whose eyes glazed over the more “scientific” terms, here is the quick summary:
- Carbs are not bad for you, in fact, if you eliminate carbs it makes it harder to lose weight
- Your body holds onto your body fat rather than letting it go because it assumes you are at an energy depletion
- Carbs are not bad for you, BUT you should choose carefully ==> CHOOSE COMPLEX CARBS
What are your thoughts on carbs?