Eating carbs feels like a natural thing to do if you want to lose weight. Carbs are a source of energy for the body, and a lot of diets today are based around restricting carbs. However, research shows that if you cut out carbs you may not lose as much weight as you expect. So, can you still lose weight if you eat carbs? Let’s find out.
Should You Eat Carbs To Lose Weight?
Eating carbs feels like a natural thing to do if you want to lose weight. Carbs are a source of energy for the body, and a lot of diets today are based around restricting carbs. But, research shows that if you cut out carbs you may not lose as much weight as you expect. So, should you eat carbs to lose weight? Let’s find out.
Is Weight Loss Based On Carbs?
Most of the diets that are designed to help you lose weight revolve around cutting out carbs. But is weight loss based on carbs? No, it’s not. While carbs are a source of energy for the body, and lots of food items contain carbs, not all carbs are created equal. There are some carbs which provide the body with valuable nutrients, and there are others which do the opposite.
Take sugar for example. While it is a source of energy for the body, too much sugar can cause health problems. The American Cancer Society states that ‘there is no clear evidence that eating sweets reduces the risk of developing cancer or any other kind of disease’. Similarly, there is no clear evidence that fruit and vegetables reduce the risk of cancer. So, if you want to lose weight, avoiding sugar-rich foods is a good idea.
Cancer-Fighting Properties Of Some Carbs
Some carbs have well-known health benefits. For example, the humble potato contains a form of vitamin C known as ‘Ascorbic Acid’. This form of vitamin C is more stable and efficient than the L-Ascorbic Acid commonly used in supplements and medicinal products. Another example is the food source lemons. Lemons contain a compound known as ‘Neral’ which has powerful anti-cancer properties.
While the examples above have health benefits, this doesn’t mean that all carbs are good for you or that you need to eat them to lose weight. Some carbs contain no nutrients at all, but they consume a lot of energy. When you eat these types of carbs you will likely gain weight.
Carbs And Your Heart
Not all carbs are created equal, as mentioned above. There are some carbs which provide the body with valuable nutrients, and there are others which do the opposite. For example, whole grains contain many nutrients and are therefore valuable sources of food. They also provide the body with energy which can be used for important body functions. On the other hand, some refined carbs are quickly turned into sugar in the bloodstream, and can cause health problems. Refined carbs are also a major source of empty calories which, when eaten in excess, can lead to weight gain.
Empty calories are calories which provide no nutritional value at all. Most dietary fats and sugars are empty calories, as they offer no substantial nutritional value. As with most things in life, there is a proper place for everything, and a healthy diet should include both refined and whole grains in moderation.
Avoiding The Most Common Causes Of Weight Gain
If you want to avoid weight gain, it’s important to be aware of the most common causes of weight gain. These are:
- Eating too much food
- Too little exercise
- Too much stress
- Poor quality drinks
- Too many foods with added sugar
- Not enough fruits and vegetables
- The list keeps going
If you want to keep off the weight, you must address these issues. Depending on the underlying cause, you may need to address it in a different way. For example, if you are eating too much food, cutting out food items may not be the answer. The solution here could be to eat healthy foods and increase your daily activity level.
How Active Do You Need To Be To Lose Weight?
Not all calories are created equal, which is why a calorie-counting approach to weight loss is futile. You need to be active to lose weight, but how active do you need to be? Let’s find out. The first thing you need to do is to determine your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Your BMR is the amount of calories your body uses just to stay alive. For most people, it’s around 15 to 20% of their total caloric intake. So, if you want to lose weight you need to get your BMR as low as possible. Here are some tips:
Find A Cardio Exercise That You Enjoy
The first tip to achieve a low BMR is to find a cardio exercise that you enjoy. Everyone has different interests, so you might enjoy running, skiing, or swimming. Find something that you enjoy and stick with it, and you will soon start to see the benefits.
Cut Back On The Booze, Snacks, And Coffee
Alcohol, snacks, and coffee are empty calories which contribute nothing to your diet. They provide no nutrition and lots of sugar. Both alcohol and caffeine are known to raise your BMR, so reducing or cutting back on these items can help you lose weight. Similarly, sugar-laden snacks such as cakes and biscuits can cause weight gain because they contain empty calories.
The catch is that you need to keep track of what you are eating. It’s very easy to say that you should eat more veggies and avoid sugar-rich foods, but if you don’t keep track you may be eating more carbs than you think and still not lose weight. So, to avoid this, try to avoid snacks and desserts which are high in sugar.
The Importance Of Protein
Just like carbs, protein doesn’t always cause weight gain. But like carbs, protein is more than just fuel for the body. There are certain proteins which are important for the growth and development of cells in the body. These proteins are vital for maintaining a healthy immune system and for repairing tissue damage. Some good sources of protein are meat, fish, and eggs.
If you are cutting out carbs then you may be tempted to replace them with protein. But while protein is an essential ingredient for health and growth, you should avoid eating too much of it. Eating excessive amounts of protein can cause problems, especially for older people. Too much protein can raise your blood cholesterol, which in turn can lead to heart disease. This is why you should limit your intake of protein to around 0.8 to 1.0 g per kg of body weight.
While carbs provide the body with energy, they don’t always contribute to weight loss. Some carbs have well-known health benefits, whereas others have more recently been shown to be harmful. The key is to have a healthy diet which includes both refined and whole grains in moderation. If you want to avoid weight gain, be sure to establish a health-conscious lifestyle which includes eating fewer carbs, getting enough sleep, and staying physically active.