There have been a lot of discussion here and there as to what’s the best way to lose weight. For Filipinos like me, rice has been 50 to 75% of every meal. On this side of the globe, it’s all about burgers, pasta, french fries, and other carb-rich food. Do we really need carbohydrates in our food? I’ve heard a lot of people say, take out the carbs from your meals and you should be able to lose weight easily. Some said, you’re gaining weight because of too much french fries. One study that was done by Jamie Oliver clearly displays how eating fast food every day is dangerous to your health.
Carbohydrates is our main source of energy. It takes precedence over fat, when it comes to energy conversion. When we do not have any carbohydrates in us, our bodies burn fat in order to give us that extra boost of energy. So what exactly about carbohydrates makes us fat?
I do not want to get too technical, because this blog’s aim is to make things as simple as possible, so that everything will be easier to do and understand. Basically, there are two types of Carbohydrates: Simple and Complex.
Simple carbs are basically the closest form to sugar as can be. When our body breaks down carbohydrates, it brings it back to its sugar form, sugar is then converted into energy. Let’s keep it that simple. Soda, cookies, fruit juices, and cereals are examples of simple carbs. These are just a couple of steps away from being broken down to its sugar form before it gets converted to energy.
As for complex carbs, these are combinations of simple carbs put together. These are carbs that normally pack more fiber, and takes more time to break down, making it more filling, and a better option for weight control. The more complex the carbs in your system is, the longer it stays there, giving your body more energy source, with a slower break down rate. Fiber and Starch are good examples of complex carbohydrates. Fiber, in particular, helps with the activity inside our intestines, and has it’s important purpose on its own, which I’ll probably discuss in a separate article.
So, if our body’s main energy source comes from carbohydrates, why do they make us fat? The best way to put it — we eat too much bad carbohydrates which becomes stored in our body, and eventually makes us break it down slower, because our body becomes less sensitive to sugar, which is the form carbohydrates takes once it’s broken down. This is the reason why excessive bad carbohydrates leads to obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. When we eat too much carbohydrates, what we are actually doing is storing a lot of sugar in our body. And if you ask any person who’s into fitness, they will always say that sugar is bad.
Anyways, again, in pursuit of keeping things simple and easier to understand, as I mentioned in my other article about the two other macro nutrients, having a balanced meal with all these three, especially carbohydrates, can readily make you lose weight, even without any physical activity. It’s just a matter of eating the right amount of each macro nutrient to fuel your day, store vitamins, and rebuild the worn-out muscles. Limiting your carb intake to a certain percentage is key to balancing everything out. Determine the number of grams of carbs you need each day by calculating 45 to 65 percent of your total calorie intake, and dividing by 4. For example, if you eat a 2,000-calorie diet, shoot for 225 to 325 grams of carbs per day; and if you eat 2,500 calories a day, aim for 281 to 406 grams of carbs.