Food

To carb or not to carb?

One of the biggest factors in losing weight comes down to your carbohydrate consumption. When you eat carbohydrates it is broken down into the form of glucose and stored as glycogen. So after you have eaten carbohydrates your body produces insulin which is a storage hormone and its job is to regulate the amount of sugar in our blood. So depending on what you have eaten your body releases insulin to store fuel into our cells to use at a later date but if you have eaten too much in one sitting and your glycogen stores are full guess where the excess energy is going to be stored? That’s right into your fat stores.

On the other hand when our insulin levels are low to moderate this is when our body is in a greater state to burn fat, fat can move freely from its cells and has a better chance of being used for energy. Once our insulin levels increase that fat that was roaming freely is pushed back into the fat cells along with the excess energy you have consumed.

Eating Low GI carbohydrates like wholegrains, brown rice and quinoa these types of foods release insulin slowly into your blood stream giving your body a chance to use the energy as it is released, but eating simple Carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, dried fruit, obviously lollies and chocolate your insulin levels will rise and whatever energy is not used by the body will be stored as fat.

The myth with fast extreme weight loss when you reduce your carbohydrate consumption, this is how it works – for every gram of carbohydrate you consume you automatically stores 3 grams of water with it, so this is one of the reasons when people go on crash low carbohydrate diets that they lose weight quickly, most of it is water and long term it is not maintainable and can lead to excess weight gain down the track.

Carbohydrates are extremely important for our brain to function properly, they give us enough energy to get through the day and they are also great for our digestion but eating the wrongs types of carbohydrates at the wrong times and too many in one sitting is when you will come unstuck and start putting on weight. For an example – imagine if you decided to go to Italian for dinner and you ordered a creamy pasta dish – so let’s break it down you have the carbs from the pasta and the creamy sauce which is made up of fat – the pasta will make your body produce insulin (storage hormone) and the fat in the cream sauce will be stored into your fat stores along with any energy that will not be stored into your glycogen stores. If your metabolism is really fast this should not have too much effect on you, but over time and as you age, if you are not exercising and your lifestyle is not great you are guaranteed to see the kilo’s start to increase.

Tips

1. Eat your starchy Low GI carbohydrates up until 2pm, that should set your body up for the rest of the day with enough energy till you go to bed.

2. Try not to pair carbohydrates with fats as your body is at a greater chance of storing your energy you have consumed into your fat stores.

3. Fats and Protein have little effect on insulin levels – so it’s a good idea to pair your carbohydrates and protein or your good fats and proteins together to minimise fat storage.

4. Stay active so your body can use the energy you are consuming.

5. When you do eat carbohydrates ensure it is portion sized, don’t over consume and just because it is on your plate does not mean you need to eat it all.

6. Good sources of carbohydrates are brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, oats, so these are the carbohydrates your should be consuming during the first half of your day.

7. Don’t count calories – focus on what affect the foods you are eating are having on your body

Stay healthy

Kim x