Love, or Hate

Let’s face it, people have a complete love hate relationship when it comes to carbohydrates. You love them oh so very much when you eating them, the delicious pasta’s, freshly baked breads and lets not forget steaming hot potatoes. But you hate them for how they make you feel, both physiologically and psychologically. The real question is, why do we think that carbohydrates are the sole cause to us getting fat?

Understanding Carbohydrates

Firstly, let’s understand what carbohydrates are before we judge them. Carbohydrates are macro-nutrients, meaning they are one of the three main ways the body obtains energy.  Warning flag no.1, why would anyone want to cut out a valuable energy source? In essence, carbohydrates are the sugars, starches and fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables and many milk based products. Carbohydrates provide fuel for the central nervous system and energy for working muscles through glucose. They also prevent protein from being used as an energy source and enable fat metabolism. Flag No.2, removing this from your daily food intake would mean the body would need to extract energy from alternative sources, one we need to fulfill other roles.

Calories Consumed in Total

Given these facts, why would anyone want to remove them from their daily food intake? The idea is simple. We understand that in order for the body to function it requires a certain amount of energy. We obtain through the food we eat and the calories found within those foods. Weight loss will occur when someone is taking in less calories than what their body is using, similarly can be said for weight gain.

This is where the misconception of carbs are bad comes in. In order for our bodies to put on weight we need to be consuming more calories or energy than what we are using. Carbohydrates, which are normally higher in their caloric value, tend to make up a large portion of our daily calorie intake after only a small amount. What tends to happen is, one can find themselves eating more calories for the day than what is required, and thus weight gain occurs. It’s actually not the carbohydrates are making you fat, but rather the excess in overall daily calories.

Understanding Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates do not cause weight gain. Too many calories in the day cause weight gain. My advice to you if you are struggling with this topic is to find out how many calories you require to hit your goal weight, then find the right balance of carbs, fat and protein that will make up that caloric value.

Don’t get bullied away from the things you enjoy eating most. Change your approach across all macro-nutrients instead of cutting out one completely and eating an excess of others.