Carbohydrates can greatly contribute to weight loss when consumed in the right amount. However, in some cases they can also make you gain a lot of weight.
Carbs are known for being your body’s the primary source of energy. As soon as your carb sources are depleted, your body starts using fat as energy. This leads you to burn a lot of the stored fat in your body, leading you to lose a significant amount of weight.
However, this happens only if you’re on a low-carb diet. Moderate weight loss can also be achieved if you choose not to consume any primary sources of carbohydrates.
Nevertheless, if you don’t pay attention to nutrition and don’t really know how much carbs you consume on a daily basis, you may start experiencing weight gain.
A common misconception among the general public is that fat makes you gain weight, but carbs and carbs alone are often ones to blame for this.
The main difference between these two macronutrients is that carbohydrates increase blood glucose and insulin levels, while fat simply doesn’t have that effect on your body.
This is important because the hormone known as insulin is actually responsible for body fat storage. Since fats won’t trigger insulin release, they won’t be stored as body fat.
When you consume a lot of carbohydrates (or a meal consisting of mostly carbs), your blood glucose levels will drop way before your insulin levels decrease. This will make you gain a lot of weight because you will be hungry after glucose levels in your body drop below normal.
During this time, your insulin levels will still be high, so it will stack away glucose in the form of body fat. It’s not unusual to experience hunger only 2 hours after eating a meal consisting of only carbohydrates.
In addition, if you then choose to consume a snack that’s also high in carbs, you will fall into a vicious cycle. You will experience hunger much more often throughout the day and you’ll also gain a lot of weight.
Moreover, carbs turn to glucose in the bloodstream, and then that glucose is used by the body for energy, but any that is left unused is then stored as body dat.
Now, if you’ve ever tried losing weight through a diet, you were probably given advice to try out a low-carb diet because it helps everyone a significant amount of weight in a very short amount of time.
But why is that?
We’ve already learned that carbohydrates are converted into glucose, which your body uses for energy. However, any leftover ‘fuel’ becomes a polysaccharide carb known as glycogen. Both your muscles and liver store glycogen, so that they can quickly turn it back into glucose whenever you need energy.
However, there is a huge downside to this. Glycogen makes muscles hold on to more water, which significantly increases your weight. By cutting back on carbs, your muscles will release this water, and you will ultimately lose a lot of weight quickly.
Not All Carbs Are The Same
However, you should know that not all carbs are the same. An overweight person can eat the same amount of carbohydrates as a person of normal weight and constantly experience more weight gain.
This is because the types of carbs you consume really matter. When it comes to weight gain, pasta and white bread are some of the worst sources of carbohydrates you can consume (since they contain an excess of refined carbs).
Processed carbs are also found in numerous desserts, snacks, and sugary drinks. These carbs have a high glycemic index and cause a rapid spike in blood sugar. If they’re not used up, they are quickly turned into fat, ultimately making the numbers on the scale go up.
When you’re eating carbs, choose the right ones, the Ketogenic low carb diet recommends 20 grams of carbs daily from non-starchy vegetables, some nuts and full fat dairy as their main sources for ultimate weight loss.