Don’t Skip Out on Carbs and Increase Your Performance

Carbs are not bad, you just need to look at the bigger picture!

Carbohydrates are referred to as the fuel of the body that, in turn, injects energy in the system. There is a lot of debate going around carbohydrates consumption. Since some time now, fitness experts have been recommending to lower down the carb consumption by adopting "Keto" or the "Atkins" diet. But, is it actually going to help? Let’s find out.

What Are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are one of three macronutrients that are found in the food other than the proteins and the fats. When further branched out, there are three types of carbohydrates present in the food, namely:

  1. Sugar: This is the type of carbohydrate that is added to most of the foods and drinks consumed by people around. Be it your favourite chocolate cake, a glass of soft drink, tea-time biscuits, or the flavoured yogurt you savour; everything has its own share of sugar.

Only the sugar found in milk, fresh fruits, and green veggies does not tend to count as the factors that lead to weight gain.

  1. Starch: Any food that comes from plants is known to contain starch. Be it your favourite toast of bread, a bowl of rice, cereals, potatoes, or the mouth-watering pasta; starch is found in each of them that, in turn, become a great source of energy.

You need to remember that starch is a major component of carbohydrates that helps big time in maintaining a healthy diet.

  1. FibreThis is a major carbohydrate that is found in the cell walls of the plants that become a source of our diet. Whether it is the green leafy vegetables, your loaf of whole grain bread, or pulses; fibre is evidently found in all food items.

Having a fibre-induced diet helps you reduce the complications related to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancerous bowel syndrome too.

There are myths around carbs that go like:

  • Carbs spike blood sugar and insulin, that increase the body fat in turn
  • Some of the sources of carbohydrates such as sugar and grains, lead to inflammation
  • Carbs do not hold importance like the fats and the proteins do

Corresponding Facts:

  • Yes, carbohydrates do lead to a spike in insulin, but this insulin is not a factor that makes one gain fat in turn.

  • If it is the processed corn syrup that is being talked about, you may say that it may lead to inflammation. But, when it is about whole grains, you need to know that it does not cause inflammation.

  • The processed carbs do not contribute equally to healthy wellbeing when compared to proteins and fats. But, when it is about un-processed or natural carbohydrates, you can’t ignore its significance.

Why Does A Body Need A Dose Of Carbohydrates?

If you think giving up on carbohydrates would lead to weight loss, you are probably wrong. The exercising muscles are known to be contingent on carbohydrates for fuelling up the energy. And, when it comes to levelling up the fuel on a daily basis, a sufficient amount of good carbohydrates are suggested. Here is how carbohydrates become a leading factor in losing weight.

  1. Forms an Immense Source Of Energy

When you consume a healthy and balanced diet that includes an equal share of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates; your energy levels would consequently boost. The food you eat breaks down to produce glucose, the major source of energy that triggers more activity.

The high production of glucose is known to be harmful, but you know what? The starchy fibre rich food releases glucose in a much slower manner into the bloodstream than other sugar oriented foods.

  1. Make You A Healthier Version Of Yourself

Any food that is rich in fibre should never be skipped upon from your diet plan. Be it green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, or potatoes with intact skin; all are great sources of fibre. When you revolve your diet around these foods, your overall health magically starts to improve.

If you are dealing with bowel dysfunction, constipation, high cholesterol levels, or even cardiovascular disease; you will definitely witness a change for good. Remember to include an average of 30 grams of fibre in your diet plan for receiving the best results.  

  1. Carbs Hold The Power To Make You Cheerful

If you have ever come across the reviews of someone avidly following the Atkins diet, you would know how their life changed for the worse. Be it the frequent mood swings, the belligerent behaviour, or the lack of concentration; Atkins can ruin the entire fun.

Do you know that carbohydrates play a major role in producing serotonin, the so-called happy hormone? As a result, you sleep better and you feel better, i.e., making up for the perfect ingredients for weight loss. Isn’t it?

Why Giving Up On Carbs Is A Bad Idea?

It is believed that it is the low carbohydrate diet blended along with high protein intake that aids in achieving the weight loss goals. However, a study negates the fact by stating that it is the protein-diet and not the low carbohydrate intake that helps lower the weight.

Here are some consequences to track when an individual is struck by low carb intake.

1. Ketosis

A process of normal metabolism in the body is referred to as "ketosis." But, when you are running low on carbohydrates, there isn’t much of it to convert into energy. As a result, the body burns fats instead to generate energy, thus making ketones in turn. Once your body starts to generate ketones, you may start suffering from nausea, uneasiness, headaches, and lack of concentration.

If you are decreasing your carbohydrate intake to less than 20 grams in a day, ketosis is often the result.

2. Constipation

Fibre is known to be a major source of maintaining gastrointestinal health, which further helps in keeping constipation at bay. When you reduce your carbohydrate intake, the level of fibre in the body also dips to the extent that the risk of constipation increases. And, that is not a very favourable situation to deal with for any individual making efforts to lose weight.

As per the dietary intake guidelines, a man should be consuming 38 grams and a woman should be consuming 25 grams of fibre on a daily basis.

3. Exhaustion

There is no doubt about the fact that carbohydrates form a great source of energy for any individual. And, when one is trying hard to lose weight, having a good share of energy becomes all the more essential. But, sadly, some diet plans focus on reducing carb intake. What they forget is how lack of energy can make way for weakness, tiredness, and faintness.

Low carbohydrate consumption can trim down one’s performance when they are in the middle of an exercising session.

How Carbs Improve Athletic Performance?

Yes, it is advised to eliminate carbohydrates from your diet if you wish to make a difference to your weight. But, when you have the right kind of carbs, your weight loss journey becomes a shorter one and enhances the performance big time.

  1. Carbohydrates Satisfy Your Hunger Urges

You would be surprised to know that carbohydrates are better than proteins and fats when it comes to satisfying one’s appetite. The good carbohydrates such as fibre and resistant starch foods tend to digest over slowly, thus making you feel satisfied and full.

  1. Assist In Controlling Diabetes And Blood Sugar

When you restrict your carbohydrates consumption to recommended levels, your diabetes and blood sugar levels diminish. Isn’t it too good to be true? But, even a study says that good carbohydrates lower the insulin and blood sugar activities by about 38 percent. The key is to include resistant starch foods such as beans and corn to your diet. When you combine it with brown rice instead of white, the results are even more wonderful.

  1. Carbs For Advancing The Metabolism

When you add starch resistant food to your daily diets, it is the metabolism of the body that seems to excite. Not only that; these good carbs also activate the natural fat burners as they secrete fatty acids that help absorb the extra accumulated fats. The greatest advantage lies in the fact that these fatty acids sustain the muscle mass, thus making way for enhanced metabolism.

Good Carbohydrates vs. Bad Carbohydrates

If you need to lose weight, do not give up on carbohydrates entirely. You need to understand the difference between good carbs and bad carbs so that you can choose your diet wisely.

What Are Good Carbs?

Also known to be complex carbohydrates, the greatest advantage of these good buddies is that they do not break down soon. These carbs are high on nutrients and fibres, making them work in your favour.

What Are Bad Carbs?

Bad carbs are the simpler form of carbohydrates that break down as soon as they enter the system. Once inside, they lead to the production of more blood sugar levels. Now that is not much of a favourable situation, eh?

If you truly wish to restrict the carb diet, make sure you include 100-150 grams in your diet on a daily basis. For a pregnant or a nursing woman, the recommended intake ranges between 170-210 grams. And, for an athletic enthusiast who is about 70kg, it is required to consume 350-820 grams of carbs.

You may feel that the low carb diet is beneficial at first, but it may not help you sustain the lost weight in the long run. As they say, "Fad diets do not work." That is the reason that you need to be practical and smart enough to stick to a good carb diet in regulated portions.

Ditch the Atkins or the Keto diet. Only then can you truly achieve your weight loss goals.

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