Getting Lean from Carbs

Carbs get a bad rap in weight loss circles.  Do carbs make you fat? The answer is some times are better than others for weight loss and weight management…

In this article we want to give you some simple rules that allow you to eat carbs and minimize weight gain while maximizing weight loss for carbs.

Are carbs the enemy of weight loss? Yes and no. The answer is a multipart question. We have to consider what kind of carb, the portion size,  what time of day, and with what else you eat them.

The truth is weight loss while eating carbs, even carbs that have high caloric density is possible if you understand a few basic properties of carbs and timing. So let’s get to it. Here is the weight loss information you need to understand to maximize weight loss and weight management from carbs.
Properties of carbs:
When it comes to weight loss or weight management for carbs, there are 3 weight loss concepts you need to get a strong understanding of.
Caloric Density: This refers to how much ENERGY is in a food relative to it’s volume. The easy way to conceptualize caloric density is to think of how RICH is the carb in question.  Chocolate is a very rich food. It has a high caloric density. Asparagus is not a rich food. It has a very low caloric density. Carbs with high caloric density are problematic for weight loss.

Insulin Signaling:
The cellular signaling mechanisms controlling the production of insulin are quite complex. What you need to understand is that the presence of fat, specifically the type of fat and the amount, has a lot to do with how well you can use carbs for energy versus storing them as fat. Good fats help with insulin signaling. Bad fats interfere with insulin signaling

Glycemic Load: Glycemic load refers to HOW BIG the portion size in question is and HOW FAST the carbs in that portion get dumped into your blood stream.  The best example is to think of consuming a bottle of soda versus a plate overflowing with spinach.  The bottle of soda has a MASSIVE glycemic load. The plate of spinach has a very small glycemic load.   Glycemic load incorporates BOTH the idea of PORTION SIZE and the GLYCEMIC SCALE, which tells us the rate at which carbs increase blood sugar.  Big portions of carbs that rapidly increase your blood sugar are very difficult to deal with, but some times are better than others. Specifically

When your stored glycogen and blood glucose levels are low:
Two of the most ideal times for this are  AFTER A WORKOUT and UPON WAKING.

What both of these times have in common is that you have a greater chance of storing the carbs from a calorically dense, high glycemic load serving of carbs as glycogen than you normally would.

When you have an immediate need for expending large amounts of energy:

Two of the most ideal times for this are BEFORE A WORKOUT and BEFORE ANY KIND OF HEAVY PHYSICAL WORK.

In this environment, particularly pre-workout, carbs are essential for optimal results.

So the answer is yes, there are times when carbs, particularly high glycemic load carb meals can either be better utilized or in fact can help with a fitness and weight loss program.
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