One minute you read “eat high protein, low carbs to lose weight”, next “go on a Keto diet- eat high fat and low carbs to lose weight”. Now you’re terrified to eat any carbs, but secretly you’re terrified of eating fat too, because doesn’t eating fat makes you gain more fat? So, you’re left with protein. But do you know that eating too much protein, the excess protein will also be converted into fat? In fact, excess of anything that your body doesn’t use – be it carbs, protein or fat will be save for later in the fat storage aka body fat.
The problem is not what you eat.
It’s how much you eat.
Why you don’t need to be afraid of carbohydrates:
1) Source of fuel for high-intensity exercise: I eat carbs because I do a lot of HIIT and strength training. Glucose, the basic building block of carbs, is your body’s main source of energy for working muscles. Why doesn’t your body use fat from food that you eat you may wonder? Because fat takes a long time to digest so it’s slow to be converted into usable form of energy. Then why can’t your body convert body fat into energy instead of burning carbs for fuel? To convert stored body fat into energy requires a lot of oxygen. When you’re doing high intensity exercise such as HIIT, you’re huffing and puffing, you’re in an anaerobic state. Your cardiovascular system can’t delivery oxygen to your muscle fast enough and relying mainly on glucose as fuel.
2) Protein-sparing property: If you’re not eating adequate amount of carbs, protein can be broken down to glucose to supply you with energy, but it comes at the expense of your muscles. Your body essentially breaks down your muscles to supply you with energy. Losing muscle is not a good way to lose weight because even at rest muscles burn more energy. The ideal way to lose weight is to burn fat, while maintaining or increasing your muscles. So, in this sense, carb has protein-sparing property. Eating adequate amount of carbs helps protect your body from catabolizing your own muscles.
3) Help you feel full straight away: Vegetables and fruits are carbohydrates that are full of fiber. Fibrous food helps you feel full straight away because volumous food takes up a lot of space in your stomach. Essentially, these types of carbs will fill you up without filling you out.
So, don’t be afraid of eating carbs