Go Low Carb not NO Carb
In today’s world, people try all kinds of fads diets in an effort to lose weight. Everyone has a different opinion about what works and many of them will work in the short term. What definitely does not work is a diet where carbohydrates are cut out in their entirety. A healthy eating plan should include fats, carbohydrates, and protein. To follow a diet without them would be to endanger your health.
Carbohydrates are the most plentiful of all the nutrients in food and are in most foods we eat in some form. Carbohydrates are made of simple and complex sugars that are metabolized by the body for energy or stored as fat when no more is needed. Examples of simple carbohydrates include fruits and dairy products such as milk and cheese. Complex carbohydrates are your heavier foods such as pastas, breads, potatoes, rice, and cereals. Eating less of the complex and more of the simple types may be a good way to lose weight. But not all complex carbs are created equal. It is a much better idea to eat complex carbs with many nutrients in them. Such as sweet potatoes and whole grain products.
Diets that advocate no carbohydrates force the body to obtain all of its energy from protein and fats. This takes a lot longer as our bodies are made to use this as a last resort for survival. When protein from food is no longer available to meet the body’s energy needs, the body begins siphoning it from the muscle tissue of the body. In essence, the body begins eating itself for fuel. No one wants that. Your body will also burn protein before it burns the fat in your body. Again, it is a survival instinct to not use up the stored energies. The body needs glucose (sugar) to function. Interestingly enough, the glucose needed by the brain must come from carbohydrates and not protein sources.
Carbohydrates have been classified by their glycemic index (GI) number. This method of rating carbohydrates helps people make wiser choices about what they include in their diets. Foods with high GI’s (greater than fifty) may cause the body to store fat. Foods with a low GI number (less than fifty) may cause the body to burn fat.
On a diet that features low GI carbohydrates, the insulin level in the body is maintained at a steady level. These carbohydrates are processed at a slower rate by the body. The other hormone, glucagon, can work to burn the sugars for energy in the cells. You don’t feel hungry all the time when the insulin hormone level in the body has no major fluctuations. When you expend energy during physical activity, the body starts releasing fat stores to use for energy metabolism. Low GI diets provide the body with energy without going into crisis mode.
Eat the right carbohydrates. Choose fresh vegetables and fruits. Whole grain or seven grain breads and pastas are preferred to those made with white flour. Beans and nuts are good for a low carbohydrate diet. If you must have potatoes, try sweet potatoes. The GI number is lower and they are great with non-fat spray butter.
Don’t try to cut out all of your carbohydrates. Reduce them to lose weight, but choosing the right types is as important as how much you consume.
Also remember that it is typically what we put on our carbs that is causing the major weight gain. Think about the butter and creamy sauces before you load them up. Keep your calories to your specified amount for weight loss and you will have good luck losing.