First of all, carbs are not necessarily the enemy. They can actually be your best fat burning friends – IF you use them strategically.
And, if you really want to control fat loss once and for all, it’s
crucial for you to understand the pros and cons of carb intake.
Trust me, it can be a love-hate relationship.
The Pros of Carbs
- Carbs are muscle sparing. In other words, they preserve and prevent the breakdown of lean calorie burning muscle tissue.
- They provide energy to the brain and the body.
- They help spark our metabolism and keep it elevated to
prevent metabolic slowdown and keep hormones in check.
- They stimulate insulin, which leads to a very anabolic/muscle building environment (this is kind of a catch 22 as you’ll read in a second).
The Cons of Carbs
- Carbs spike insulin levels and elevate blood sugar. It’s almost impossible to burn body fat in the presence of high insulin levels. (hence – the catch 22 above)
- Consuming too many carbs over lengthy periods of time can
lead to a lot of fat spillover (see chart below), which leads to excess fat storage. Think obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.
- Carbs (especially processed carbs) are the most abused nutrient from both a health and fat loss perspective.
- Excess carb intake creates a lot of water retention, which leads to a soft or PMS (puffy muscle syndrome) look as we call it, so it makes you look and feel bloated.
- Processed carbs hide nasty fillers and chemicals that can potentially lead to severe health challenges. We call these obesity additives.
Now you can see why people think you can just cut out carbs to lose weight. But there’s obviously a lot more to it because we need carbs to stay healthy and keep our metabolism happy and burning fat.
Additionally, low carb diets only work for 4 to 7 days at a time before your thyroid and leptin levels react negatively to slow metabolic rate and suppress fat burning hormones.
Now you can see the crux of carb intake. It can be a double-edged sword.
That’s why you gotta get “sneaky” and cycle your carb intake to maximize both your health and long term fat-loss.