Does anyone out there not enjoy their carbs? You won’t be seeing me living without carbs. At one stage of my life, I did this – and let’s say I lived many years to regret the damage it did to my bodies ability to burn fat.
During my bodybuilding days, I would swap and change my carb load regularly. Until one day, I stopped eating carbs altogether. When I had smaller, timed carbs, I was stronger, leaner and felt that my muscle definition was full. When I took carbs away, the opposite happened. I felt flat and lifeless. I would always burn through the muscle.
Not all carbs are created equal, and they aren’t the catalyst for rapid weight gain and many other negative warps carbs have gotten over the years. They are a necessity in our diets, no matter how young or old we are. Surprisingly, cabs (when eaten in proportion and timed) can help to make you leaner than you are. Yes, you did hear that right! But unfortunately, when you don’t know how to manipulate carbs to get leaner, the results may be weight gain. If you believe that carbs may be affecting your body composition & mood, then I would pay attention to the signs and symptoms below.
Carbs Can Be Good For You, But Not When This Happens To You
- You are way too tired after eating them. If you feel this way after eating carbs, then you most definitely have eaten the wrong type. A high carb (the processed type) can bring up your blood sugar as rapidly as it will come crashing down when that phase ends. This will also negatively affect the quality and quantity of your sleep, possibly causing you to wake up several times during the night (or increase restlessness). The cycle of exhaustion will keep on turning as long as this habit is in place. How to combat this: You will need to swap your processed carbs for wholesome ones. Think quinoa, oats or even good old fashioned veggies as well. They too contain carbs – and some more so than others. When you eat quality carbs instead, your mood and energy levels will change. How do you make these foods taste better? Get creative with herbs, spice and even look up some recipes that are of interest. Food needs a bit of love from spices, salt and olive oil to liven up a bit.
- The weight is slowly creeping up on you (your pants or tops don’t fit, and you feel as though you’re retaining water. Making a habit of eating processed carbs can increase your chances of putting on weight. Unfortunately, these types of carbs are very challenging to overcome. Excessive glucose will always be stored in your fat cells, saved up for later use. Until you eliminate these from your diet, fat loss will be near impossible. You see, your insulin levels increase after you consume these kinds of foods. As you keep eating them day in day out, the body will continuously keep storing glucose in the cells. That’s obesity 101. How to combat this: Get rid of all processed carbs for at least 60 days. Intervention is needed now, as the more you eat, the worse your health will become. Eating a whole food diet is vital here, and that will rebalance your blood sugar and lower your insulin response. I’m not claiming this is easy, although you are doing your body a disservice if you do not listen to the damage that results from eating refined carbs constantly.
- Bloated belly, retaining water & maybe some farting. I know it’s unpleasant but let’s not deny that it’s happened to all of us at one time or another. Soft drinks and sugary processed foods can make these symptoms even more uncomfortable. Even the so-called “healthy alternatives” to sugar contain ingredients that can cause those lovely stomach gurgling sounds. Certain fruits and veggies increase the likelihood. It can become quite frustrating, but the only way to overcome this is by eliminating eating those particular foods. If you choose to eat them anyway, then you must wait it out and do your best. I have had to do this many times; that’s why I know I don’t even bother going there. It’s just not worth the pain. How to combat this. You will not like this, but get rid of sugary drinks, even the so-called healthy ones. Stick with water, tea, coffee or herbal teas.
- Pimples. Milk, sugary food, processed carbs and junk food, in general, can aggravate your acne. The only way you can clear up this type of acne is to clean up your diet and stay mindful of those things that can trigger an outbreak. It doesn’t matter what age you are; pimples can still pop up and make your life frustrating. How to combat this. I make a habit of mentioning this to my teenager. Most of what we eat is showing up on our skin. The skin is an accurate indicator of our diet and lifestyle. No amount of water or cleansing will help if your diet contains processed foods. Once you take these away, your skin will change immediately. I got rid of all my pigmentation when I cleaned up my diet for good. It’s well worth the effort.
Can carbs make you leaner?
But wait, what about the fact I mentioned becoming “leaner” due to eating carbs. Well, this does depend on the type of carb you are eating. As I said before, timed carbohydrate intake is essential. Using carbs as a re-fueling aspect after training is a great way to start. Plant-based carbohydrates can also reduce body weight, fat and improve your insulin function. The best options are sweet potato, beans, legumes, and fruits. Too much of anything can cause weight gain – it’s just the way our bodies work. To find a balance, I would recommend eating when you are hungry, and if you really think it’s hunger, have a glass of water beforehand so you can be very specific. Listening to your bodies signals is the best indicator of hunger, sickness and health. Imagine the power you would have if you listened to it a lot more. Make the change today and see what happens as a result.