Tags: carbs, exercise, fat loss, lose weight
A nutrient that makes us fat, bloated, and unhealthy.
That’s the way a lot of health and fitness magazines spins things these days. They want you to think that carbohydrates are the devil and that you need to race over to the super market and pick up all of the low-carb microwave-ready options available right away. But it’s ok – they said the same thing a few years back about fat. That fat was bad in any way shape or form – and that’s what sparked the low fat revolution, and along with it the creation of “healthy” low-fat options (that tended to be high in sugar and downright unhealthy).
The truth is that neither fat nor carbs are “bad” generally speaking. Either can be bad when consumed in excess, but that’s true with just about everything.
When it comes to carbs, you need to recognize that while dropping them low can help with fat loss, you can’t go too low and you can’t do it forever.
Over the long term you need to take a more moderate approach. You need to use smart tactics.
And here’s one of the easiest strategies that you can employ regarding carbohydrate consumption -
Earn ‘em or Burn em’…
Here’s what it means:
Since carbohydrates are your body’s go-to energy source for many activities, you need to either do an activity to achieve a “depleted” or semi-depleted state and then take in the carbs, OR consume the carbs first, and then do some sort of activity to burn off the energy stored in the carbohydrate so that it doesn’t get stored in your body as fat.
More breakdown and how to do it:
Ideally, higher carb meals should be consumed after a workout or other intense activity, when the body is more likely to use them for replenishment and not put them towards fat storage. Typically, exercise lowers muscle glycogen (one of our main sources of “fuel”) and if you take in the carb post-workout, the body views them as a way to replenish glycogen or “fill up” the muscles instead of the fat cells. Based on this, the best general rule you can make is to limit high carb consumption to after your workouts.
But since this isn’t an ideal world, and sometimes it’s tricky to always control when you get your high carb meals in, here’s the way to “damage control” for those times when you eat the carb-heavy at some random time during the day:
Yep, exercise. It’s as simple as that. The idea is pretty easy to understand too. Basically when you take in higher levels of carbs at some random time during the day, this results in a slew of physiological reactions, with the most important being a rise in blood sugar and insulin levels. When this happens, the body decides to store those extra carbs as fat since it sees that muscle glycogen levels are “topped off” and it really just wants to clear the blood of the extra glucose floating around.
Exercise is the solution here because it ameliorates all of the negative effects of high blood sugar and insulin being driven up. Essentially, with exercise you can burn up the carbs before they do any damage and start to make you fat.
So to review, the main idea here is that you EXERCISE around your high-carb meal.
1. Before you house a bunch of carbs is your best bet.
2. Directly after you eat them is probably not as effective but will still prevent a lot of fat gain that would otherwise occur.
And always remember…
Carbs: Earn ‘em or Burn em’…
Have more questions about carbs or nutrition in general?
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