Are you trying to shed some unwanted pounds? If so, you might be giving the old low-carb diet a try. Many people have tried it with success, and you figure that if it can work for them, it can work for you, too. Right? Well, you may be wrong!
The Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet and so many other types of fad diets have so many people believing that carbs are high in fat and lead to those extra inches on your waistline. It’s not the carbs that are making your pants fit tight; it’s the overeating, eating the wrong types of carbs and the lack of exercise that is making your pants fit snuggly.
If you want to lose weight, these are the things that you should be focusing on – not completely eliminating carbs from your diet. Carbs are actually a vital part of your diet and eliminating them all together can be a bad thing.
What Are Carbs
In general, foods fit into one of two categories: Micronutrients and macronutrients. Foods that fit into the former category are what your body needs the most to flourish.
Carbs are considered macronutrients – just like protein (the stuff that you always hear you should up your intake of in order to lose weight.) Translation: Your body needs carbohydrates just as much as it needs lean meats to flourish.
Carbs do a lot of wonderful things for the body, including:
- Providing the body with fuel (they are the biggest fuel source for the body)
- Give the body the energy it needs
- They are a vital component of the central nervous system, helping the brain, kidneys and muscles to function properly
- They can be stored in the liver and in the muscles and used later when the body needs them
- They play a very important role in the health of the intestines and help with the removal of waste
Given how many important things that they do for the body, completely cutting out carbs is actually far worse for you than eating them. Bottom line: You need carbs to be healthy.
How Many Carbs Should You Eat?
While it’s definitely true that carbs are a very important part of your diet, that doesn’t mean that you should eat a diet that is based primarily on carbs. As with everything else, you need to have a good balance in your diet to remain healthy.
Eating too many carbs or eating the wrong type of carbs could lead to weight gain; but, that doesn’t mean that all carbs will make you fat. So, how many should you eat and still lose weight?
The truth is that there is no definite answer. The amount that you need depends on your activity level. So, the more active you are, the more carbs you can eat and still lose weight.
When trying to manage your carb intake, focus on cutting down the wrong carbs – sugars and starches – and replace them with complex carbohydrates, like whole wheat, brown rice and quinoa, and you’ll lose weight.