I’ve always struggled with my weight. Growing up, I was always the youngest and almost always the biggest. Whenever I told people my real age, they didn’t believe me. So I grew up overly conscious about my weight and always on some crazy diet. Every time I started one “lose weight quick plan”, guess who got the bad end of the deal? Yeah, you guessed it; CARBS! My idea was that the lesser the carbs, the faster I would lose weight. While its true that restricting carbs intake can contribute to weight loss, doing it solely for the purpose of weight loss is not ideal for keeping the weight of long term.
The carbs debate
For a long time, carbs have been made out to be the bad guy in the weight loss story. Popular diet plans recommend low carbs high fat and protein diets for weight loss. There are even some claims that carbs causes type 2 diabetes and obesity and that most people will do well avoiding them. However, carbs should be the main source of calories because they are the primary source of energy. The dietary guidelines recommend that carbs provide 45 to 65 percent of your daily calorie intake. The key is to know the different types of carbs in order to include healthy sources so that you get the greatest amount of nutrition from every bite.
What are carbs?
Carbs, or carbohydrates, are the sugar, starches and fiber found in fruits, vegetables and milk products and is one of the three macro-nutrients needed by the body. The other two are protein and fat.
Carbs and weight loss
Cutting carbs is one of the simplest and most effective ways to lose weight. Studies illustrate that people on low-carb diets lose more weight, faster, than those on low-fat diets — even when the latter are actively restricting calories. The catch is knowing which kinds of carbs to keep and which kinds to cut.
There are many different types of carbohydrate-containing foods, and they vary greatly in their health effects. To include the healthies forms of carbohydrates in your diet, it’s better to group them into two categories: whole carbs and refined carbs.
Whole carbs are unprocessed foods that contain the naturally occurring fibers. Examples of whole carbs include vegetables, whole fruit, legumes, potatoes and whole grains. These foods are generally healthy.
Refined carbs are carbs that have been wholly or partially stripped of the natural fiber from processing. Example includes sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices, pastries, white bread, white pasta, white rice and others. Refined carbohydrate consumption has been associated with health problems like obesity and type 2 diabetes (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).
To effectively manage your weight, it’s best to limit your intake of refined carbs and focus on incorporating whole carbs in your diet. The chart below shows whole and unprocessed carbs good for weight loss. Consider substituting with a variety of them for t the best results.
I personally have a hate-love relationship with carbs – I hate that I love them so much! sigh…