An interesting statement and one which many debate, but how can this be? You wouldn’t choose a packet of pork scratching’s over a bowl of pasta surely? If it’s weight loss you’re after then in actual fact you’re more likely to lose weight by choosing the pork scratching’s, but that doesn’t mean you’re healthy!!! So why would you ever choose fat over carbohydrates to lose weight?
It’s the insulin within the body that determines whether we burn or store fat. The higher your insulin levels, the more fat the body stores; and the lower your insulin the more fat your body uses as fuel. So how do we control our insulin?
Insulin levels within our bodies are controlled by the carbohydrates we consume. Insulin is the primary regulator of the body’s fat metabolism and Lipoprotein Lipase (also known as LPL). LPL sits on the membrane of our cells and pulls fat in to them, so if our insulin levels are high the more LPL is regulated increasing the storage of fats.
What, if any, carbohydrates should I eat?
Like everything there has to be moderation, so cutting carbohydrates out of your diet completely wouldn’t be the advice I would give but choosing specific carbohydrates for your diet is. Easily digestible carbohydrates are the worst for you, as they can be broken down quickly by the body which pumps glucose in to the bloodstream quickly and causes insulin to spike – which we now know increases LPL and the storage of fat within our cells. You may have heard of carbo loading which many athletes do, but these tend to be for long distance races so they’re able to burn the fat via the exercise. For everyday office worker choosing the correct carbohydrates is a much more effective and realistic answer.
The worst offending carbohydrates include pasta, beer, rice and potatoes to name a few. So when you eat pasta for lunch and jacket potatoes for your dinner, you may not be eating unhealthy but you are increasing the chances of weight gain. Good carbohydrates are those containing fibre and ones which are absorbed slowly in to our system. Examples of these include vegetables, whole grain, fruits and beans. So a nice bean salad for lunch is an alternative to jacket potatoes or chicken and an assortment of vegetables for dinner is an alternative to the common chicken and chips.
One of the most common questions raised at this point is my friend eats all those bad carbs yet still doesn’t put on weight? The answer is that each individual unfortunately has a different metabolism; so what works for them may not work for you. So make sure you choose a diet that is specific to you and your lifestyle.
If you’re looking to start your fitness fight and lose weight then changing your diet may be simpler than you think. By eating less and choosing healthier carbohydrates, you’ll in fact lose weight; but remember a fatty alternative may seem like a cheat but you don’t have to be fat to be unhealthy.