How Much Water Weight Does The Body Store From Carbs The War On The War On Carbs

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The War On The War On Carbs

For those who love carbs, you’ve been taking a beating lately. Don’t eat carbs, they make you gain weight, say the “experts”. Lately there has been an all out war on carbs and as someone who loves their carbs… it’s time to start a war on the “War on Carbs”

Carbohydrates are essential, there’s just no way around them. Whether your goal is to lose weight or increase athletic performance, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you give up our friend the carb. For all high-intensity, short-duration activities, muscle glycogen is the source of energy, and muscle glycogen comes from… carbohydrates. Even moderate intensity endurance activities use glycogen as 50% of your energy needs. In fact, the only limiting factor on your sports performance will be the lack of availability of carbohydrates. Even during low-intensity exercise, when your body uses a higher percentage of fat as a fuel source, a good supply of carbohydrates is needed to fuel this process. Have you ever played a sport or involved yourself in a high intensity exercise program and you hit the proverbial “wall”… it’s because your body has a lower supply of glycogen, EVEN THOUGH your body has a large supply of fat. Want to perform better… eat your carbs.

What if you want to lose weight; you definitely need to reduce your carbohydrate intake. After all, carbs make you fat right? Carbohydrates give you variety, necessary nutrients and volume to your diet.

Recommended ranges for carbohydrate intake are between 45-65% of your total intake. Weight loss occurs when there is a caloric deficit and not a specific macronutrient profile.

Weight loss that occurs on low-carb diets is generally attributed to 2 things… a lower overall caloric intake and loss of body mass. Have you ever started a diet restricting your carbohydrate intake and seen great results in the first few weeks? Lower carbohydrates mean lower muscle glycogen stores. For every gram of glucose lost through glycogen, you also lose 2.7 grams of water with it. This loss of glycogen combined with water loss is the contributing factor in the initial large losses seen.

Some studies you will read (actually the newspaper headlines you will read… very few read the actual studies) will tell you that we are gaining weight faster than ever even though our fat intake is down. This is partially true. The PERCENTAGE of fat intake in our total diet has decreased, but the actual number of grams of fat consumed is unchanged, while the total calorie consumption of our diet has increased. Likewise, most studies rely on self-reporting, and people generally report eating less than they actually do.

Consider that in the 1900s, the typical diet had a higher intake from carbohydrates and a lower intake from fat. Although our dreaded enemy, carbohydrates, was being consumed at a greater rate, we have only seen the increase in weight problems in the last few decades. Simply put, the increase in the rate of weight gain we see as a society is largely due to increased caloric intake and decreased activity.

So here’s what’s so great about carbs:

1. They provide nutrients that you can’t get from fat or protein

2. Adds bulk to your diet

3. Stabilizes blood sugar levels

4. An adequate supply of carbohydrates in your diet spares your body from turning to protein as an energy source, meaning that protein can do its job.

5. It is the body’s preferred source of energy

6. Your brain only uses carbohydrates as its energy source

7. You need carbohydrates to fuel the fat burning process

All of this doesn’t mean you’ll run out of a dozen donuts. Choose good choices of vegetables, fruits, whole grains… gobble them up… yum!

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