Thursday, June 5, 2014

The great carb debate. I am entirely nauseated by the word carb. In the past when I needed to lose weight I gave up carbs and would lose weight pretty fast. Most people don't even know what "carbs" are.  I guess I cut all grains of any kind.  But did you know milk is considered high in carbs? Anyway after my initial loss, I would get to my goal weight and shove every piece of bread and cake I could find into my face. And the weight crept back on. Let's break down the science of losing "weight" by cutting carbs:

"Don't Be Fooled by Quick Losses and Devastating Gains

After a week of doing a low carb diet, new dieters will lose anywhere from four to ten or even twelve pounds.

But there's a dark side to this instant weight loss. Slip up and eat a "normal" diet for several days and what happens? The lost pounds are back, all five or ten of them!

The quick losses and gains are almost entirely water. Whether you are low carbing or not, you must burn off 3,500 more calories than you take in to lose a pound of fat and you must eat 3,500 calories more than you need to gain a pound. Low carbing does not repeal the basic laws of thermodynamics. So what is that four to ten pounds of "easy go, easy come" weight all about?

When you cut the carbs out of your diet, your body empties out the "emergency" stores of carbohydrate it keeps in the liver and muscles in the form of a substance called glycogen. Glycogen is a normal part of our metabolism and allows us to do energy-intensive things like sprinting, for example, by letting us draw on the carbs stored in our muscles for energy.

When you start a very low carb diet you cut off the body's supply of dietary carbohydrate and this leads to a rapid emptying of these liver and muscle glycogen stores. And when you lose that glycogen, you also lose the associated water. That's the reason why, during the first couple days of a low carb diet, you lose weight so dramatically. It's also why you may feel slimmer and lose "inches." You haven't lost fat. You've simply squeezed out the water and glycogen in your muscles and liver.

But what happens when you go off the diet for a few days? If you eat a significant amount of carbs, your liver and muscles grab glucose from your bloodstream to replenish that emergency stock. As they do this, four grams of water join each gram of glycogen" - (source blood sugar 101)

This information is so crucial I believe in keeping weight off. Now we know carbs are not the devil and in fact avoiding them altogether then binging on them which ends up happening to most people will create a disaster roller coaster of "weight" losses and gains. Avoiding grains healthy and processed all together forever is pretty much unsustainable for most people. And there is always the problem of people wanting what they "can't" have.

But it's also so important to eat the right carbs.  I have been staying away from too much processed carbs because I feel they bloat me: pasta, bread in particular.  I seem to do ok with small portions of brown or white rice, sweet potatoes, milk, oats. Not to be all "pluggy" but that's what I like so much about 21 day fix, I know how many carbs to have a day, there is a daily limit on carbs and then I know I am losing mostly fat, not just water because I am still getting a daily allowance of carbs.

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