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“If I cut carbs out of my diet, will I lose weight?” This is a question that people may often ask nutrition experts. But they may not always get the right answer to when they embark on a weight-loss journey. An expert helps us bust 5 such carbohydrate myths.
Carbohydrates are considered the prime source of energy for the bidy, and these are also where we derive multiple vitamins and minerals from. They can be broken down into simple and complex carbs.
Your carbs intake can come from breads, noodles, pastas, rice or fruits such as mangoes, oranges and apples. Even dairy products such as milk and curd add carbs to one’s diet.
Ruchika Choudhary, Nutrition and Fitness Standard Coach, FITTR, shares expert advice on whether carbs make you hungry, lethargic and more!
Carbs are a primary source of energy and the preferred fuel for energy used by the body. So, do carbs really make you fat? The answer to that is ‘No’. Eating too many calories makes you fat. Even excess protein can make you gain weight if your overall calories intake exceeds the set limit.
Carbs do not make you hungry. In fact, they do the exact opposite. High fibre carbs (complex carbs) are capable of filling you up and as fibre breaks down slowly it also reduces the rate at which food leaves your stomach. The rate of hunger is also dependent on the individuals’ appetite, activity levels, genetics, meal compositions, emotional eating, and body fat levels. Here, high satiety carbs like oats, quinoa, potatoes etc. are your ‘friend’ and keep you satisfied for a longer duration so that the ‘caloric deficit’ can be maintained to lose weight.
Carbs will not make you lazy. Carbs help provide energy and are broken down slowly in the body to produce energy. When your body is already low on energy, and you eat complex carbs, they will be broken at a slower pace. They do not provide you with enough energy immediately which might keep you lethargic. However, if you eat simple carbs, you get energy quickly, and feel more energetic, as they break down quickly. So it totally depends on what you eat as carbs.
Carbs or sugar are not addictive. Foods that we would typically call “addictive” – like cookies and desserts – have higher fat content rather than just sugar. Also, many of these foods are engineered to have a specific taste and a perfect bliss point. Carbs, on the other hand, have a satiety quality to them (especially carbs like potatoes, oats and veggies), when consumed in the right amount can signal the brain of being full.
No, you can effectively lose weight after eating carbs after 7 P.M. Infact, keeping a tab of the total daily calorie intake is more important than timing. In addition, you should focus on eating a balanced diet, engage in some physical activities. Simple lifestyle changes can go a long way in losing weight.
Also, getting enough sleep and physical activity is more likely to lead to good health and an appropriate body weight than focusing on or eliminating a particular macro-nutrient.
Now that you know about these carbohydrate myths, just be wiser about consuming it, instead of eliminating it from your diet completely.