Friday, March 6, 2009

Carbohydrates and Fat Loss: What's the Deal?

"All the animals of the earth, all the birds of the sky, all the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the fish in the sea will look on you with fear and terror. I have placed them in your power. I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables." - Genesis 9:2-3

This is an article originally written by Mike Roussell, Ph.D. I wanted to post it as today's blog since it gives good information about carbohydrates and fat loss. You'll see that many of the points he makes is similar to previous blogs I've written about following a low-carb diet - Warp Speed Fat Loss; Meal Frequency: Eat 4-6 Meals Per Day; Warp Speed Fat Loss Part 2; and Low-Carb and Mediterranean Diets are Both Winners for Fat Loss.

Carbohydrates play an important role in any fat loss diet. You need them to help you recover from your workouts, but you need to limit them so that they don't inhibit your fat loss.

So what is the right balance of carbohydrates in your diet?

When you eat carbs, and what kind of carbs you eat, depends on your body type and the time of day. Let's look at this idea a little more closely.

The degree in which your body does not "handle" carbohydrates well is known in science terms as insulin resistance. While there are many factors that impact insulin resistance, the most important is your body fat.

Too much Visceral body fat (the kind that sits inside your gut surrounding your organs) leads to increased insulin resistance. The greater your insulin resistance the worse your body is at processing carbohydrates.

The best way to deal with insulin resistance from a dietary standpoint is to use lower impact carbohydrates. The "impact" of a carbohydrate is the degree in which it affects your blood sugar levels.

This can be measured in terms of "glycemic load" (higher glycemic load leads to greater effect on your blood sugar levels. A good article about the difference between the glycemic index and the glycemic load can be found - HERE).

One of the world's top glycemic load researchers, David Ludwig, discovered in one of his research studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that people with insulin resistance lost more weight when they were on a low-glycemic load diet vs. a low-fat diet.

Low-glycemic load diets are typically lower in total carbohydrates and higher in protein and fat than a typical low-fat diet. This is the perfect kind of diet for weight loss. You can easily eat this way by switching out rice, pasta, potatoes, breads, and other starchy or processed carbs for spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, green beans, chick peas and a variety of other vegetables, legumes and fruit.

These are the kinds of carbs that you want to focus on eating throughout the day as they are low in total carbohydrates and sugars but higher in fiber.

While low "impact" carbs are important for controlling insulin levels and increasing your rate of fat loss, fast-acting carbs are also an important part of a fat-loss diet.

A 2006 study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology showed that when people drank a sugary shake during their workout over the course of 12 weeks, they lost just as much weight as the ones that did not drink anything.

Other studies have shown that those who use a mix of carbohydrates and protein during and after their workout lose as much fat as those who don't drink a shake and they gain more lean muscle mass!

Carbohydrates during your workout will allow you to train harder, burn more calories and lose more fat. Fast-acting carbs and protein during your workout will also allow you to recover from your workouts faster, allowing you to continue training hard and losing weight fast.

If you don't want to use a specially-formulated pre- or post-workout shake like Surge or Relentless, something as simple as chocolate milk has been proven to be just as effective and has the right amount of protein and carbs needed for recovery.

Just be sure not to overdo it if you are trying to lose fat. You can easily consume too many carbs and negate some of the fat-loss benefits. I recommend no more than 30-50 grams of carbs if you weigh less than 200lbs - and only use it after intense training workouts.

The final important point that needs to be made is that when low-carbohydrate diets are compared to low-fat diets, the people on low-carb diets consistently lose more weight after six months on the diet, and they do not need to focus on cutting calories - they eat as much as they want (the benefit of more protein and healthy fats in your diet is that they will also help you feel fuller faster and keep you satisfied longer).

People on low-fat diets need to focus on restricting calories, and they don't lose as much weight. Which diet would you rather be on?

If you are truly serious about losing weight as fast as possible then you need to adopt a low-carb approach during the day but allow for a fast-acting carb and protein workout shake when you train.

About the Author/More Info
Warp Speed Fat Loss is a complete 28-day diet and training system crafted to help you lose 10, 15 or 20lbs of body fat in just 28 days. To start losing weight fast, visit Warp Speed Fat Loss.

Mike Roussell is a nutrition doctoral student at Pennsylvania State University. Mike's writings can be found in magazines such as Men's Health, Men's Fitness and Testosterone Nation. Mike specializes in fat loss nutrition and diets for busy men and women who need to lose weight fast without it interfering with their lives. Warp Speed Fat Loss is a complete Done-for-You A-Z Fat Loss Blueprint that gives you exactly everything you need to eat to lose weight in record time.

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