Do Carbs Make Me Fat
Currently Low-Carb Diets are very popular ideologies among the fitness world. Gary Taubes “Why We Get Fat”, Dr. Adkins, the Stanford University A-Z Diet Study are among a few industry, leading declarations that have serious momentum and support. It is a hard myth to debunk because of the potential, and common short-term results gained by adopting this method, along with trends and commercialization built into the statement. We at the National Personal Training Institute of Portland are not into short-terms results, or trends. We seek out long term, sustainable, empowering habits and lifestyle changes that lead you in a direction of not only becoming more fit, but more healthy and well for the long haul.
A few immediate thoughts need to be registered:
1). Carbohydrates are our body’s primary fuel source. They yield a moderate gain in of energy for a reasonably low need of oxygen. If we didn’t use carbohydrates as a primary source of fuel then we would need to breathe a lot harder to bring in enough oxygen for fat oxidation.
2). Carbohydrates have a protein sparing quality. Your brain and heart want to use carbohydrates and we only have a minor supply reserve of roughly 100g of glycogen in our liver and 300-400 g of glycogen in our muscles. We rely in general on a constant supply to help maintain our resting metabolism. If we do not have enough for a constant supply we increase cortisol levels released by our adrenal glands. This causes a catabolic state in which we harvest our tissues to create carbohydrates. This process is called Gluconeogenesis. The thought of “harvesting our tissues” to create sugars is encouraging to those trying to drop a few pounds now. The problem is the long-term metabolic decline resulting from harvesting lean body tissue as well.
Unfortunately we predominantly choose muscle mass for the conversion. This is because you are telling your body that muscle is a liability based on its caloric need and fat is an asset based on its caloric value in getting you through restrictions or famines. The low-carb diet might drop a few pounds now, but it creates a longer-term starvation mode that will make it harder to lose unwanted mass, easier to decrease your metabolism, therefore easier to increase fat mass when you decide to eat again.
3). It also creates a hormonal turmoil between the thyroid and adrenals in balancing blood sugar and metabolism. This can lead to down regulations of hormones. Which can possibly lead to libido, motivation, mood swings, hunger, negative relationships with food, reclusiveness, performance, sleep and stress coping issues.
We want to be clear: Carbohydrates and calories should be based on the individual’s genetics, body types, physiology and sport/lifestyles they live. Long distance runners need more carbs. Sedentary couch potatoes need less. But instead of taking them away how about we go earn them. Lets move. Think of carbohydrates as currency. The harder you work the more you need to pay you metabolism.