Carbs get a bad rap and often find their way onto “don’t eat” lists. While, yes, eating carbs in high quantities can weight gain and a host of other health conditions, they aren’t all bad.
Do carbs make you fat?
Here at 8fit, we like to promote a balanced diet with an emphasis on eating everything in moderation. This focus on balance and moderation helps 8fitters develop healthy habits that last a lifetime. Every 8fit recipe includes a certain ration of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to fill you up, give you energy and help you reach your wellness goal (e.g. lose weight, get fitter, gain muscle).
At the beginning of their health and fitness journey, many 8fitters ask the question, “Do carbs make you fat?” The simple answer is, yes, if you eat carbs in high amounts, your body uses carbohydrates as its primary source of energy and stores fat. This is why low-carb diets like paleo or keto are growing in popularity. Eating fewer carbs and more protein and fat forces the body to use fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. As a result, many low-carb dieters experience weight loss and start to see more muscle definition.
Risks of high-carb diets
Fat storage isn’t the main only reason to reduce carb in our diet. Here are some additional risks associated with high-carb diets:
- Increased sugar cravings
- Blood sugar spikes resulting in lethargy and sluggishness
- Mental fog
- Feeling too full and uncomfortable after meals
- Stomach issues such as flatulence, belching and bloating
- Mood swings
During the digestive process, sugars in carbs are broken down into simpler sugars and absorbed into the bloodstream. This is where the term “blood sugar” comes in. When we consume simple carbohydrates from sources like sweeteners, fruit, candy, soda, and juice without a side of fiber, protein or fat, our bodies break sugars down quickly leading to blood sugar spikes or increased blood sugar levels. Like most things, what goes up must come down. After blood sugar levels spike, they crash. This results in mood swings, hunger pangs, sugar cravings, and some of the other risks listed above.
Transitioning from a high-carb isn’t easy at first. Expect to experience withdrawal symptoms like sugar cravings, headaches, and moodiness. Before you cut carbs cold turkey, we recommend you start by tracking your intake and then decrease carb intake by 25% each week until you reach around 100-150 grams of carbs per day. Use an 8fit meal plan to get your personalized values.