Understanding my Poison: Carbs

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Hi, I’m Skye and I’m a CARB-BITCH

“Carbohydrates” is such a dirty word.

“Everyone processes food differently”, my trainer muses with the philosophical mannerisms of Yoda, “But your body has a high tolerance for carbs and you can get away with eating breads and grains without gaining too much weight. You are what we call a ‘Carb-Bitch’.”

I took this statement literally and got carried away in the first week of my training diet, scoffing the same amount (if not more) of sweet potatoes, muesli bars and breakfast cereals.

Alas, without the same amount of cardio exercise as previous weeks I bombed my second bio-sig check in and got my carbs cut to bare minimum. Well, minimal according to what I’m used to- barely a cup of oats in the morning, the occasional brown rice and maximum 2 rice cakes a day.

So were carbs responsible for my increase in body fat?

Anything in excessive portions will make you fat, but carbs get a particularly bad rep because we eat so much of it.

Easily accessible and hard to escape, we consume carbs every time we order a burger, bite an apple, indulge in ice cream. Our bodies break carbohydrates down to sugar (glucose) and use it as a preferred source of energy.

However, no carbohydrate is an essential nutrient in humans. Carbohydrates are not necessary building blocks of other molecules, and the body can obtain all its energy from protein and fats.
– Eric C Westman (American Society for Clinical Nutrition)

The point I’m learning extremely slowly is: my training diet is slowly weaning me off “processed” carbs and increasing my protein consumption. I’m trying my best to choose the source of carbohydrate wisely and replacing with natural “complex” sources such as vegetables and whole grains. Still butchering through my quota of cow, chickens, kangaroos and eggs for the protein hit and forever nibbling on nuts during the day- I’m curious and terrified at the same time what tomorrow’s bio-sig #3 will tell…wish me luck!

Useful sites I used to learn more about the humble carb and how it effects the body:
Wikipedia: Carbohydrates
How to have a flat tummy at any age – guide to balancing diet and exercise

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6 thoughts on “Understanding my Poison: Carbs

  1. Experiment with a few high intensity cardio (HIIT) sessions a week and see how you look, no more than 20 minutes and 2-3 times a week.
    HIIT training tends to maintain muscle mass (even build) because of the explosive nature of the session. Otherwise try putting your weight training into a circuit and go from one exercise to another with shorter breaks to keep your heart rate up.

  2. Tan The Man

    yup…I am trying to see how I can loose this ONE pack and convert it into abs…I can feel but cannot see them 😦 I only do weights and no cardio..worry that I will loose the muscles. so should I combine cardio in my workout? if so, do the interval cardio?

  3. This question has always been debated, but personally I think it’s bogus because it’s not what time you eat certain foods, it’s what and how. Carbs is broken down into sugar and this sugar creates a hormone called insulin. If you consume a high amount of carbs in one sitting, you flood your body with insulin and this hormone then starts storing excess sugar (or glucose) as fat.
    If you eat fats alongside a lot of carbs, your body will pick up the fat and store this first before getting to the excess sugar because fat takes less energy for the body to store. I’m skimming over the details a little bit, but I’ll be posting something soon about the effects of sugar on the body. Really interesting stuff huh? 🙂

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