Monday, May 12, 2008

Do Carbs Make You Gain Weight ?

You are bombarded with mixed messages about carbs, and if you're like most people, you're a little confused. Are carbs good, or bad?

Flash quiz: Answer true or false to each of the following statements

  1. Carbs make you gain weight.
  2. You need carbs to get strong and healthy.
  3. Carbs make you smarter.
We'll get to the answers, but first let's look at why it's important to understand the nature of carbs.

Whether you are going through menopause or not, effective nutrition is different for everyone . We each have unique bodies, with particular needs and tastes. With the right information you can cultivate the physique you want, gain health, and enjoy higher energy levels. I am going to give you some simple, solid information here, and then you can cut through all the hype and decide for yourself how you feel about carbs and how much or how little you need to incorporate them into your personal nutrition strategy.

OK. So, when you eat ANY kind of carbs, your body converts them into blood sugar (glucose), which is then stored in your muscle tissue and your liver. As you expend energy by working out or just by living life every day, you use up your stored glucose.

Here comes the part you've been waiting for: If you eat carbohydrates before your body is done using up all of the glucose it has already stored, guess what happens? The extra carbohydrates are stored as F-A-T.

By now, you've probably already solved the carb mystery, which isn't such a mystery after all: if you want to avoid body fat storage from carbs, eat them only after you've used up the glucose stored from your previous meal. Makes sense, doesn't it? And by now you also know the answers to the flash quiz:

  1. Carbs make you fat. This is both true and false. It's not the carbs that make you fat, it's how you use them that can become a problem. Think of carbs like fire - fire can warm you or burn you, depending on how you use it. In and of itself, fire - and carbs - are neither good nor bad.
  2. You need carbs to get strong and healthy. True. Carbs are your body's preferred source of energy. If you don't eat enough of them, your body will find other sources of energy, like breaking down hard-earned muscle tissue. The less muscle you have, the less shape there is to your body. This results in sagging skin and a backside that lacks form and firmness.
  3. Carbs make you smarter. True (kind of). Your brain operates with the help of glucose in your blood. That's why it's difficult to concentrate if you've gone too long without eating. So while it might not be true that carbs make you smart, it is true that having too few can make you feel stupid, which is sort of like the same thing. (If you're like most of us, you don't need more reasons to feel stupid in this life - we do that to ourselves enough already!)

Coming up: How to choose the right carbs and when to eat them.

Stay tuned to for additional micro sessions on how to cultivate a strong, attractive, body.

In strength,

Julie Scipioni McKown is a certified personal trainer, and a physique transformation champion. Her e-book, Body Wizardry: The Art of Physique Transformation from the Inside, Out is now available as a Kindle ebook. Don't have a Kindle? Get yours here. For information on purchasing other versions of the ebook, email us at

Photo by Esther17

No comments: