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 sciency terms as insulin resistance. While there are many factors that impact insulin resistance; the most important is your body fat. Lots of 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 level in which it effects 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). 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 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, etc for spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, green beans, chick peas, etc. 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. Carbohydrates during your workout will allow you to train harder, burning more calories, and thus losing more fat. Fast acting carbs during your workout will also allow you to recover from your workouts faster, allowing you to continue training hard and losing weight fast.
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 6 months on the diet and they do not need to focus on cutting calories - they just eat however much they want. 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 workout shake when you train.
About the Author: Mike Roussell is an author and nutrition doctoral student at Pennsylvania State University. Mike writings can be found in Men's Health and Men's Fitness and Ironman Magazines in addition to the internet's largest bodybuilding and fitness website - T-Nation.com
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