Check Your Carbs

Check Your Carb Sources

If you are overweight or carrying more body fat than you’d like, there’s a very high chance that you are eating too many carbohydrates. Carbohydrate consumption triggers the pancreas to release insulin to bring down blood sugar. Insulin then transports the glucose in the bloodstream into muscle tissue for repair or it stores the glucose in fat deposits. Since most Americans are consuming carbohydrates in abundance at every meal (and many don’t even know what a carbohydrate is) I suggest that you reduce your carb sources to only one or two total. My reasoning behind this is twofold; 1.) so that you can properly identify and measure out exactly the amount of carbohydrates you are consuming and 2.) so that you can identify if certain carb sources are causing your body distress and messing with your metabolic and digestive functions. The truth is that many people have an immune response to certain foods. Dairy, grains, soy and sugar, nightshades and citrus are all very common allergies for people.

The second reason given is also somewhat of a revelation that I’ve had recently. I’ve been battling autoimmune disease for the last 15 years. I thought that I had finally narrowed down the culprit foods to wheat and dairy, however it wasn’t until I began prepping for a bodybuilding show and my only carb source became jasmine rice that I realized my body gets inflamed from starches such as beans and potatoes as well. I had been consuming those foods, the same ones causing minor inflammation in my body for years thinking that I was doing better. I was, but it wasn’t until I really eliminated them for a period of time that I finally realized I may be better off without them. Also, it’s very easy for me to measure out the jasmine rice throughout the day so that I can properly measure the amount of carbs I’m getting. I find it much more difficult to do this eating sugars, flours, potatoes, beans and other carbohydrates.

The famous strength coach Charles Poliquin says you have to “earn your carbs”- meaning that your body fat must be low enough to utilize the carbs without turning them into fat. This happens from training intensely and being diligent about measuring your carbohydrates throughout the day. This is not to say that you need to deprive yourself of food or not indulge on occasion, but frankly, most people don’t need to eat as many carbs as they do. There are no “essential carbs” like there are amino acids and fats. Carbohydrates can be a great energy source for training, but if your bodyfat needs to come down, they are the first macronutrient to begin scaling back. So, learn which carbs you respond well to and then be sure to measure them out and consume the majority of your carbs around the time you train. This will decrease the likelihood they will be stored as extra fat.

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