The great diet debate pt 2

Macronutrients:CARBOHYDRATES: What are they and why they are important…

Macronutrients are types of foods that are eaten in large consumptions broken down into categories. The main 3 we focus on are Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Each of these categories are important to have in our diets and we will get into depth a little as to why.

The first one I’m going to touch on is the one that is getting the bad rep right now in the fitness industry and America in general. Carbohydrates. What are carbohydrates? Everyone hates on them, but do they even know why they’re hating on them? If you hate the Steelers and you don’t even know why, how is your argument going to hold up? We are Bengals fans here in Ohio, but what if someone wanted to ask you why? Don’t jump on the band wagon! Sorry side tracked, Carbohydrates  are any of various neutral compounds of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (as sugars, starches, and celluloses) most of which are formed by green plants and which constitute a major class of animal foods. Simply put, carbs are sugar molecules. Yes, your brown rice turns into sugar when broken down in the body other than the fiber.

What are we coming to?

^We see this entirely too much and forget the big picture.

The diet and low carb craze is turning people into becoming orthorexic.  This is an eating disorder that causes people to be extreme or excessive with eating food believed to be healthy.

You’re talking to a recovered Orthorexic. I threw away years of my life worrying about artificial sweeteners, sugars. I gave up christmas dinners, thanksgiving dinners, I wouldn’t even eat cake on my kids birthday (I call this nuts). I gave up social functions. I gave up alcohol. I gave up a lot of years to type this stuff out and share my stories and to help YOU not go through what I had to go through. Was I in shape? Yeah, but not what you would think. I will post a picture of when I gave up alcohol, artificial sweeteners, sugar, and stayed on a low carb diet. I was on the band wagon of carbs are the devil and man did I feel like crap.

To break down this health tips chart above and explain what they’re actually saying

To go into detail there are Simple carbohydrates and Complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are made up of monosaccharides and disaccharides. Simple carbs are the “naughty” bunch. Candies, sugar, white flour, donuts….you get the point. Complex carbohydrates are made up of polysaccharides. Oats, black beans, sweet potatoes, brown rice (what everyone tells you to eat). There are also Oligosaccarides which are carbs containing  3 to 10 simple sugars linked together. These are found in small amounts of plants. 90% of oligosaccrides escape digestion in the small intestine and take a role of a prebiotic in the colon. (aritchokes, asparagus, onions, are a couple). Society always throws the glycemic index in the mix with carbohydrates. What is slowing down its digestion? The type of Carb? Yeah the fiber, thats the type of carb slowing it down!


Let’s look at what is actually happening coming off of your low carb diet assuming calories didn’t change.

Carbohydrates role other than energy are to be stored as energy (Glycogen). This is why carbohydrate depletion is so popular for weight loss. One gram of carbohydrate holds onto 3-4 grams of water.  So if you eat 200 grams of carbohydrate over the course of the day, you may retain 2-3 lbs of water by the end of the day. If you heavily salt it, then it could be more. Here is why people get caught up in the low carb craze.

We will take 180 man for example at 10% bodyfat. If he can hold 7-8g/lb of carbohydrate, How much weight will he lose if he was completely depleted?

180lbx.1=18lbs of fat

162×7=1,134grams of carbohydrate stored at full capacity.

162×8=1,296grams of carbohydrate if it was 8 grams

1,134gms carbs x3g water=3402gm water                                             1296gms carbsx3g water=3,888gms of water


Convert that to pds = roughly 8.5 lb

So his low carb (50-150g) diet allowed him to drop off his water weight of 7-10lbs. If he refills his glycogen after the diet then he will gain back that weight. This does not mean he gained back 7-10lbs of fat unless his calories were way above maintenance. I HOPE THIS HELPS!!

Without going into the other calculations, just showing you that going on a low carb diet will automatically make your bodyweight drop quick. This does not mean that it was fat. It was water! Being in a caloric deficit will make you lose fat. Simply dropping your carbs will just allow you to lose water. This is why people get scared to eat carbohydrates again though. I understand. I was the low carb guy before. A professor I had went over this; that it was just water weight from glycogen being stored in the tissues, I was still a skeptic though so I still had to try it out.

Can carbs be stored as fat? Absolutely. So can any of the other macronutrients. Our bodies are built for surivival, not six pack abs.  Too many calories from any energy source can allow you to gain bodyfat.  So for the carbohydrate “sensitive” people…If you do not have blood sugar issues or thyroid issues, work out, and are moving around daily, You will be able to use this source of energy. If you have issues with hormones, diabetes, or thyroid you may not be able to tolerate them as well. You may not be able to digest and utilize them as efficiently as the person moving around all day.  Everyone’s carb tolerance will be different based on activity level, genetics, and body composition. People worry about blood sugar stabilization. Eating every couple of hours can help, but stress can also cause fluctuations in blood sugar. Stress could be weight bearing, environmental, emotional, physical….There are many forms of stress that can cause you have rises and drops in blood sugar. Trying to keep it stable can be hard. Stress management in many of the areas listed will also help with blood sugar regulation. Sometimes its not just the “carbs” causing rises and drops in your blood sugar. Infection in the body? See what your glucose reading is. It can be high, thats why sometimes nurses and doctors may give insulin or metformin for someone in the hospital. Infection is STRESS. On a smaller note than infection, next time you are stressed out, see if you are vulnerable to overeat. Your body is trying to cope with its stressful environment. We live in a day and age where a lot of foods are calorically dense and easy to grab. Crave chocolate? Perfect mood enhancer: Carbs, fat, caffeine,magneiusm and iron. How ironic! (no pun intended) Your body is craving things and YOU don’t even know why, but IT DOES.  Sometimes we need to work with the body instead of against it. You giving into temptation in moderation(within your caloric range) could be more beneficial than you may think.

People that are going to give a go at eating carbs from “naughty sources”.

Here are some guidelines

Fiber should be 10-15% of total carbohydrate intake and Depending on the calories you have, the amount of fruit and veggies are listed below.


1200-2000 2 fruit and 2 veggie

2000-3000 3 fruit and 3 veggie

3000-4000 4 fruit and 4 veggie