Guest Post By Sean Nalewanyj
Fat Loss Expert & Best-Selling Fitness Author
No other nutrient out there is surrounded by more confusion, hype and contradiction than the all-too-famous carbohydrate.
Over the last decade a virtually endless amount of advice, fad diets and hard-fast rules have been put into place regarding proper carbohydrate consumption. As a result, most average beginners have been left clueless and without any rational guidance on the topic.
In this 2-part article I will attempt to provide a very basic and straightforward framework to help you choose which sources of carbohydrates to include in your fat burning diet. This will simply be a broad, overall examination of the topic in order to keep things as easy to understand for you as possible.
So… what exactly IS a carbohydrate?
Whether you consume a plate of spaghetti noodles, a bowl of grapes or a chocolate bar, carbohydrates will always eventually be broken down into their simplest form: glucose.
The main function of glucose is to provide fuel for your muscles and brain in order to carry out your daily tasks.
While the end product of all carbohydrates is the same, it is the manner in which they reach that final end product that is important to us in terms of burning fat.
When you eat foods containing carbohydrates, the body will digest and break them down into glucose, which is then released into the bloodstream to be used as a source of fuel. The main difference amongst different carbohydrate sources is the speed at which the sugars are broken down for use.
Some carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels quickly and sharply, while others are broken down and released at a slow, gradual pace.
As a person looking to burn body fat and maintain high levels of energy for your workouts, your primary goal when consuming carbohydrates is simple: keep blood sugar levels consistent and balanced.
It’s all related to insulin, which is a hormone that controls the amount of sugar in the bloodstream by moving it into the cells of the body.
When you consume carbohydrates that are broken down quickly, the body must release a large amount of insulin in order to compensate. The insulin will remove the sugar from the bloodstream very quickly, which will then result in lower-than-normal blood sugar levels.
Low blood sugar levels will result in feelings of tiredness and fatigue, and will also produce hunger pangs which can then lead to binge eating.
In addition, high levels of insulin increase the body’s rate of fat storage. When insulin is present in large amounts, fat cannot be used as an energy source by the body due to a rise in enzymes that prevent fat mobilization.
To put it simply…
When you consume carbohydrates that raise blood sugar levels quickly, you end up in a constant cycle of sharp rises in blood sugar followed by dramatic falls. This inhibits your ability to burn fat and throws your energy levels, appetite and mood completely out of order.
Because of the above-mentioned facts, the ultimate goal of proper carbohydrate consumption is to stick to meals that keep blood sugar levels balanced. This is accomplished by focusing on food sources that are broken down and released gradually in the bloodstream.
By always maintaining steady blood sugar levels, your body will remain in a continual fat burning state, your energy levels will remain peaked, and your appetite will be kept under control.
We have now established what the GOAL of proper carbohydrate consumption is, and in Part 2 we will discuss which specific sources can help you achieve that goal…