Let me put this to bed for you, Carbohydrates are NOT making you fat

Categories: Nutrition


In a nutshell only if you overconsume in excess calories to that of energy out.
We obtain calories from three primary sources within our diets.
What we term commonly as macronutrients.
Each of which contains a given amount of energy per gram.
Protein – Protein contain 4 k/cals per gram.
Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates also contain 4 k/cals per gram.
Fats – Fats contain 9k/cals per gram
We also mustn’t forget about alcohol for those of you that consume it.
Alcohol is made through the fermentation and distilling of natural sugar or starch so it also contains calories. 7k/cals per gram to be precise.
A unit of energy is a unit of energy so when it comes to controlling and regulating someone’s caloric intake for compositional purposes, the numbers count.
This is when we can talk about calories in (what we consume) vs calories out (what we use) being the major determining factor in some one’s compositional change.

At this stage, it’s good to understand the thermic effect of food (TEF).

The thermic effect of food refers to the energy required for digestion, absorption, and disposal of a given nutrient following ingestion. In essence, we need calories to break down the energy in food.
So, if you were to consume 100 k/cals of Protein you would use up 20-35 k/cals digesting, absorbing and disposing of it.
Altering your body composition is a process that takes a fraction of your lifetime therefore, foods devoid of critical nutrients are quite often negated in this process.
You can, in essence, lose body fat by consuming anything you want provided the calories in are less than the calories being used.
It is just a matter of managing energy balance.
The consumption of a high proportion of foods that are devoid of critical nutrients, such as processed carbohydrates, cakes, sweets, white bread, etc, etc is on the increase as it is everywhere, fast food chains, etc.
These types of foods are often termed as empty calories for the reason they have very little nutritional value outside of energy.

Periods of low carbohydrate availability can improve the body’s ability to switch between different fuel systems, often known as “metabolic flexibility.”

With periods of carbohydrate restriction through the diet or fasting, the body can aerobically metabolise adipose tissue more easily, and when carbohydrates are ingested for sport-specific needs the body is more primed to produce ATP.

Does this supersede energy balance? No.

Can it be a useful way to improve overall health and energy efficiency? Probably yes.
Carbohydrates also attract up to around 4 grams of water per gram therefore if you are eating 300 grams a day you could also be drawing in 1200 grams of water weight.
Studies have shown when a person removes carbohydrates, they are essentially in a calorie deficit and with the increase of protein the thermic effect of food has accelerated, and the loss of water means more weight loss.
I am an advocate of increasing protein as it increases the feeling of fullness and the suppression of hunger for a period of time after a meal but the removal of carbohydrates or reducing to 20 grams a day can be detrimental to health especially if you are removing the vegetables which are carbohydrates.
But through all of this, we must remember

Energy balance is key to fat loss.

We gain weight if we put more energy into our bodies than we burn throughout the day.
Weight/fat loss will happen if you create an energy deficit through movement and nutrition.
But I always feel hungry and I do not like that feeling hence over-consuming.
Let’s look at the science behind this.

Hedonic hunger

Hedonic hunger or hedonic hyperphagia is “the drive to eat to obtain pleasure in the absence of an energy deficit.” Particular foods may have a high “hedonic rating” or individuals may have increased susceptibility to environmental food cues.
Weight loss programs may aim to control or to compensate for hedonic hunger.
Consumption of foods through hedonic hunger significantly increased the hunger hormone ghrelin, the release of this hormone triggers the body to consume more food.
Consumption of foods through Hedonic hunger also decreases the satiety hormone Cholecystokinin.
It is this hormone that is released in the gut after a meal helping digestion and reducing appetite.
It has been suggested that this could be responsible for the peripheral cues allowing the individual to continue eating in the absence of energetic requirements and only simply for chemical reward and not for necessity.
So, junk and processed foods increase hunger and decrease fullness whilst consuming.
It goes against the very reason why we eat, to feel full, satisfied and to gain energy for activities.
Cholecystokinin the hormone that decreases hunger is produced in response to the consumption of protein or fat in a meal.
Studies have shown us that it’s clear that protein does indeed impact satiety (fullness) and it has been suggested that this may help people be more compliant with a hypocaloric diet (fewer calories) and achieve greater weight loss.

How to reduce excess body fat

Therefore, if you are wanting to lose weight/fat it makes sense to eat a balanced diet prioritising protein at every meal with other macronutrients such as fats and carbohydrates.
Your goal in regard to nutrition initially is to concentrate on your daily calorie deficit. ( energy deficit )
Once you have mastered this and start to lose excess body fat, we can then look at the macronutrient breakdown.

What happens if I am not full after eating?

If you are not feeling full after meals, then the foods you are eating are not triggering the correct hormones signaling the brain to alert the body that you are full.
Calorie dense junk foods and processed foods will not give you that feeling of fullness and will leave you reaching for more but as always we tend to resonate towards these sabotaging any goal we wanted to achieve.
The food marketing companies know exactly what they are doing but unfortunately, the customer does not – think Pringles ‘once you pop you can’t stop campaign’!
Real foods especially protein-rich sources and vegetables, potatoes, etc will trigger the fullness hormone reducing your appetite and stop you overindulging.
Leaving you fuller for longer throughout the day.
We are all in control of what we consume however, saying calories do not matter and eliminating complete food groups is a choice by all.


The principle of fat loss is an energy deficit

The method of getting there is up to you but will result in an energy deficit.
Cutting fat, carbohydrates, sugar, alcohol, using replacement shakes, tablets, etc will essentially place you in an energy deficit.
Why put yourself through this if you can do. hat the majority of my clients do and that is to eat what they like to a degree and still lose weight and or excess body fat.
The choice is ours but now I have educated you a little on why carbs are not the demon here I can now go and rest up.

Download your free guide to the 7 reasons why you are not losing excess weight/fat on the link below


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