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Are Carbs Bad For You?

Are carbs bad for you? I'm having trouble losing weight and everyone is telling me I'm eating too many carbs.

The increased popularity of low and no carb diets in recent years have given carbs a bad reputation.

Not long ago everyone was going the fat free route thinking that was the problem with their diet, now the pendulum has swung the other direction and fat has regained acceptance while many are told to avoid carbs like the plague.

Everyone has different diet needs, goals and habits so the answer as to how many carbs you need isn't the same for everyone.

When To Avoid Carbs

Your body needs carbs to sustain your energy, muscles, and internal organs. If we didn't need carbs it wouldn't be a vital element to our body's function.

The problem most people have is the amount and type of carbs they're eating.

If you have more body fat then what you want or think is necessary it's important to reduce the amount of simple carbs you are eating. These include foods that are high in sugar, or cooked with white flour.

When you eat an excessive amount of simple carbs, your body digests these foods quickly flooding your body with resources you're unlikely to use. That excess energy is then stored as body fat.

Complex carbs, on the other hand, are digested at a slower rate releasing resources into your body at a more steady rate. The slower rate of digestion makes it more likely for you to use this energy during your daily activities. Since there isn't excessive energy and resources in your system it won't be stored as body fat.

When To Eat More Carbs

Carbohydrates are needed for energy. If you don't consume enough carbs, but maintain a high level of activity your body needs to draw resources from somewhere other then carbs.

So if you're very active, exercising regularly, but don't consume enough carbs your body will cannibalize your muscle tissue for fuel. It will start to break down muscle and use it for energy.

Since muscle plays an important role in calorie burning and metabolism, losing muscle tissue is counterproductive to long term weight loss.

The leaner you are, the more carbs you need to consume to fuel vigorous activities. So on high cardio days, it's usually a good idea to slightly elevate your intake of complex carbs to limit muscle loss.

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