I more than understand the carbohydrate roller coaster that many of you may be experiencing. You hear that in order to achieve successful weight loss you should cut carbohydrates. Also, some readings suggest limiting carbohydrates while others say to eat more carbohydrates! Does the carbohydrate mystery have you completely confused?
You will be amazed to learn that you can eat carbohydrates and still achieve desired weight loss. Before you can convince carbohydrates to work in your favor, you need to understand their position, so I will recap lightly on their functioning role.
Function of Carbohydrates
All carbohydrates are broken down into sugar and are directed to the bloodstream as blood sugar, also known as blood glucose. When the blood glucose level rises, the pancreas expels insulin to remove glucose from the blood, and directs it to the muscles and liver to be stored as glycogen, a useable form of energy.
The muscles and liver can only store a limited amount of glycogen, and once those stores are full, the remaining is stored as fat. Consistently high insulin levels can result in fat storage, water retention, and an insulin imbalance.
The consequences of an insulin imbalance are a rapid rise and fall of blood glucose. Your blood is rapidly saturated with glucose, followed by an immediate plummet, resulting in carbohydrate cravings. If you eat more carbohydrates to feed into the ‘craving’, you start the cycle over. Therefore, insulin can literally make you or break you in your weight loss efforts. Gaining more control can put you a step ahead. However, this is not a vicious cycle for those who have insulin under control.
Excessive carbohydrate intake, wrong macro nutrient combining, and poor nutrition choices can have an effect on how insulin is managed, or better yet, not managed. A high intake of processed food, and poor food combining, can interfere with insulin control.
Normally, carbohydrates are used as fuel, but when there is an imbalance in how the body produces and manages insulin, it can lead to fat storage rather than burned energy. If this condition persists, it can lead to a wide range of illnesses and diseases such as diabetes. You will literally be a prisoner of carbohydrates if you lose control.
Signs of an Insulin Imbalance
· There are several signs and symptoms of an insulin imbalance, such as:
· Feeling sluggish
· Weight gain
· Carbohydrate cravings
· Hypoglycemic conditions
Over time, the insulin imbalance can result in an insulin resistant condition, making it more difficult in weight loss. The pancreas begins expelling insulin anytime food is eaten, causing a constant rise in blood glucose.
Now the question is how to gain more control. The answer is to correct insulin imbalances. Of course, genetics do play a part. However, the main correction will come in nutritional changes and a proper functioning thyroid, which can also be corrected through proper nutrition.
One might think that the solution for correcting an insulin imbalance is to restrict carbohydrates. Restricting carbohydrates is a set up for disaster! Rather than restriction, try management. Begin limiting your processed food intake, start adding more green, red, and yellow vegetables, limit and control your complex carbohydrates, such as potatoes, yams, and rice. Use complex carbohydrates to fuel activity or to recover from workouts. Be sure you combine a complete protein with your complex carbohydrate to blunt the insulin surge. Gaining control is all in the right food choices and food combining. Now to take control!
Karen Sessions has been in the fitness industry since 1988. She embarked on weight training to overcome an eating disorder, Anorexia Nervosa in its early stages. She overcame the eating disorder, received her personal training certificate, competed in many local bodybuilding contests, and qualified for Nationals. Since then shes went on to write six e-books (weight loss, female bodybuilding, contest preparation, leg training, figure/fitness secrets, and cellulite removal). She writes articles for several fitness websites, as well as her own, www.theelitephysique.com, and also distributes a monthly e-newsletter. She has a very active and lively forum, filled with positive and supportive people with informative content. Karens sole goal is to educate others and help them apply that knowledge.