bread

Carbohydrates And Weight Gain – Is It Inevitable?

It’s commonly accepted today that carbohydrates and weight gain are very much correlated but why is it so? Are carbohydrates “bad” for us?

We have always been taught to eat foods such as cereal, pasta, bread and potatoes for energy, but why are many countries trying to deal with an obesity epidemic?

To understand this we need to look at what carbohydrates actually are and how they react in the body.

It’s All About The Macros..

There are 3 main ways that the body obtains its energy and these are carbohydrates, fat and protein, otherwise known as macronutrients and the body needs large amounts of these to function properly.

The energy from these macronutrients is measured in calories and for the average person just to maintain their weight, a female would need to consume around 2,000 calories and a male 2,500, regardless of the type of macro (IE Fat, Protein, or carb) consumed.

Consuming below that amount should, in theory, make for weight loss and consuming anything above that amount would account for weight gain, right?

Sounds pretty good in theory…

Where Are Carbohydrates Found?

There are two major types of carbohydrates and they are slightly different in their chemical make Macaroons

up. These two types are known as “simple” and “complex.”

Simple carbohydrates can be defined as having one or two sugars in them. Examples of these are:

  • Fructose: Found in fruit.
  • Galactose: Milk products
  • Sucrose: Table sugar
  • Maltose: Found in beer and other vegetables
  • Lactose: Dairy

Simple carbs account for most of the heavily refined sugars that end up being added to many sweet foods, such as cake, candy and soft drinks. These types of sugars usually do not contain any vitamins, minerals or fiber and basically just add empty calories to your diet.

Complex carbohydrates are referred to as starchy foods and contain 3 or more sugars and Potatoes

include:
  • Cereal
  • Potato
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Whole grain breads
  • Peanuts

How Do Carbohydrates Work?

Carbohydrates are usually the first source of energy for the body as they are the easiest and quickest to process and can quickly enter the blood stream in the form of glucose. This raises the blood sugar level and unless you are diabetic, will signal insulin to be produced to allow this glucose to be used as energy.

If this energy is not used, it is stored as glycogen in the liver and skeletal muscle, which can store around 2,000 calories worth for the average person.

Once the storage of glycogen is at its capacity, then the body will store the excess as fat. If you continue to eat an excessive amount of carbs, your body will always prioritize burning the carbs first and not the fat stores as its energy source and over time you will continue to put weight on.

So…. Are Carbs “Bad” Then??

It really depends on the food you are eating and the type of carb. It is generally considered that foods that contain simple carbs are “bad” because they are highly processed and contain very little (if any) real nutritional value. They basically just raise your blood sugar quite quickly and can easily lead you to exceeding your daily calorie intake goal and putting on weight.

The “good” carbs are found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes. These are processed much slower and are usually much higher in nutrients and have less additives.

Beans

As a general rule, you should try and avoid simple carbs as much as you can.

Think About What You Eat

If you have followed any of my prior posts, you will see that I am an advocate for the Keto diet, which turns the body from a sugar burning machine to a fat burning machine. I can’t say that I will be on this diet for life, but so far I have lost a lot of weight and I am feeling good about it.

If you are of a healthy weight, it’s unlikely that you will need to go to such measures, but if you do find that you are putting weight on, its worth looking at your carb consumption.

Carbohydrates get a pretty bad rap these days and are blamed for weight gain, however, if you can have some control over the quality and quantity of the carbs that you are consuming, there is no reason why you cannot incorporate complex carbohydrates as part of your normal eating habits to make for a more balanced diet.
Brave Browser Logo

Stevie Fortune

Please share this page

16 Replies to “Carbohydrates And Weight Gain – Is It Inevitable?”

  1. Thinking and giving prior considerations to the kind of foods being consumed by us can really go a long way in saving our health from constantly declining as a result of constmtly consuming carbohydrates. Just like you. I am an advocate of the keto diet too and I practise it too by myself. Simple carbohydrates are the real problem since they are heavily processed and they constitute for the most causes of fat in our body. Being food conscious is essential to maintaining a proper health. Thanks

    1. Yes, Shelley, you are not wrong. 

      I have only been learning more about Keto and low-carb diets for a few months and have lost quite a lot of weight and am feeling great.

      My health is much better and my energy levels are great considering that I am not eating too many carbs.

      Keto has definitely been a winner for me at this point.

      Stevie

  2. Great little blog post on carbs. Basically there are good carbs and there are bad carbs. The y highly process carbs are bad and add little to are diet. The one that are good for us are the fruits and legumes and pasta that are process natural I think it just a case of having a balance diet and trying to keep away from the process stuff that is marketed to be good for us when we know it is not.

    1. That’s exactly right, Joseph

      Advertising and labelling is so misleading and very bad for impressionable children and ourselves.

      There should be warning labels and better info on some foods in the supermarket, I reckon. 

      It would certainly help with making better choices. Stick with fresh fruit and veg and foods that aren’t over-processed, to avoid the excessive amounts of added sugar in packaged foods.

      Slowly, I believe people are changing their ways.

      Stevie

  3. Thank you for this article. I appreciate what you said because so many times people try to make carbohydrates the enemy, when really carbohydrates can be a helpful part of our diet depending on our weight level and activity level, and what types of carbohydrates we eat. 

    I am very active, with a weight lifting routine and going for walks and just other physical activities in my life. I eat carbohydrates but only complex carbohydrates and no processed foods or processed sugars. I also have plenty of protein and fats, so it’s balanced.

    There are certainly situations in which excessive unhealthy carbohydrate sources, combined with low exercise, leads to unhealthy weight gain. Good article and thanks for your balanced perspective on carbohydrates, it’s very refreshing. Nice images and Website Layout.

    1. Hi, C.

      I think that once I get to my weight loss goal, that I will integrate more carbohydrates into my diet, but be much more controlled with it and only eat mainly complex carbohydrates, like yourself.

      I have had too many years of excessive carbs and need to lose the weight. 

      So far, a low carb diet is working for me and I am exercising more too and having some pretty good results.

      Thanks for the comment

      Stevie

  4. Hello there, thanks for putting up this post. I do take lots of food witj carbohydrates and I’ve been on it for about 6 months now. So far I have added ¼ of my weight before I started taking foods that are high in carbs. I haven’t read about keto diet yet although I have little knowledge about it. So from your experience about the diet which you have stated here, I’ll love to try it out. Any link as to where I can read more about it?

    1. Yes, for sure Chloe, there are some links in the main menu at the top of the site.

      I have been following the diet for almost 3 months now, with some great results.

      Please check out some of the links on this site for more info.

      Thank you

      Stevie

  5. I found your article informative and very easy to understand. I have heard from various people that you have to cut carbs to maintain a healthy body weight and optimize your health. That thought kills me because I love my pasta, bread and potatoes… additionally I have a sweet tooth and suffer from a sugar addiction. I have read that sugar is more addictive than cocaine… would you agree with that statement? Do you have any tips to kick simple carbohydrate consumption? Thanks.

    1. Hi Myles,

      I always loved my pasta, bread and potatoes, just like yourself and I love chocolate. I have been on the Keto diet for a few months and am not craving sugar or carbs anymore. 

      It’s hard to say if sugar is more addictive than cocaine, as I have not tried cocaine, but I’d assume that the release of dopamine would occur in both circumstances making the feeling addictive in both cases.

      There is definitely a transitional period from transitioning to a low-carb diet, known as Keto Flu, that can be difficult for the first week or two, but after you have gone through it, your cravings for sugar will disappear.

      There’s not really an easy way to go through this, especially if you have a sugar addiction. Maybe you could slowly try and reduce your sugar consumption over time, so that the transition will be slower and not as hard on your body.

      Your body will thank you in the long run and you will be much healthier without all the sugar in your diet.

      Thanks

      Stevie

  6. I have got my self stuck in arguments about how some people believe that carbohydrate is bad for the body. People tend ti exaggerate and talk without engaging in proper research on what they are arguing about . just like what you have rightly said,there are 2kinds of carb and these determine if the carb you are eating is good or bad… Thanks for shedding more light and carefully listing all good and bad carbohydrates for the body. I have been educated.Thanks.

  7. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing!

    You’ve explained the difference between complex and simple carbs very well!

    I was looking to direct a couple of clients somewhere that explains this in a straight forward way and this article is ideal.

    I help people naturally increase testosterone production, so short  of the very occasional treatment simple carbs are a massive no. I do recommend complex carbs but tend to advise that clients opt for non/ less processed options like fruits and veg as supposed to grain based, great info!

    1. Hi Nate,

      I’m glad that I explained it well. I tried to explain it as simply as possible without getting to science-y!

      I’d really appreciate you directing your clients to my page.

      Thank you very much.

      Stevie

  8. I have struggled with food for the last 30 years and have tried a lot of different eating plans. I understand that not all carbs are created equal and I do my best to stay away from junk food but I don’t do a good enough job going with really good carbs.

    I will continue working on making better choices but one question I have for you is about protein. This article wasn’t about protein but what kind of balance do you think we need between carbs, protein and fat?

    1. Hi Rick, 

      You’re a bit ahead of me on this. My next article actually is going to be more depth on protein.

      With the Keto diet, it’s generally considered to be around 20% of your daily intake, however, I usually eat more than that most days.

      Whether or not you are doing Keto, you should eat at least 50g of protein daily but eating 200 grams is fine too. I depends on your weight and activity level.

      Keep an eye out for my article on protein this week.

      Cheers

      Stevie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *