Carbs Don’t Make You Fat

The media as told us to throw out carbs; that carbs are bad for you and that they will make you fat. What the media and most fad diet programs out there have not done is defined carbs. Carb is the abbreviated version of the full word Carbohydrate. Can carbohydrates make you fat? Yes of course, but so can sitting around doing nothing all day. To understand how carbohydrates work we have to first understand what carbohydrates are.

Carbohydrates can be either simple or complex. Complex carbohydrates are they types found in vegetables and simple carbohydrates are those found in candies, cakes, pies, alcoholic beverages and fruits. Fruits are the only simple carbohydrate that I recommend to my personal training clients. This is because fruits are a valuable source of fiber and various vitamins and nutrients.

So here’s the skinny on the carbohydrate dilemma. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and because they are usually in the form of leafy vegetables, they are usually high in fiber, low on the glycemic index and low in calories. Fiber is going to help with overall fat loss by slowing digestion and keeping the body’s insulin response low. (see Increase Fiber for Fat Loss). Since overall calorie consumption also plays a role in fat loss, eating more vegetables are a great way to decrease your overall caloric intake.  Replacing rice or bread with vegetables can have a significant impact on your waistline.

As mentioned earlier, I only recommend simple carbohydrates in the form of fruits; Even then fruit is only recommended during certain times of the day and not all fruits are created equal.  I like to take in my fruit earlier in the day. This way I know that I will use all of those carbohydrates throughout the remainder of my day. Also, I like to intake fruits post workout as the body is in need of replenishing glycogen storage. I couple the intake with protein as these are the building blocks of muscle and the coupling with carbohydrates provides a steady uptake of both for the vital muscle repair process.

The details of carbohydrate intake can be quite confusing and often times quite daunting, but understanding the difference between the types of carbs is the first step towards body transformation and a realization that all carbs are not created equal. Since all carbs are not created equal, it’s not carbs that are making you fat, but maybe it’s the type of carbs or the timing at which you consume the carbohydrates.

For questions, comments or feedback please leave a comment below or ask a question in the Q&A section.


About Rich Thurman III B.Sc, MA, CSCS, NSCA-CPT
Rich has a Bachelors of Science in Physiological Science from UCLA and a Masters of Sports Management from USF. He is certified by the National Strength & Conditioning Association, (NSCA) as a Personal Trainer (CPT) and Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He is primary author of The Fitness Library and writes for various other publications, including the San Francisco Police Officer's Association. Rich is the founder of Xodus Fitness, which offers Fitness Consulting & Personal Training, Urban Body Transformation Bootcamps, Corporate Wellness. Rich also conducts Workshops and an annual lecture at the San Francisco State University Kinesiology Department. Please feel free to contact through any of the links below to inquire about professional services or opportunities.

2 Responses to Carbs Don’t Make You Fat

  1. Pingback: Twitted by BangkokTrainer

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