Carbohydrates and Weight Loss- You Don’t Need Low Carb Diets
The era of the Atkins type low carbohydrate diets for weight loss are mercifully over, however many persist in the belief that dropping their carbohydrates is still a viable way to lose weight. It is important to acknowledge that even the most dedicated among us cannot diet strictly by severely restricting their carbohydrate intake for a prolonged period of time- our body simply is not designed for such long term deprivation of an important fuel source and as many who have tried it can attest- you will eventually succumb to overwhelming food cravings, overeat and regain all of the weight lost if not more. There are no secrets nor are there any magical ways to lose weight safely and efficiently. Proper weight loss must follow a sensible and realistic progression towards lifestyle change and must incorporate a comprehensive exercise plan that is both practical and possible in the long run. That being said contrary to popular opinion, you can indeed eat an adequate supply of naturally occurring high fiber carbohydrates and still lose weight the problems start when we substitute modern refined carbohydrates for natural ones.
Our Weight Loss Problems Come From Refined Carbohydrates
When it comes to the refined carbohydrates of today, our bodies still have yet to come to terms with the changes in food supply brought on by the industrialization of our food supply and our bodies are not designed to handle a large influx of carbohydrates at one time. You see in nature, all carbohydrates are very high in fiber and thus you really can’t consume too much of them at a time. However with the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the 19thCentury to support an ever growing population we found a way to refine naturally occurring carbohydrates and to stretch the supply and in the process we were able to make once fibrous carbohydrate foods ‘light and tasty’ by removing significant amounts of the naturally occurring fiber during the refinement process. In doing we changed the glycemic index of the naturally occurring carbohydrate and created a product that our body does not really recognize. By changing the glycemic index of carbohydrate food source not only does this affect the way that it is processed metabolically in our bodies, but it also makes it ridiculously easy for us to consume large amounts at one time.
Modern Bread As An Example Of A Healthy Carbohydrate Source Made Into An Unhealthy Food Product
Consider the eating habits of the average human before the coming of refined carbohydrate foods such as doughnuts, boxed cereals, packaged cookies and the host of refined flour products of today. Bread for example has been a staple in the diets of many cultures for thousands of years, however with the development of steel milling, the flour of today isn’t the stone ground flour of old, filled with fiber and much needed omega-3 and protein from the wheat germ. The combination of a higher fiber content, the healthy fats and interestingly enough, the larger surface area of stone ground flour served to slow the processing of the sugars in our body and thus there were no unhealthy insulin spikes from eating products made from these forms of stone ground flour. Today’s flour is so finely refined that the fiber content is significantly lower or non-existent even in the so called whole wheat varieties and the wheat germ and healthy fats are removed.
Bread Isn’t The Problem- Our Refinement Process Is The Problem
This is done to extend the shelf life of modern flour as the oils contained in wheat germ quickly spoil. The finely ground powder is also far more appealing than the course yellowish flour that our forefathers consumed, but sadly the increased surface area exposed to our digestive enzymes from such finely milled flour products increases the rate of conversion into glucose thus giving us an unnatural spike in our insulin levels as a consequence. Add to this the fact that breads were made mainly of only water, yeast and flour and you can see clearly that the multi-ingredient products that we see on the supermarket shelves are not in any way related to the breads that we have eaten without health problems for the past several thousand years- no matter how much they label it as ‘healthy’, ‘organic’ or ‘all natural’.
Before our food industrialization, and the slew of junk food carbohydrates that it spawned, metabolic diseases were nowhere near as prevalent as it is today. In non industrialized societies type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease are very rare indeed and we can thank our modern technology for our current state of affairs.
Continued here in Carbohydrates and Weight Loss- You Don’t Need to Be Afraid Of Carbs
Kevin Richardson is the creator of Naturally Intense High Intensity Training 10 Minute Workouts and one of the most sought after personal trainers in New York City. Get a copy of his free weight loss ebook here.