Carbohydrates and Diet: A Winning Combination for Successful Weight Loss
We've all heard the expression, "carbs are the enemy." If you are one of the thousands of people who believe this is true, you may want to reconsider your position on carbohydrates and diet if you want to achieve successful weight loss.
"Carbohydrates combined with other nutrients in a well-balanced diet can work together effectively to help promote successful weight loss," says Tessa Prior-Pullins, one of the lead dietitians for BistroMD. "In fact, a successful weight loss plan needs to include carbohydrates in your diet, otherwise your metabolism won't burn fat effectively."
As one of BistroMD's most trusted experts, Tessa explains the important role carbohydrates and diet play together when it comes to successful weight loss. She also explains why the "right" kinds of carbohydrates are essential for a productive metabolism.
Why Our Bodies Need Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are actually the body's most common source of energy. It's where you get these carbohydrates that is most important, along with where they go.
"There are good and bad types of carbohydrates," says Tessa. "Bad carbohydrates come from foods that contain simple sugars, like candy and cookies. Good carbohydrates, also known as complex carbohydrates, come from foods like whole grains and vegetables."
If you combine carbohydrates and diet effectively, your metabolism will actually re-train itself to promote healthy and effective weight loss.
"When we start a diet, it's important that the foods we eat contain carbohydrates," says Tessa. "An effective balance of carbohydrates and diet will help yield the energy your body needs to maintain itself."
In order to rid your body of excess body fat, your metabolism needs to be able to burn fat effectively. Metabolism literally means that your body needs to break down protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats for energy to burn excess stored fat.
"In order for us to function, our bodies will first use available carbohydrates, then protein, and lastly turn to our fat stores for energy," says Tessa. "If carbohydrates and diet are not combined effectively, your body will break down lean body tissues for protein, and convert it into needed carbohydrates for energy."
If you want to have the necessary energy to get through your daily activities, and if you want to lose weight effectively, you may want to re-consider including complex carbohydrates in your diet.
Watch an exclusive video of BistroMD's founding physician, Dr. Caroline Cederquist, below, explaining the benefits of including the "right" types of carbohydrates in your diet:
How Do I Know if a Carbohydrate is Good or Bad?
Bad carbohydrates, or simple carbohydrates, are found mostly in what most would consider unhealthy foods, or junk food.
"Currently, most Americans are estimated to get about 50-60% of their calories from carbohydrate sources," says Tessa. "Sugar actually accounts for nearly 60% of these calories."
What most people don't realize is that for every 15 grams of "bad" carbohydrates digested, your blood sugar will actually rise about 30 points.
"This is why eating the 'right' kinds of carbohydrates are so important," says Tessa. "Sugary foods, snacks, and beverages are filled with empty calories and contain simple carbohydrates. To put things into perspective, your body will actually convert these 'bad' carbohydrates into insufficient energy, causing your metabolism to take needed energy from other sources, like muscle tissue."
This will actually slow down your metabolism and cause you to lose water weight and muscle mass instead of the fat you are trying to get rid of.
So, how do you know if a carbohydrate is good or bad?
Good carbohydrates are found in foods such as whole grains, oats, vegetables, and certain fruits.
"These foods will actually boost your metabolism, because they provide your body with the right kind of energy," says Tessa. "Many of these foods are also higher in protein, which will keep you feeling fuller longer."
When shopping or looking for foods that contain healthy carbohydrates, it's important that you pay attention to nutrition labels.
"If you are looking to buy healthier foods, it's important that you know what to look for on nutrition labels," says Tessa. "Daily, you should not exceed taking in more than 300 grams of total carbohydrates. If you pick up an item that will cause you to exceed this limit, put it right back on the shelf."
How Carbohydrates Should Be Included in Your Diet
For essential nutrition and optimal health, you should eat proper portions of complex carbohydrates in combination with the right amounts of protein and healthy fats.
"Complex carbohydrates eaten with an effective diet of protein and healthy fats will keep you healthy and promote effective weight loss," says Tessa. "On a daily basis, you should eat meals that focus on lean protein, with sides that contain complex carbohydrates, like quinoa, rice, or green vegetables."
Meals with this combination of nutrients will actually give you just the right amount of daily recommended calories; enough to stay energized, and enough to retrain your metabolism to burn excess fat.
"I have personally worked with BistroMD's founding physician, Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D., to create meals that are balanced to promote healthy weight loss, through the right combinations of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats," says Tessa. "With diet meal delivery from BistroMD, our meals take the guesswork out of counting calories and carbohydrates. Each meal contains the right balance of these nutrients and carbohydrates to keep you healthy, and to keep your metabolism productive."
To learn more about healthy meal delivery from BistroMD, please visit our home page to learn more about our program.