Face it, carbs just plain taste good. People love carbs. Candy, cakes, fresh French bread, pasta; the list goes on and on. The problem is that the simple carbohydrate can easily make you fat. In addition, eating an excess of simple sugars can make you want to eat even more of them. The combination of the endless craving cycle, what these simple carbohydrates do to your blood sugar, and how that relates to fat storage can have you on the fat city freeway fast lane in no time.
How does eating simple carbs make you fat? The easiest answer is that you simply eat more calories than you take in. In the most basic sense that’s true. Any time your body has more calories to deal with than it needs for bodily functions, it will store the excess as that blubber around your belly (and other places).
Why does eating sugar, white flour, white rice and the like seem to go the extra mile to make you fat (you could run that extra mile, that would help)? Part of the answer is related to insulin response and dependency. When you eat any carbohydrate, weather it’s a simple sugar like a piece of that French bread, a spoon full of C&H or a complex carb like raw broccoli, your body’s blood sugar level will rise.
The difference between simple sugars, and complex carbs like broccoli, yogurt, and grapefruit, is the rate at which they’re released into the blood and raise blood glucose levels. Low glycemic index carbohydrates (simple carbs) are released quickly, causing your blood sugar levels to rapidly rise. This is a problem with regards to losing fat.
When you eat simple sugars, the body’s response to the rapidly rising blood sugar levels is the release of the powerful hormone insulin from the pancreas. Insulin release does 3 main things. The insulin lets the sugar be transported into whatever cells need it. That’s all good, but the other actions of insulin aren’t as good from a fat standpoint. It also causes the liver to change any excess sugar that’s not needed by the cells into triglycerides (blood borne fat).
Here’s the really big one for those people trying to lose fat. It also tells the body to store fat in your fat cells. That’s right insulin makes you store fat. Since simple sugars cause the body to release more insulin, more quickly, it also causes the body to store more of the surplus energy as fat. Basically, when you eat simple sugars, you’re dumping energy into your body faster than it can use, so the insulin release triggered by the rapid rise in energy into your body signals your body to store the left over sugar as fat. Not so good, that.
There is another dark side to the whole simple sugar makes you fat thing. No, it’s not like the moon, this problem actually has multiple dark sides. The simple carbs that cause the insulin to dump into your body will actually make you hungry for more of their kind.
As you bombard your body with more requests for insulin doses, you stand a chance of becoming more insulin resistant. This leads to your body releasing even more of the hormone and the cycle (of insulin resistance and your getting fatter) begins anew. If it goes far enough, you’re a great candidate for Type 2 diabetes.
Barbara B. Kahn, M.D at Harvard University is a leading researcher in the field of endocrinology and diabetes. She performed a study in 2005 that demonstrated that not only can insulin resistance help make you fatter, fat can make you insulin resistant! Chicken or egg, anyone? Her research uncovered a protein that the research linked to insulin resistance. The connection? It happens to be secreted by the very fat you’re trying to lose.
So now you can see why simple carbohydrates are such fat pills.
1) Eating these carbs cause the body to dump insulin into your bloodstream in an effort to get the sugar to where it’s supposed to be.
2) The resulting insulin causes the extra fat to be stored in your fat cells, whereupon they grow larger (and grow, and grow…..)
3) The fat they cause actually helps make you insulin resistant, necessitating even more insulin for the same amount of sugar.
4) The carbs, combined with the insulin cause you to be hungry for….you guessed it, more carbs. You then eat more, and, well you know the rest.
The moral of the story is simple –Simple carbs simply help make you fat, so avoid the worst of them. Instead get your required carbs from low glycemic index sources.
Until next time…………………….lose your belly fat!