Thanks to the news, carbs have a horrible reputation. If you only watched the news and not the science, you’d think consuming carbs had the same effect as consuming poison. Well, we’re about to debunk some misconceptions about carbs in this article and help you understand why they aren’t the devil they are portrayed to be when it comes to losing weight.
Grab your popcorn because we are going to get geeky with some (actual) science about carbohydrates!
1. Carbs Cause You to Gain Weight
You’re not going to eat a single item in your diet and gain weight from it. You’re just not. This is one of the worst misconceptions about carbs that’s out there. Weight gain comes from putting yourself in a caloric surplus. You’d have to eat over your maintenance for that to happen. So, a better question would be (if you’re gaining weight), “What are you actually eating throughout the day?”
Now, you might see a bunch of articles out there on the internet that say a keto or low-carb diet is the best way to lose weight. However, if you look at the research, those diets result in the same weight loss potential as those that aren’t restricting carbs.
If losing weight is your goal, don’t be afraid of consuming carbohydrates.
2. To Lose Weight You Need to Follow a Low-Carb Diet
Sure, a low-carb diet can assist you in losing weight, but it’s leading into another of the misconceptions about carbs that far too many people believe. It’s not an inaccurate statement that going low carb can induce weight loss, but why would you want to cut back on carbs? Carbs are delicious!
Again, I want to reiterate that the studies out there show that a low-carb diet and a diet that isn’t restrictive of carbs can result in both diets increasing weight loss.
3. Eating Carbs Will Make You Sluggish Later
How many times were you told that a carb-heavy meal, like a bowl of pasta, is going to make you sluggish after you eat it? More times than you care to remember, right? And that being sluggish isn’t conducive to losing weight. Well, this is, yet again, another one of the misconceptions about carbs that is debunked by science.
A study was done looking at the effect of a meal and how it played a role in sleepiness. What it found was that the overall volume of the meal, the protein, and the salt content all played a more significant role than carbs.
4. Don’t Eat Carbs Before Workouts
If your focus is losing weight, do you want to be able to push through a grueling workout or tap out early and go home? You’d want to finish strong so that you’re burning as many calories as possible, no? This is one of the misconceptions about carbs that just doesn’t make sense, nor is it supported by science.
Carbohydrates consumed around two hours before a workout can not only help boost energy levels when training but it can also improve performance. If you’re training hard in the gym, the last thing you want to do is cut back on your carbohydrates.
5. Don’t Eat Carbs at Night
You shouldn’t eat carbs at night, or they will get stored as fat! These misconceptions about carbs get worse and worse as we move through this list. Many people believe this myth and that losing weight involves giving up carbs before bed. This isn’t accurate.
It doesn’t matter if it’s 8am or 8pm, your body is going to break down and process carbohydrates the exact same way. It’s not like 5pm rolls around, and your metabolism punches the clock for the day and is “Netflixing and Chilling” until 8am the following day. There is zero evidence out there that shows this misconception has any truth to it.
6. Protein is More Important Than Carbs
Protein is great! In fact, if losing weight is what you’re trying to accomplish, you want to have as much muscle mass as possible. When dieting, you risk burning lean muscle tissue, which can actually slow down your metabolism. Therefore, muscle preservation should be a priority. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more energy that is required, and therefore it burns more calories — even while at rest!
But saying that protein is the end all be all is not true for weight loss and makes for another one of our misconceptions about carbs. There are two studies we can focus on here.
One study in Cell Reports found that even a low-protein and high-carb diet can help improve metabolic health.
Another study from the researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College found that combining protein and carbs can help the body better process sugars and manage insulin.
7. Carbs Will Cause a Spike in Blood Sugar
Blood sugar at the hands of carbohydrates has been part of the discussion for years. With the media and internet touting carbs as a way to spike blood sugar, many swore off carbs to better manage their insulin levels. But should they have?
Research in the Nutrition Journal found that a high-carb, high-fiber diet can lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and aid in losing weight. Huh… ya don’t say? These misconceptions about carbs are what’s causing people to form a phobia. At the end of the day, the right type of carbs can help provide sustainable energy levels while also stabilizing blood sugar.
Note: If you have diabetes, you clearly want to pay attention to your carb intake and follow your doctor's orders.
Eat Your Rice ‘N Grinds!
So, there you have it. Seven misconceptions about carbohydrates that you can put to bed once and for all. If your goal is losing weight, you don’t need to shy away from carbs. In fact, I give you permission to place another order of your favorite Rice ‘N Grinds flavor. You can thank me later!