Almost all weight loss diets, especially the ones that actually work, are based on reduction of the intake of carbohydrates. These organic compounds, popularly called “carbs”, are absolutely necessary for normal health, growth and maintenance of the body and its functions, but their excessive consumptions leads to problems too.
Good and bad carbs
The concept of good and bad carbs is not exactly a scientific principle, it is more of a simple way laymen can learn about the effects that different types of carbohydrates have on the body and on the health.
Whether a carbohydrate will be termed good or bad depends on the way the body uses it. It can be said that any simple carbohydrate that is consumed unnecessarily, meaning without an actual need to consume it, is called bad carbohydrate. The human body does not need a lot of energy to process simple carbs, and they often go straight to fat.
The examples of simple carbs include white granulated sugar, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, molasses, white flour, pasta, bread, soda and similar. On the other hand, the complex carbs include whole grain cereals, pastas and bread, brown rice, bulgur, legumes, fresh or dried fruit and fresh vegetables.
How to cut down on carbs
The main reason why a person needs to cut down on bad carbs intake is that they raise the sugar levels in the blood, which in turn causes an increase in insulin levels, which combat the carbs and keep the blood sugar low. This is why, after a person eats a dish of pasta, often feels hungry very soon. It is a fake hunger signal and not an actual need to eat.
It is much better to eat foods that contain complex carbohydrates. That way the body gets the carbs it needs and there is no risk of weight gain. In addition, bad carbs, which means simple carbs, actually lead to cravings. To make it worse, no one actually craves for carrots or apples, and those cravings are focused on getting more bad carbs. It is clear how this creates a vicious circle.
Another great thing about low carb diets is that they do not require a very strict calorie reduction. Vegetables, for example, do contain calories, some more than others, but they also contain fiber, which requires energy to digest and process, and thus they contribute to weight loss.
One of the best ways to stay in low carb diet and to still feel good is to start the day with healthy foods based on complex carbohydrates, like fresh fruit and whole grain cereals, instead of pastries, pancakes or cookies.