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The Nutrition Science of Carbohydrates For Fat Burn

It Is Important to Eat Carbohydrates

When it comes to nutrition science and burning fat, the science of carbohydrates is the most misunderstood. In an effort to battle the bulge, people are cutting carbs out of their diet completely. But for our bodies to function properly and aid in fat burn, and to maintain optimal nutrition,  it is important to eat carbohydrates. The reason is, our fat burning hormones only respond when carbs are part of our diet.

glycemic indexHormones That Aid in Fat Burn

The 4 hormones that aid in fat burn:

1. Cortisol is the “stress hormone” and is known best for increasing belly fat. Carbohydrates however, keep cortisol balanced. But if you are on a low carb diet, you are working with low energy, and your body cannot fight stress efficiently.  This can result is gaining belly fat.

2. Leptin is best known as the  “fat burning hormone” and when levels are elevated, this is when your body begins the process to burn fat.

3. Thyroid hormone is responsible for your metabolic rate. When consuming low carb nutrition levels lead to reduced amounts of the thyroid hormone which will stop the fat burning efforts within your body.

4. Insulin. The simplest form of carbohydrates is glucose, which causes your blood sugar to become elevated. The elevation of your blood sugar signals your pancreas to release insulin which is used to deliver the sugar in your blood to the working muscles. However if our muscles are full of sugar already, anything unused becomes stored as fat.

Introduce Higher Carb and Lower Carb Days to Your Diet Plan

It may seem a little overwhelming at times trying to keep track of your nutrition needs on a daily basis as well as what and when to eat to aid in fat loss.  A simple solution to this would be to introduce higher carb days and lower carb days to your diet plan. The high carb days are meals or entire days when you are intentionally eating higher amounts of carbohydrates to balance out your hormones and burn more fat.

The carbs you would eat on these days are clean carbohydrates such as brown rice, fruit, vegetables beans legumes and other foods that are not full of processed sugars. If you have a fair amount of fat to lose, a good nutrition rule of thumb would be to have a higher carb diet day every 2 weeks. On the other hand if you are looking to maintain your already lean look, a higher carb day every 3-5 days may work for you.

By Lisa Gervais, BCRPA-SFL, ACE-CPT

Principles of Sports Nutrition Course

Leave this course with the most up-to-date knowledge to make and promote better food and supplement choices.

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