The chances are, if you’re looking to lose weight, you’ve been doing your homework and have figured out that low-carb diets are the craze at the moment. If you want to speed up fat-loss, you should certainly be cutting back on your carbs.
But, is this really the case? Carbohydrates, in fact, can actually be quite helpful in aiding fat loss for a few different reasons. After studying why, they can be beneficial to your overall health, you may want to reconsider swapping your sweet potatoes for salads and oatmeal for eggs and bacon.
Here are four ways that your weight loss program could benefit from having carbohydrates in the picture.
They Help You Sustain a Higher Metabolic Rate
Did you know that those who use a lower carb diet experience a faster and sharper metabolic rate decline compared to those who use diets that contain more carbs?
This is thanks to a hormone called leptin, which is produced by the bodies fat cells. Leptin monitors your incoming calorie intake, carbohydrate intake, and how much body fat you have present. When any of these starts to drop, leptin production slows and this causes your metabolism to slow down. Your body takes it as a sign, starvation may be occurring, and wants to do what it can to prevent this from happening.
The slower your metabolism is, the slower fat loss moves along. By keeping more carbs in your diet plan, you can avoid this.
They Assist with Building Lean Muscle Mass
Next, another great thing about carbohydrates is that they help with building lean muscle mass tissue. Carbohydrates are anabolic in nature, meaning they can help you gain fat or muscle depending on how you use them.
If you place those carbohydrates around your workout period, you may gain some lean muscle mass because of it. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolic rate will be, and therefore, the quicker fat loss moves along.
They Lower Hunger
You’ve probably heard that higher carb diets cause hunger and low carb diets don’t. While this is true for some people, it’s not true for everyone. And, more importantly, it’s the types of carbohydrates you eat, that impact whether you feel hungry or not.
If you eat sugary, processed carbohydrates, they will spike blood glucose levels and you will get hungry. If you eat slower digesting carbohydrates that are higher in dietary fiber such as oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and beans, you’ll actually find they help combat hunger thanks to the dietary fiber they contain.
Additionally, leptin also regulates hunger, so here again, the more carbs you eat, the more leptin you produce and the lower your hunger will be.
They Keep You Motivated
Finally, ever notice how after you sink your teeth into a slice of bread, a bowl of oatmeal, or a plate of pasta, you, just feel better?
This is because carbohydrates cause the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that induces a state of calmness, reduced anxiety, and general overall happiness. It doesn’t have to be sugary carbohydrate to get this effect either – any sort of carbohydrate can have it. Likewise, if you go on a low carb diet, you’ll often find you are in a poor mood and this too is due to the lack of carbohydrates (and serotonin) present.
When you add more carbohydrates to your diet, you’ll experience this psychological boost, which can help, to keep you more motivated as you go about your daily plan.
So there you go, four good reasons not to cut carbs from your diet. It might be time to rethink that low carb approach after all.