Just Say No to Carb Phobia

Written by Dave Soucy

Anyone who has been in a grocery store recently knows that food companies are tripping over themselves inrepparttar rush to introduce “low carb” versions of everything from bread to candy to soda to cereal. Do not think for a minute that these companies are motivated byrepparttar 145980 health interests of consumers. The reality is that they are mainly concerned withrepparttar 145981 wallets of consumers and will market anything that they think a gullible public will buy. Low carb junk food is still junk food.

I know some of you reading this may already be raising your defenses because you have lost weight by cutting your carb consumption. Let me first congratulate you on your weight loss, and secondly say that this is not an anti-Atkins or anti-South Beach piece. This article is simply meant to educate readers onrepparttar 145982 reality of carbohydrates, “good” carb choices vs. “bad” carb choices, what they do, why your body needs them, and how to make better nutrition choices than food company marketing efforts want you to.

The first thing to understand is that carbohydrates providerepparttar 145983 body with its main source of fuel, glucose (blood sugar), which is stored inrepparttar 145984 muscles and liver as glycogen. Any muscle contraction, whether during exercise, getting out of bed, or blinking an eye, is fueled primarily by glycogen. So, for those of you engaging in resistance training, this should immediately point outrepparttar 145985 fact that you need carbs for fuel in order to maximize your efforts in your resistance program. The next fact to understand is that your brain (which burns more calories than any organ inrepparttar 145986 body) and nervous system can only use glucose for energy. This is why, especially inrepparttar 145987 early or induction phases of carb restricted diets, dieters often feel sluggish and less alert than normal. By cutting out carbs, you are cutting off your brain’s main source of fuel.

Some of you are probably thinking, “That’s exactly what I want, because now my body will need to burn fat for energy!” Yes and no. Yes, your body will burn some fat for energy; however it will also generate glucose by breaking down protein stores inrepparttar 145988 muscles, organs and other tissues. This will severely compromise tissue growth, repair, and maintenance, and as discussed in previous articles, slow down your metabolism. Certainly, that is notrepparttar 145989 result you are looking for. As I said, this is not an anti-(insert your favorite low-carb guru here) piece. But,repparttar 145990 truth is, carbohydrates are a nutrient, and a nutrient is defined as a “substance that an organism must obtain from its surroundings for growth andrepparttar 145991 sustainment of life”. So, does it make sense to follow a program that calls forrepparttar 145992 wholesale abandonment of vital nutrient? Of course not. What is needed is an understanding ofrepparttar 145993 difference between supportive, quality carbohydrates that provide essential nutrients and fuel, and overly processed and refined carbohydrates that provide empty calories and support fat storage.

They Said It on TV, So It Must Be True

Written by Dave Soucy

Lose 30 pounds in 30 days! Loserepparttar weight withoutrepparttar 145979 effort! Eat anything you want, and still lose weight!

Everywhere you look – magazine covers, print ads, radio, TV infomercials,repparttar 145980 internet – headlines like those above, promotingrepparttar 145981 latest weight loss sensation, abound. They are impossible to avoid. Whether it is forrepparttar 145982 latest diet craze, magic pill, or infomercial gadget, we are inundated with a large daily dose of weight-loss-made-easy promises. And these ads obviously work, asrepparttar 145983 American Obesity Association estimates that American consumers spend over $30 billion per year trying to lose weight. Some estimates even putrepparttar 145984 figure higher, at over $50 billion.

Every day, inrepparttar 145985 quest to achieverepparttar 145986 results claimed inrepparttar 145987 ads, people question which of these diets, supplements, or gadgets really workrepparttar 145988 best. It is a question that can best be answered with another question: If any of these products or diets really worked, why is it that, according torepparttar 145989 Center for Disease Control, currently 65% of adults in this country are overweight? The truth is, whilerepparttar 145990 ads work wonderfully,repparttar 145991 products do not. Let’s face it, if any of them did whatrepparttar 145992 ads claim, nobody would be fat! We would all just pop a pill, or stop eating bagels, or use Suzanne Somers’ latest gizmo for just 7 minutes a day, then run out and buy smaller clothes. Have you ever stopped to wonder why all ofrepparttar 145993 “After” pictures in those ads have “Results not typical” stamped on them in really small print?

If these products do not work, why do we spend billions of dollars on them every year? There are a number of reasons, and some ofrepparttar 145994 main reasons combine to create a very compelling force which drives people to make emotional spending decisions, when logic would dictate that they should know better.

* Overweight people have often tried dozens of different weight loss programs and some become desperate for a solution. * People want to hear that there is hope. * Very clever marketing, often disguised as science, reaches these people withrepparttar 145995 offer of that hope. * Given that most people do not understandrepparttar 145996 science behind howrepparttar 145997 body works, they are willing to believe that this deceptive marketing actually is based in science, andrepparttar 145998 hope they desire can be theirs for just 3 easy payments of $39.95.

We are a society that wants instant gratification, and with a simple phone call and our credit card number, that weight loss is just a new, exciting miracle pill or best-selling diet book away.

Sadly,repparttar 145999 only thing consumers are losing is money. Let’s focus onrepparttar 146000 myriad of fad diets out there. Many of you will think I am crazy for saying this, but forrepparttar 146001 vast majority of people looking for long term fat loss, health, and fitness, diets simply do not work. Regardless of which book you run out and buy, in most cases calorie restricted diets, while showing short term weight loss onrepparttar 146002 bathroom scale, inrepparttar 146003 long term will lead to a slower metabolism and greater body fat thanrepparttar 146004 dieter started with.

Think about it. We all know someone on a diet. How many of those people are dieting forrepparttar 146005 first time? Probably very few. Who doesn’t know a dieter who can list all ofrepparttar 146006 ‘great’ diets he has been on? “Oh, in ’89 I lost 23 pounds onrepparttar 146007 Cambridge Diet, then in ’92 I lost 27 pounds onrepparttar 146008 Scarsdale Diet, in ’95 I lost 30 pounds on that grapefruit diet, I did The Zone in 2000 and lost 16 pounds, then in ’02 I did great and lost 24 pounds on Atkins, but now I think I’m going to dorepparttar 146009 South Beach Diet because I need to lose some weight.”

One more diet and this person should weigh about 34 pounds. The unfortunate truth is that just about every time someone attempts weight loss with a diet based on calorie deprivation, they will end up gaining backrepparttar 146010 weight they lost, and then some. Low carb, low fat, nothing but grapefruit…. It does not matter what kind of diet you choose, because behindrepparttar 146011 marketing hype, they generally all have one thing in common: The dieter is restricting calorie intake. A quick science lesson is needed to understand how our bodies react to a calorie restricted diet. First, when a dieter severely cuts back on their caloric intake, especially by cutting out carbs, they will quickly deplete their glycogen stores. What is glycogen? Well, when carbohydrates are ingested, they break down into sugars that are transported byrepparttar 146012 bloodstream and stored inrepparttar 146013 muscles and liver as glycogen. Glycogen is one ofrepparttar 146014 main energy sources used by our bodies. An important fact to know is that every gram of glycogen stored in our muscles stores approximately 2.4 grams of water with it. So, by restricting carbs and depleting muscle glycogen,repparttar 146015 dieter also releases a lot of water. This is one ofrepparttar 146016 main reasonsrepparttar 146017 scale will show a large loss of weight when one initially goes on a diet. Unfortunately,repparttar 146018 goal should be to lose fat, not water whichrepparttar 146019 body needs.

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