Happy Friday, Wintersville.
As we come into the first week of February, many of us already are a month into our pesky little (and sometimes annual) New Year's resolution - hitting the gym and watching what we eat. If this was your resolution, then you spent January at the gym complaining about how you can't get on any piece of equipment because the facility is too crowded. Take my advice, stick with it and give it another month. Many of the resolutioners fall off the wagon around March.
Now, who would of thought that nutritionists would actually be encouraging you to stick with some carbs in your daily diet? Let's be honest. All we hear via the media, whether it be a fitness magazine, television or Internet, is to stay away from carbs. However, a recent study shows that you want to keep some semblance of grains or beans in your daily food intake.
Check out the eight reasons why:
Eating carbs makes you thin for life: A recent multi-center study found that the slimmest people also ate the most carbs, and the chubbiest ate the least. The researchers concluded that your odds of getting and staying slim are best when carbs make up to 64 percent of your total daily caloric intake, or 361 grams. Most low-carb diets limit you to fewer than 30 percent of total calories from carbs and sometimes contain as few as 30 grams of carbohydrates a day.
Carbs fill you up: Many carb-filled foods act as powerful appetite suppressants. They're even more filling than protein or fat. These special carbs fill you up because they are digested more slowly than other types of foods, triggering a sensation of fullness in both your brain and your belly.
Carbs curb your hunger: According to researchers, when dieters are taken off a low-carb diet and shifted to an approach that includes generous amounts of fiber and resistant starch foods, something wonderful happens. Within two days, the dieters' cravings go away. The fiber and resistant starch fills them up and satisfies them while allowing them to eat the foods they crave. These good news carbs also raise levels of satiety hormones that tell the brain to flip a switch that stifles hunger and turns up metabolism.
Carbs control blood sugar and diabetes: The right mix of carbs is the best way to control blood sugar and keep diabetes at bay. In one study at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Center at the USDA, participants who consumed a diet rich in high resistant starch foods were able to lower their post-meal blood sugar and insulin response by up to 38 percent. Eat the carbs you want, but you need to combine them so that they don't cause a spike in your blood sugar. Instead of eating white rice, switch to brown and combine it with beans, corn or other high resistant starch foods that keep your blood sugar more balanced than low-carb diets.
Carbs speed up metabolism: Carbs high in resistant starch speed up your metabolism and your body's other natural fat burners. As resistant starch moves though your digestive system, it releases fatty acids that encourage fat burning, especially in your belly. These fatty acids help preserve muscle mass - and that stokes your metabolism, helping you lose weight faster.
Carbs blast belly fat: Carbs help you lose your belly fat faster than other foods, even when the same number of calories are consumed.
Carbs keep you satisfied: Carbs keep you satisfied longer than other foods. Here's why - your brain acts like a computerized fuel gauge that directs you to fill up whenever it notices that its gas tank (stomach) is empty. Foods high in resistant starch flip on every single fullness trigger in the body. They release fullness hormones in the intestine and make your cells more sensitive to insulin. By increasing your consumption of filling foods and releasing satiety hormones, you'll minimize your hunger and cravings. Carbs make you feel good about you.
Try out these simple steps and see if they work for you. No one ever wants to say no to carbs, and now you don't have to.
Have a great weekend.
(Looman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)