Understanding carbohydrates in your diet will make a huge difference on your waistline. Here is my simplified explanation on carbs for you. Once you understand carbs and what falls under carbs you will clearly see why you may still be struggling with your waistline.

Carbohydrates and your weight – Why excess carbs make you fat!

One of the most common subjects I find when consulting with clients regarding their weight loss at Easy Health Wellness clinic is the misunderstanding of what exactly falls under the carbohydrate (stysel/ starch) group.
Not having a clear definition of what to count as a carbohydrate on your meal plan can be just the reason why you’re are not losing weight – specifically burning fat, as well as you would like.

Let’s make this Easy and Simple to understand.

• A carb is a food that is broken down to sugar
• Sugar gives you energy
• If you don’t burn up the energy then it is stored as fat
• Thus eating excess carbs = weight gain

Refined sugars –

We all know these as the general list to have in minimal amounts and to actually avoid (almost like a diabetic list of no no’s –
• sugar – already in its simplest form, gets absorbed immediately therefore if you haven’t eaten all day and you have a cool drink eg coke or a chocolate you feel better immediately as the sugar is taken up immediately
• the same applies for sweets, chocolates, cakes, puddings etc – what is added to the sugar is fat (basically cream, butter, full cream milk)
• these are Refined Carbs – very low to basically no nutritional value and lots of extra carbs and kilojoules

We then have starches –

• bread, buns, rice, pasta, potato, rice, couscous, pap, breakfast cereals, wholewheat biscuits eg provitas, rice cakes, popcorn, corn (mielie), pretzels
• these differ in fibre eg wholewheat bread compare to white bread or white rice compare to brown rice But the carb content remains the same
• starches are also broken down to sugar – they take a little longer especially foods that are higher in fibre – ultimately – they’re eventually become sugar

Fruit & Veggies –

• these have natural sugars and also contribute to carbs in your diet
• as a diabetic you need to know that they will therefore influence your blood sugar levels so portion control is important
• 100% fruit juice which has “no added sugar” is also high in carbs as it is a concentrated source of natural sugar in small volume

Dry beans & Lentils –

These are low biological value (LBV) protein and count as a starch in your diet
They contain soluble fibre and are a healthy choice but do remember to count the carb.

Now that you understand exactly what falls under carbs and you also know that a carb is broken down to sugar – think about all the foods in your diet that fall into this group (healthy or unhealthy) and you will quickly see how fast your diet is much higher in carbs than you need. All carbs that are not used up are stored as fat.

So now you know why a high carb diet (even if the carbs are from a healthy source eg low GI bread) eaten in excess will not help your waistline.