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Carbohydrates are Fuel for our Bodies

Sandra Prior
Aug 17, 2008
There are many different approaches and methods when calculating a diet for someone as far as carbohydrate intake is concerned. A general rule is to consume complex carbohydrates through out the day and high GI (simple) carbohydrates in and around training times.

Each person has a different tolerance to carbohydrates. Some people can consume large amounts while others keep them to a minimum. Generally speaking though if you're dieting you would consume less than normal and while trying to gain weight you would increase your carbohydrate intake. In order to lose body fat you need to work in a calorie deficit meaning you burn more than you consume. In order to gain weight you need to consume more than you burn.

We normally keep our protein consumption high through all phases and can even increase them during dieting periods. We manipulate our diets through calorie consumption via carbohydrates. As carbohydrates are our main source of fuel, by reducing them we are forced to use more stored energy i.e. fat as energy.

You need to work out for yourself what you can get away with and this just takes some time and calculation. It can get pretty complex with theories and special diets, but just remember that so long as your working in a deficit you will lose weight. Keep it as simple as possible. You can use the following diet as a guideline. Adjust it to your liking and specifics.

You would consume the majority of your carbohydrates in the first portion of the day. These would come from only complex sources. This would provide energy throughout the day and your body would be burning it up efficiently. If you worked out the night before, chances are your glycogen levels will be depleted and you would restore these via the meal consumed the next morning. By mid day you cut out complex carbohydrates and stick to fibrous vegetables.

Vegetables

Fibrous vegetables are extremely slowly digestible. They have very little impact on blood sugar. In fact broccoli requires more energy to digest than can be derived from it. The importance of vegetables in a diet are the obvious nutritional benefits of nutrients, vitamins, as well as fiber which are important factors. If you're dieting, they can act as bulk to your meals to keep you fuller for longer with very little calorie content. Fiber slows down digestion, so combining fibrous vegetables with the rest of your meals can decrease the GI of the meal. For example, green beans with rice, pasta with mixed vegetables.

Fat with Carbohydrates

Combining fats with your carbohydrates can lower the GI considerably. If you had to take rice cakes which are high GI and spread some peanut butter over them you'd bring down the GI from high to low. This can be done by adding a tablespoon of olive oil over your chicken and rice. Obviously you want to be careful as too much fat can be detrimental and counter productive to your weight loss, but a tablespoon over your lunch is a winner.

Start to read labels and stay informed, knowledge is power and the more you know about what you're putting into your body the better you will look, feel and perform.
About the Author
Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at http://bodybuild.rr.nu.
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