In a world where it seems like everyone is on a diet to lose weight as quickly as possible, we see more and more people cutting out their carbs as rapidly as they can while trying to achieve this goal.
But, should you banish all carbs from your diet entirely?
It’s important to realize that some carbohydrates are going to be necessary to help assist with proper bodily functioning, not to mention for health reasons.
Cutting them out of your diet entirely would be a mistake for a number of reasons, so taking some time to learn what these reasons are and why you must be taking them in will help you make sure that you are providing your body with the right amount of nourishment that it needs.
Let’s go over the main reasons why eating sufficient carbs in your diet is a must for success.
Carbohydrates and Thyroid Function
The first place where carbohydrates are going to be needed is in your thyroid function. If you’re on a strict low-carb diet plan, this is going to in turn decrease the circulating levels of thyroid hormone in the body, which can cause hypothyroidism-like symptoms to set in.
If you go low-carb long enough, you may actually start to experience hypothyroidism altogether, so then you’ll have an actual clinical problem on your hands.
Some of the key symptoms to be on the lookout for that would indicate you may not be eating enough carbs is feeling incredibly cold all the time, feeling tired and lethargic, and experiencing weight gain.
In other words, what you originally started doing to help you with your weight loss results may actually turn the tables and cause you to gain weight instead.
Carbohydrates and Metabolic Rate
The next thing that you need to be highly aware of when it comes to your diet and cutting carbohydrates is that carbohydrates are also highly correlated with the metabolic rate.
If you start cutting out too many carbohydrates, this will have negative implications on how fast you are burning calories on a day-to-day basis, which then influences how quickly the fat-loss process moves along as well.
This is in part due to the impact that carbs have on the thyroid, as we just noted above, but it’s also going to have to do with the fact that low carb diets shift leptin levels, which is a key regulation hormone in the body that influences your hunger level as well as your rate of fat burning.
Higher carbohydrate diets tend to keep leptin at a more optimal level, so this can assist with helping you along with your weight loss goals.
Carbohydrates and Energy Levels
Next, don’t overlook the influence that carbs will have on your energy levels. If you’ve ever cut all carbs out of your diet plan, you know very well how this makes you feel.
You’re tired. You’re sluggish.
And, you hardly want to move, never mind actually doing a workout session.
Carbohydrates are the first source of fuel for the body and what it prefers, so when levels start dropping, it’s normal to start to feel some fatigue.
To add to this, carbohydrates are the only source of fuel that the body can use when you’re doing intense workout sessions, so if you’re not eating carbohydrates before or after your workouts, you really won’t be seeing the results that you’re looking for.
Carbohydrates must be consumed at some point if you hope to keep your weight-lifting workouts up. If they aren’t, you can kiss all progress in the gym good-bye.
Carbohydrates and Mood
The next area that carbohydrates and low-carb diets will impact you is in terms of the mood that you experience day to day.
Many people overlook this factor entirely but if you aren’t taking in many carbohydrates at all, this is going to cause a decline in the release of serotonin in the body, which is the key neurotransmitter that impacts your mood and how you feel.
If you notice that when you start low carb dieting you feel a lot more depressed, irritable and angry than when you’re on a higher carb diet, this isn’t just because you’re mad that you can’t have your bread (as some of you may truly feel is the case).
There are actually changes in your brain chemistry that are taking place that are causing this shift in your mood to occur, so that cannot be discounted.
It’s also why when you eat a carbohydrate-rich meal, especially after using a lower carb approach for a while, you instantly start feeling better. It’s like it’s a mood-booster that makes you feel energized, happy and calm.
This isn’t just the food doing this, it’s brain chemicals.
There’s more to the story
What you must realize is that more important than whether or not you’re eating carbohydrates is how much of them you’re eating and the varieties you choose to eat.
At the end of the day, it’s your calorie balance that will establish whether you gain or lose body fat, so if you can maintain the proper calorie balance, you won’t need to worry about the fact that you are eating carbohydrates.
If you choose the wrong carbs, however, sustaining the right calorie balance will feel incredibly trying, so that’s where the problems tend to occur.
So make wise choices and you can ensure that you avoid this from ever becoming a problem in your diet plan. Choose unprocessed carbohydrates that come straight from the ground such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and you will be setting yourself up for success.
Featured photo credit: Dog Welder via flickr.com