(15 minute read)
Here is the thing, in the world we live in today it can be really overwhelming when it comes to understanding what to eat and when to eat it. I mean is the cupcake at a birthday party going to stop your fat loss goals or is it better to have it?
Let me start by saying 97% of my clients care about these things, low energy, pants fitting better, feeling better, decreasing pain, looking good on the beach, increased confidence and decreasing fat. The primary goal being weight and fat loss. 90% of my clients want to lose somewhere in the range of 15-40 pounds.
That being said…. that is who I talking to in this post. Now with that said, let me also say to each of my clients it is always THEIR choice what they eat, I set the parameters around that. Meaning I tell your macros (protein, carbohydrates, fat and calories) based on many factors (that’s a whole different topic) then they chose the food.
So to make sure your on the same page as me let me give you an example. Let’s say “Brittany” gets 2000 calories a day 147 grams of protein, 220 grams of carbs and 52 grams of fat (pretty standard for fat loss FYI). It is up to “Brittany” to decide where her grams of carbs come from weather that is cupcakes and cookies or veggies and whole grains.
Okay so now that we are on the same page lets get back on topic. Does it really matter if she eats 10 cupcakes or 10 cups of veggies when it comes to fat loss?
Eh that really depends on a few variables.
Is Brittany diabetic does shes have CHD (chronic heart disease) or any other health concerns?
Let’s assume no.
Well …. in an effort to make this as short as possible, the answer is no.
Let me tell you what does matter when it comes to choosing the right kind of carbs and cupcakes. First let’s make sure you understand what a carb is , and what it does for your body.
Carbohydrates are biomolecules that contain carbon, hydrogen atoms and oxygen. These biomolecules are made of small building blocks referred to as monosaccharides (mono = one; saccharide = sugar). When we eat plants and digest them into monosaccharides, our bodies convert them to glucose, which of cells in the muscles use to produce energy. Glucose is the main carbohydrate in blood and is stored in muscles and the liver in the form of glycogen.
Okay, well remember you want more energy right? So let’s keep the above in mind and keep going.
The energy that drives the things we do each day and more importantly our workouts is released when chemical bonds in food substrates (macromolecules) are broken. The energy in the food’s molecular bonds is released in the body’s cells to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This ATP is immediately available source of energy for all of life’s function but more importantly muscular contractions that take place during a workout.
During more intense movements and workouts glucose and glycogen are the desired fuel for your body not only because of their availability (glucose in blood and glycogen in muscle). Additionally, of cells in our muscles have a highly developed enzyme system that can chemically break carbs down rapidly to synthesize ATP (that can be used right away, talk about performance enhancement).
Now what about the sugar in those cupcakes and cookies, if it doesn’t matter where my carbs come from for fat loss per say what is the sugar doing to my body?
Well first let’s look at the types of sugar.
- glucose: sugar used by the muscle cells to produce energy; found in blood
- glycogen: principal storage form of glucose that is found primarily in muscles and the liver
- sucrose: table sugar primarily extracted from sugarcane and sugar beets
- fructose: sweetener primarily derived from sugarcane, sugar beets and corn; 1.5 times sweeter than other sugars
Does it matter for fat loss… well not really but it does matter for energy conversion, diabetes, CHD, HTN and other health risk factors. I would argue the point that while you can have 10 cupcakes and still achive fat loss you have to also be aware of the other health effects that is going to have on your body in the long term.
Therefore it is 100% up to you where you carb sources come from. Certainly if you can increase the amount of whole foods and limit added sugars that have no nutritional value from your diet it is going to be better for your health overall. However, you can still lose 15-40 pounds without having to do so.
That is why you hear me say all the time Eat the foods you love lose the weight you don’t!
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