Can You Eat Carbs… And Still Lose Weight

When it comes to weight loss and diet discussions there is one word that sticks out every time – CARBOHYDRATES. It opens up so many questions and leaves a lot of people confused.

*Check more about the carbohydrates and their structure by using every student’s best friend – Wikipedia

I will help you out to eliminate the confusion and get those questions answered. After finishing this article you will realize that carbs are not as scary and confusing as people make them look like.

On my previous post we took a look at the low-carb diets. You learned how to lose weight following a diet of this kind, what you can and can not eat. But if you are like 70% of the people, you might find the low-carb diets too restrictive. You might not want to cut down the carbohydrates, which brings you to this question: Can you eat carbs and still lose weight?


Carbohydrates are THE MOST consumed macro-nutrients in our diets. They can be found in almost every food that people consume and – for good or bad – the best tasting and the most desirable foods are full of carbs.

Where Can Carbohydrates Be Found?

We can find carbohydrates in our foods in the form of fibers, starches and sugars. 

  • Fibers 

Fibers being on the first place as they are very healthy. They could be found in natural (organic) foods, such as: vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, nuts, milk products. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) states that in addition for a better health people should consume AT LEAST 25-30 grams of fibers per day. Most of the Americans do not even pass the half of that amount.

  • Starchy foods

The term “starchy foods” doesn’t really sound healthy, does it? It’s actually the other way around. The organic and unprocessed in the factories starchy foods can be very beneficial to your health.

Where can the starch be found?

It could be found in vegetables like potatoes, corn, peas, beans. It can also be found in grains like rice and oats.

Take a note that most of the grain products are being processed and made of flour – for example: bread, pasta, frozen foods – and trust me, you don’t want to over-consume them.

How do the starchy foods work? 

When you consume food your body needs time to process it and turn it into energy. The food delivers energy (calories). When you don’t burn that energy, your body stores it. That’s how people gain weight – by consuming more calories than they burn, making their bodies store the calories by turning them into fat.

Starchy foods are more complex. The body needs more time to turn the food into energy. With other words – they are being processed slowly and so they release energy slowly through the day.

Why shouldn’t starchy foods be consumed late in the nights?

The answer is hidden in the upper question. If you eat a starchy food before you go to sleep (the most passive time of the day), your body will slowly process the food into energy through the night, and since you are not burning it, this energy will be stored up as fat.

Experts recommend to limit the intake of starchy and sugary foods after 6 pm.

  • Sugars

If the different types of foods were drugs, the sugars would be the most addictive ones.

Let’s define the types of sugars.

There are 2 types of sugars that you need to take in mind when following a diet or a meal regime. The first one is the natural sugars that could be found in the fruits. Right now we are not going to focus on this particular one.

Instead, we are going to take a closer look at the second type of sugars – the added ones (a.k.a. free sugars). Natural sweeteners (not natural sugars), such as honey, nectar, syrups, etc. also count as free sugars, even thou they occur naturally.

Why are they called “free” or “added” sugars?

Because they are “free” to add to your meals or beverages. Like adding maple syrup to your pancakes on a Sunday morning. Honey to a tea. Or, adding white sugar to a cup of coffee.

Nowadays you can see sugar added foods and drinks everywhere. The grocery stores are beings flooded with them. Restaurants, cafés, life events. People simply can not live without their daily (some even hourly!) doze of sugar.

What is a “good” daily doze of free sugars intake?

There is no such thing as a good free sugars daily doze of consumption. The less, the better. Try to limit these highly processed foods and beverages as much as possible. Most of them are going to affect your body in a bad way, causing not only weight gain, but diseases as well.

Having this said, let’s set a border anyway – consume NO MORE than 30 grams of free sugars per day. Set a border for your kids, if you have any, as well – 15 to 20 grams per day.

Carbohydrates – Good Or Bad?

People often ask if carbohydrates are good or bad for their health. A specific answer to this question doesn’t exist. There isn’t an “yes”, neither is a “not”.

  • Some carbs are good.

Some carbohydrates are healthy. They are low in calories, but high in organic and natural nutrients, such as: fibers, minerals, vitamins, iron, and other beneficial substances.

Examples for good carbs can be: vegetables; fruits; some starchy foods; grains; seeds.

  • While some are not…

On the other hand, some carbohydrates are unhealthy and you should stay away from them. Those that are high in calories, full of sugars, high in processed grains (like flour), high in sodium, etc.

Sian Porter, an award winning dietitian and nutrition consultant with 20 years of experience behind her back says:

“Carbohydrates are such a broad category and people need to know that not all carbs are the same. It’s the type, quality and quantity of carbohydrate in our diet that is important. ”

She says that people need to limit down the intake of free sugars, and focus on consuming more starchy and high in fibers foods.

Should I Consume Carbohydrates?

Well, every healthy and balanced diet should include in itself all the five groups of food. Carbohydrates are your main source of energy (unless you are following a low-carb diet). Without that source of energy – source of fuel for your organism – you may become weaker not only physically, but mentally as well.

Cutting off carbs entirely would do more harm than good. Not having ANY carbohydrates means not consuming fibers as well. And fibers are essential for a healthy life. Here are some of the benefits you will get, if you keep consuming good carbohydrates regularly:

  • Mental health

Experts believe that people who have their level of carbohydrates intake lowered down too much, may suffer more often from stress, anxiety, anger and depression.

Stressed Spelled Backwards is Desserts ←

It’s scientifically proven that your feelings, moods and emotions may be affected from the nutrients your organism delivers to your brain. Carbohydrates help the brain by helping the production of serotonin. This doesn’t mean that you have to go for chocolate desserts and ice cream to make yourself feel better every time you are feeling down. Stay away from the highly processed foods with added sugars, remember?! Take an apple instead.

  • Stronger memory

As the memory is a cognitive process (meaning your brain and mind are directly responsible for it) the upper point is valid here as well.

Studies have shown that people on no-carb regimes are doing worse than people with well balanced diets, when their memories were tested.

  • Healthy organism

Fibers are essential for a healthy life. They are not only making the function of your organism better, but prevent serious diseases as well. Some of them are: heart problems; high cholesterol; type 2 diabetes; bowel cancer.

Fibers… How can you NOT love them?

Can I Eat Carbs And Still Lose Weight?

Finally we got to answer the main answer, didn’t we?

Carbohydrates are being blamed the most for gaining unwanted pounds… and with a reason. If you are constantly eating sugar added foods and not limiting yourself, you are most likely to gain unwanted weight. Not only that, but the unhealthy lifestyle will increase the chances of getting heart problems and diseases.

So, are carbohydrates causing weight gain?

Not exactly. Consuming more calories than you burn is causing you to put on that additional pounds. Doesn’t matter if the calories are coming from carbs, or fats, if you consume more energy than you burn, you will gain weight. It is the other way around with the process of loosing weight as well.

But there are carbohydrates (sugars) that are very high in calories. And as we already know, sugars are the most wanted and addictive foods. This leads to people overeating with them, consuming a very high amount of calories. Calories that they will most likely not burn later on, and their bodies will turn them into energy reserve (fat).

On the other hand, as we learned earlier, it is up to the type of carbs and the amount that you consume, that is important. Some good carbs will even HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT. Remove the sugary foods and beverages from your menu and replace them with starchy foods, vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, etc. that contain a lot of fibers. They are also lower in calories, but will make you feel filled up in the same time.

How to increase the consumption of fibers?

Consume more high in fibers foods in your meals during the day. Examples are:

  • Potatoes – eat them with baked WITH the skin;
  • Carrots – cooked;
  • Corn;
  • Beans;

Eat more fruits. Every morning, after lunch and before dinner.

  • Bananas – my personal favorite fruit. I also have it immediately after my workouts;
  • Apples – I am probably getting annoying of repeating this every single time when I talk about apples, but here I go… “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”
  • Oranges;
  • Grapes;
  • Berries;
  • Drained fruits;

Other foods that are high in fibers and you may consider of including in your menu (be careful with the amount you get with these ones):

  • Wholegrain and wheat bread;
  • Wholewheat pasta;
  • Oats;
  • Rice – brown rice over the regular white one;
  • Seeds;
  • Leftover foods from the previous day;

In Conclusion

Let’s take a look what you have learned about the carbohydrates in this article:

1) Carbs are the most consumed macro-nutrients from people and the main source of energy.

2) They can be divided on 3 types:

  • Fibers – vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, nuts, and others. Beneficial elements for healthy life.
  • Starchy foods – vegetables, such as: potatoes, corn, peas, beans. Starch can also be found in grains, like rice and oats.
  • Free sugars – All the sweets and deserts you can think of are being processed and have added sugars. Soft drinks and most juices as well. Basically everything that is sweet but not organic.

3) Some carbs are good – low in calories and high in fibers, making your organism stronger… While some are bad – high in calories, containing a lot of unhealthy substances, increasing the chances of getting diseases and health problems.

4) Constantly consuming bad carbohydrates will probably get you gaining unwanted weight.

5) Having good carbs in your menu thou, is actually recommended. They are healthy and provide a lot of benefits to your body. They can actually help the process of loosing weight.

6) Yes, YOU CAN lose weight, if you consume carbohydrates (but only good ones). It is the amount and the type that are important. A well balanced diet followed up with a good exercising program will make you lose weight for no time.

7) Eat more high in fibers foods to increase the amount of fibers your organism gets. Your current amount of daily fibers consumption is probably beneath the half of what is recommended. Strive for AT LEAST 30 grams of fibers per day.


I am trying to help as much people to solve their concerns, as I can. If you think this article is helpful, share it with somebody who might need it.

Do you have something to add or ask, don’t hesitate to add a comment down below.

If you want to get in touch with me, simply send me an email at teodor@project-loseweight.com and let me know how you are doing.

Or, visit our contact page for a quick message. All it will take you is a minute.

 

Looking forward to hearing from you, and see you soon!

Teodor M.

Founder of Project – Lose Weight.

 

12 Responses to “Can You Eat Carbs… And Still Lose Weight

  • Wow, well done! I have recently changed my eating habits!
    Every, since my stomach started to get bigger and bigger yet,
    the rest of my physic remain slim and fit. I am eating properly
    now and exercising every day. I am careful about what I am consuming now
    especially after finding out my blood pressure was higher than normal!
    Thank you so much for this article it’s very helpful for my lifestyle!
    Keep delivering the goods!

    • Great job, Carlton.

      Changing the way you treat your body will change the way your body will treat you.

      Keep rocking,
      Teo

  • Hi Theodor,

    This is a nice article full of useful information. I agree that not all carbs are bad. If you do a lot of sports or physical work you need carbs to get enough energy. As you mentioned, added sugars are not good, especially in large quantities.

    Regards,
    Joonas

  • Great post! I really enjoyed reading it. I have always loved fruit and at my age, you cannot eat many other things, so I stick to fruits like watermelon, papaya, peaches, cherries, grapes, other types of melon and water because they are my favourites. Thank you so much for your expertise, I always say the body knows exactly what is good for it if we would only ask it what it wants to eat. Keep up the good work.

    • Hey there Kim,
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Our bodies “tell” us what they need. When you have a stomach ache – for example – it’s a sign that the body doesn’t want this type of food and/or the amount of it, and you need to change that.

      Keep eating fruits. They are one of the greatest gifts of the planet.

      See you soon,
      Teodor

  • Hi Teodor, and thanks for the great information.

    Carbs are definitely a great concern for many people. They either eat too much or cut it out completely, haha.

    But you’re so right! When you learn what healthy carbs are, you can make the proper adjustments to your diet and start to lose weight.

    I’m a diabetic, and having a balanced diet has always been the best solution for me. Many try to tell me that the keto diet would help me, and maybe it would?

    But I’d miss the carbs for sure. LOL.

    Cheers,
    Suzanne

    • Hi Suzanne.

      The keto diets could be linked to the low-carb diets. Such a diet will help you out with the blood sugar level and probably will reduce the need of insulin doses, which is great.

      It’s definitely worth giving it a try, but don’t forget to consult with a specialist and a doctor first.

      Teo

  • Jesse Lee
    3 months ago

    You have so much useful information in this post!
    I have experimented a lot with different amounts of carbohydrates in terms of what specific foods to eat and what percentage of my diet is composed of carbs.
    I think that most people could benefit from more fruit in their diets and you have provided strong evidence for why this is important.
    Thanks for providing a ton of great and helpful information here!

    • Hi Jesse and WELCOME to the website.

      I Hope you will find the future articles as valuable as this one.

      And you are right – fruits provide a lot of benefits to us and our bodies.

      Thanks for stopping by,
      Teodor

  • Daniel E Ortiz
    3 months ago

    Cool man, good article. I like the fiber section I learned a lot about fiber back when I was working out a lot. apparently, fiber is really important for slowing down digestion. Especially when eating processed food. if we don’t have fiber in our system to slow down digestion we will digest too quickly and cause our blood sugar levels to spike. which is what can cause diabetes over the course of many years.

    I looked into how food affects our mental health as well and I realized that all the junk food that I was eating was making me feel like garbage. after I started eating healthier I felt amazing however I didn’t know carbs were so important health as well.

    learn something new every day!

    thanks for sharing

    -Dan

    • Thank you Dan!

      Great to hear positive stories like yours. Most of the people in the United States have problems with junk food and weight obesity.

      Fortunately I see that more and more people tend to start taking care of themselves. I hope one day it will be the opposite of what it is now, and the people who are living healthy will be more than the ones that are not.

      Talk to you soon,
      Teodor

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