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Are Carbs Actually Bad For You?

Everyone wants to find an excuse as to why they can’t achieve their goal physique. The reality of it is that 90% of people can’t control their diet near what is needed to get their body in shape.

The 3 macro-nutrients are protein, carbs, and fats. Carbs get the bad rap for “causing people to be fat” because people get the mindset that carbs turn into fat when they aren’t being used, which brings up the famous “no carbs after… ” quote. So, are carbs bad for you? Let’s cover some facts.

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If you understand the law of thermodynamics and the way it applies to nutrition, then it’s easy to understand why carbs alone will not make you fat. Let’s say your maintenance calories are 2200 and you ate 1800 for the day, and let’s just say that all 1800 of them are made of carbs, no protein and no fat. Do this for a couple weeks and you are guaranteed to lose a couple pounds, it’s basic math and science. It’s not about the individual macros, it’s the total calories taken in at the end of the day.

– Why do I appear to be “fatter” or more “bloated” when taking in carbs? (High body fat crowd)

Carbs is an instant source of energy for your body, period. With that being said, carbs also cause the body to retain water. A muscle is made of roughly 2/3 water, 1 carbohydrate causes the body to hold roughly 2.5 grams of water. With no/low carbs, the body can’t hold enough water to pull into the muscle and fuel them, which gives the “flat” or “slimmer” look. When eating a high carb diet and taking in plenty of water, the body pulls much of the water into muscles to fuel them, which can cause some to have that “bloat” look. The main problem here is that many people have layers of fat covering their muscles, so when the muscles expand, the fat also has to expand since it is covering the muscle. People automatically assume they are getting “fat” when they’re just holding a little extra water.

– Why do I appear noticeably smaller when completely cutting carbs out or keeping them really low? (Low body fat crowd)

In my opinion, carbs should never be completely cut out of a diet, especially if you’re really lean and looking to get that “pop” look in your muscles. No carbs, no water. No water, no muscle fullness. No fullness makes you just smaller overall. The trick here is to get lean as possible, while still fueling the muscles with water by keeping carbs moderate or high in your diet.

Another downside to cutting carbs out is that you are losing your body’s instant source of energy. Go a few days without a single carb and try to complete your workout with the same strength and intensity as you’re used to. Most likely it isn’t going to happen, which is normal. On the up side, for the few people that can function normally and get through workouts on no carb diets, I recommend doing a keto diet. Google the term and read up on it, I don’t cover it here because I’ve personally never tried or know to much about it as I can’t get through 2 days without carbs, my workouts become a waste of time.