The number of calories you eat should reflect the amount of energy you burn. I know that simplest. But, let’s say you have a very active lifestyle. Does that mean that means that every time you go grocery shopping you need to add 300 calories to your intake? Of course not, except that by the time you get home from work you will have done nothing else but sit on the couch and munch on junk food.
Does that seem like a good enough reason to give you to go easy on yourself and count carbs?
Counting carbs has its benefits. For example, you can measure the difference between how many calories come from sugar and come from carbs. This will help you figure out how much of the calories in that piece of cake came from carbs.
But, what does this mean?
I’ve been a huge advocate of eating whole grains. You can’t compare the energy content of sugar and whole grain. The same comes down to the same in a table. The only difference is that refined grains have a much higher thermic effect than unrefined. And the carbs are easier to store as fat in your body.
You can figure out how many grams of carbs you need in your body by using your weight and multiplying it by .8 and then adding it to the number of calories you took from sugar.
Example: A 200lb person needs about 300-400 grams of carbs a day. He takes 200g of sugar. So his body will store 200 – 200g of carbs as fat.
A different example: Say you weigh 180 and you want to eat a diet of 60g of carbs a day. You will have access to 200g of carbs. You will have to figure out how much of that 200 g of carbs will be converted into fat. Let’s say 35g. Balance that out throughout the day for the rest of the carbs you eat.
It’s at this point that you start to realize that the major problem with diets is that they consist of a lot of low carbs and therefore they are foods high in sugar. You may have started on a low carb diet and been fine until you hit day 3. You Cortisol begins to rise in preparation for an attack. Your serotonin will suddenly drop and you will find yourself sinking into depression over what it is you have done.
So how do you convert these carbs into something that your body can use and therefore store in a useful amount? You have two choices:
There is a lack of regulation of your thyroid causing you to create too little or too much cortisol
You are eating too many starchy carbs such as pasta, potatoes, bread, cereal, etc. which convert to glucose quickly in your body.
In both examples, your body creates billions of energy each day. Now since you are not burning the energy you take in, your cortisol goes up. Remember how I mentioned that your cortisol cycle has a natural cycle? Well, it swings back and it swings back because the energy you are consuming is being stored as FAT.
There is a way to cycle it through, that will be discussed in another post. It involves taking in fewer carbohydrates than your body needs. That is the basis of the weight loss anymore. But, as we said, getting your body to eat the right amount is fundamentals to any weight loss program. It is not a diet. You may need to adjust amounts throughout the day.
Once you get your body to eat the right amount of food, that cycle will start to get away from you. As your cortisol level goes up, you will get “the feel” that you are full and it will stop. The next time you eat, you will be less sensitive to the feel and you will start to feel hungry again. Sounds funny, but there is a science to this.
There is one other thing that has to come out of this: these cravings and hunger cravings for carbs are mostly in your head. Think about it: we grew up with a mother who had to force her kids to eat something after a meal. Well, were you hungry? No, because you were either sitting in front of a tv, reading, writing, learning, playing, planning,2005. You will never, ever experience this level of hunger until you change the way your body works 12 hours a day. Yup, that’s why.
You want to take all of the mystery out of how your body works so that you can just do something about it. Go to the gym, not 5 times a week to 5 different gyms. That will not make any difference. What you want to do is have fun doing something–Watching a movie, spending time with friends, or even making new friends. Do something that will help you feel successful and will propel you forward.