Every day tons of people flock to the gym, mindlessly thinking that going to a gym would do them wonders. Lifting some weight, carrying on some cardio, a set of push-up, pull-ups, and squats etc would make them look like any fitness model who photograph get’s printed every second day in a fitness magazine. But that’s not the way it works, your physical hard work only pays off well when your food intake is in the right proportion and your calorie count is constant. The major of food type that can actually help you make a lot of difference in making or breaking a stereotype body is Carbohydrates.
Breakdown and Storage Of Carbs
Carbohydrates are found mostly in all kinds of fruits, vegetables, cereals, and oats, making it the core element of all kinds of energy sources that the body needs. As soon as Carbohydrates enter the body through some kind of meal we intake, the saliva starts to act upon it and starts the breakdown process of carbohydrate to its end products Glucose and Fructose. Then this broken down carbohydrate molecule reaches the stomach. Here the food stays for sometimes and these molecules react with Hydrochloric Acid and are further pushed into the Pancreas and Small intestines. From onto here the enzyme in the small intestine, i.e. maltase further breaks the complex sugar molecules in glucose and fructose, which is released into the bloodstream.
This energy coming from these Carbohydrates in the form of glucose after getting discharged into the blood stream, are either used up completely by the physical activities we perform or some amount of glucose that is not used up by us or if we don’t work out enough to burn all of it, starts getting stored basically at three places:
3. Fat Tissues
In particular talking about the main area where carbohydrate is activated the most is the fat cells placed on the lower stomach and abdomen region. Talking about how our body mass goes on increasing we have certain steps involved in the process:
• There is a Glycogen Tank where the excess amount of unused carbohydrates in the form of glycogen is stored.
• If you don’t exercise daily or have relatively low metabolism your excess glucose keeps getting stored in this so called Glycogen Tank.
• Every time you have a meal that has high amounts of Carbohydrates this tank keeps getting filled.
• A time comes when this tank is full up to the brim, and after this point, it starts spilling the extra amount of glycogen that comes into it after each meal of high carbohydrates you in take.
• This excess filling and finally spilling of the glycogen tank starts changing the shape of your abdomen after a certain period of time when you keep consuming high on carbohydrates meal.
• Finally, a time comes when you see that you have a disfigured stomach and that’s all because of high intake of Carbohydrates and low burning of this energy produced in your body.
There is also a reverse mechanism to this.
• If you finally feel that you need to control your body mass growing all you need is lessen the intake of carbohydrates in your regular meals.
• Set-up a plan for your meal intake. Plan a meal low on carbohydrates and relatively high on proteins.
• Do this consequently for 2 days and your glycogen tank level will start to reduce and finally, a time comes when it is totally empty.
• At this point, the much-needed carbohydrate energy that is required by the body is extracted from these grown fat tissues.
• As a result, your body mass starts to reduce.
• You can carry on with this kind of food mechanism for consequently 1-2 months with one day in a week as a cheat day for your carbohydrates filled meal.
The only thing you need to keep in mind is you should have a meal that is either High on Proteins and Low on Carbohydrates or Low on Proteins and High on Carbohydrates.
Good Carbohydrates v/s Bad Carbohydrates
Not all carbohydrates tend to make you fat or shoot up your blood sugar levels. Some tend to even control your insulin level and provide the much-needed energy. So on the basis of this unique characteristic Carbohydrates are perfected divided into 2 types i.e. the Good Carbohydrates and the Bad Carbohydrates.
These are basically the whole grain carbohydrates that are less likely to be broken up into glycogen easily making blood insulin to shoot up less often. The process includes:
As discussed earlier the food intake enters the stomach and from in there to the pancreas and small intestine, because the good carbohydrates have fibers in it, therefore, it gets less absorbed. Being able to lower the intake of carbohydrates due to these good carbohydrates, less and less amount of carbs move into the blood stream and due to the physical activities that we do all day all this energy produced is used up and there isn’t any saving of glycogen in the Glycogen Tank.
Good Carbohydrates can be found in a variety of foods that are easy to cook and consume. These are:
• Brown Rice
• Wheat Bread
• Wheat Pasta
• Sweet Potato
Our body is designed to eat carbohydrates and we have adapted our systems to eating obviously the bad carbohydrates. These bad carbohydrates enter the stomach and then into the pancreas and small intestine. Being less on the roughage portion these bad carbohydrates get absorbed easily into the blood stream. The broken down glucose enters the blood stream and due to excess of glucose and less of physical exercise, this glucose gets collected into the fatty tissues which cause an increase in body mass.
Bad Carbohydrates are easily found in all sorts of food that are often termed as junk foods. These are:
• White pasta
• White Rice
• White Bread
• Pastry, Cakes
• Packed Juices
Quantities of Food Containing Carbohydrates
Food Categories -Carbohydrate Count
Apple- 14g per 100g
Apricot- 11g per 100g
Avocado- 9g per 100g
Banana- 23g per 100g
Blackberries- 10g per 100g
Blueberries- 14g per 100g
Kiwi- 15g per 100g
Mango- 15g per 100g
Plum- 11g per 100g
Pineapple- 13g per 100g
Pomegranate- 19g per 100g
Orange- 12g per 100g
Asparagus- 3.9g per 100g
Broccoli- 7g per 100g
Cucumber- 3.6g per 100g
Cabbage- 6g per 100g
Cauliflower- 5g per 100g
Green beans- 7g per 100g
Kale- 9g per 100g
Bell Pepper- 4.6g per 100g
Spinach- 3.6g per 100g
Zucchini- 3.1g per 100g
Tomato- 3.9g per 100g
Potato- 17g per 100g
Carrot- 10g per 100g
Onion- 9g per 100g
Sweet Potato- 20g per 100g
Pecan- 14g per 100g
Almonds- 22g per 100g
Walnut- 14g per 100g
Peanut- 16g per 100g
Cashew- 30g per 100g
Hazelnut- 17g per 100g
Snacks and Other Food
Pasta- 43g per cup
Rice-43g per cup
Flour Bread -30g per 2 slice
Soda Drinks- 40g per can
Low-Fat Dairy Products- 40g per can
Low-Fat Cheese- 8g per cup
Ice-Cream- 38g per cup
Root Vegetables- 10g-40g per cup
Frozen Dinners-20g-30g per cup
Frozen Lunches- 40g per serving
Breakfast Pastries- 26g-40g per kg
Candies and Chocolates- 20g-40g per serving
Desserts- 15g-25g per slice
Determining Carbohydrate Intake
Obviously, everyone’s need for carbohydrates differs from person to person, gender, age and most importantly if you are someone who is totally into fitness and good physique. We have a stated below how much carbohydrate intake is required depending upon each different type:
If you are following some kind of Weight Loss Program
Carbohydrates Intake= 0.9-1.25 grams per pound body weight.
If you are following some sort of Muscle Building Program
Carbohydrates Intake= 2grams per pound body weight
If you are amongst the 95% population who don’t do any kind of Physical Activity
Carbohydrates Intake= 1 gram per pound body weight
Well, now you are smart enough to do the quick calculations yourself to make sure you lead a healthy life while having the right amount of Carbohydrates.
If you feel saving absolutely no to Carbohydrates would actually help you, this won’t make you fit or happier but precisely eating in the right amounts with all sorts of body building foods in your diet is all you need all throughout your life. Everything the Proteins, Minerals, Carbohydrates, Fats, Roughage all should be in right amounts for you to call your meal a balanced diet. Start today for healthier tomorrow.