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Posted On 2021-08-10





Cutting carbs for weight or fat loss is a myth. You might lose weight but the strategy is potentially very unhealthy. Take the story of Emily, a character from the 2006 movie, The Devil Wears Prada: Although thin already, she was desperate to be even thinner, and decided to survive on a small cube of cheese each day, cutting carbs completely. Did Emily lose weight? Obviously. How was her health? She became very ill. The key to successful weight loss boils down to strict portion and calorie control, and not cutting out any of the essential macronutrients, fats, protein and carbohydrate.




Scientifically, a calorie is a unit of energy. In nutrition, fats are the most calorie-dense nutrients, on average containing 9 calories per gram. Alcohol is next at 7 calories per gram. Carbohydrates and protein both come in at 4 calories per gram. Nutritionists in most countries recommend a daily calorie intake of 2,000 calories for women and 2,500 calories for men. From a lifestyle perspective, calories describe how much energy we take in when we eat and drink, and how much we expend through exercise and body functions. These are the facts.




Quantity is pivotal when you consider calories as a form of energy. Put simply, if you take in more calories than you use, you will put on weight, and vice versa. This is where portion control comes into play. Portion control is not only vital for a healthy lifestyle but is an essential component of weight loss or maintenance. In the UK, the medical authorities recommend that you should reduce calorie intake by 600 calories per day to lose weight. However, this is a ballpark and factors such as metabolic rates, age, genetics, and body composition need to be taken into account.


The calorie story doesn’t end with quantity. A banana or 4 squares of milk chocolate both contain approximately 100 calories. Eating either of them will contribute to your recommended daily intake, so what’s the difference? Bananas are full of vitamins, minerals and fibre, chocolate isn’t. So you also need to consider the quality of the calories you consume for a healthy and balanced diet. And this applies to carbs too.




The carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis suggests that eating carbs makes insulin levels in the blood rise. This means that less fat is broken down and is stored in our bodies leading to an increase in weight. The notion is that by cutting carbs, you lower your insulin levels and burn more fat. The truth of the matter is that the amount of carbs that you consume has no relation to how much fat you burn, irrespective of the quantity of insulin in your body. Research also shows that carbs don’t cause you to gain weight any more than fat does. Insulin cannot make you gain weight. Not controlling your calories is the culprit when it comes to putting on the pounds.



As with calories, quantity and quality are also important for your carbs intake. Science never suggests that cutting carbs will lead to weight loss. It’s all to do with how much you eat and what you eat. If you constantly indulge in sugary foods and processed carbs such as pizza, you’re giving weight gain an open invitation. However, eating carbs in the form of fruit, vegetables, wholegrain pasta and pulses is a healthy choice. High fibre and starchy carbs help weight maintenance as they release glucose in the bloodstream much slower than sugary, processed carbs. This also makes you feel fuller for longer and so you eat less.




Carbs are also key for training, workouts, and in fact, any exercise or sport. In layman’s terms, they are the fuel for your ‘engine’ aka muscles. The harder your engine is working, the more fuel you need. Don’t eat just before a workout as the competing processes of digestion and muscular activity will negatively impact optimal performance. As a rule of thumb, eat carbs approximately 1 to 4 hours before training and about 60 minutes after you are done.  




Carbs are also the main source of energy for the brain. Clinical nutritionist Tanu Arora explained:


“ Carbohydrates are one of the most important nutrients needed for healthy brains functioning.”


When carbs are digested, they are broken down into glucose. Your brain has an exceptionally high rate of metabolism, approximately 5.6 mg of glucose per 100 g of tissue per minute. Carbohydrates are the only nutrients that can match this rate of energy requirement. Without enough glucose, the central nervous system is strained, causing physical and mental weakness, and even depression, anxiety or anger. If you don’t consume enough carbohydrate you may also have insufficient fibre in your diet, leading to digestive problems and constipation. So you can see that cutting carbs to lose weight is not a solution.




Signature Meals from Munch Measured Meals are your one-stop solution for both weight loss and training. The meals are also perfect for someone that does not workout but who wants a healthy diet. Coming in at only 375 calories, and containing 25 g of protein, 35 g of complex carbohydrate, and less than 1.5 g of fat, Signature Meals are the premium choice to complement a healthy diet – whether you train or exercise regularly or are a couch potato. The delicious range includes Grandma's Roast Lamb, Pulled Pork Tacos, Spanish Paella, and many more. Signature Meals are the affordable solution and one in which cutting carbs is something of the past.





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