Eating carbs for weight loss isn’t a hack—it’s just knowing the right kind to eat

By Ea Francisco | Photo by Olia Gozha/Unsplash

Rumor has it that if you want to lose weight, the easiest way is to stop eating carbs. But it’s not that simple. Carbohydrates, just like all food groups, have a purpose, and it’s not possible to completely cut of all foods from your diet. It’s possible to follow a healthy weight-loss diet while eating carbs—and you don’t need a hack or cheat to do it, too.

Carbs Help You Feel Full

One misconception you may have heard is that carbs make you feel hungry, but the right carbs actually don’t. Complex carbs and fiber are unrefined, so it takes time for your body to digest them. In effect, they make you feel full. And since fiber can’t be digested, it would clean your colon in the process. On top of that, foods rich in these kinds of carbs are also low-calorie, which makes it even better for weight loss.

Carbs Maintain Blood Sugar Level

The key of every good diet and weight-loss method is to eat consistently to maintain blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar levels aren’t just bad for your weight loss, but your overall health, too. Eating the right carbs can help raise and normalize your blood sugar level. Even people with diabetes need these carbs because their medication can cause their glucose levels to drop too low. Compared with complex carbs that are more regulated, bad carbs, like added sugar, spike your blood sugar to extreme highs. Keep in mind too that carbs accompanied by fats and protein have slower impact on glucose levels.

Bread and Pasta Aren’t the Only Sources

When people say carbs, the first things they think of are breads, pasta, and rice. A lot of people don’t realize that carbs are also found in fruits and vegetables. Completely cutting off all carbs means depriving yourself of food like berries, bananas, and oatmeal—most of which are essential nutrient and energy-boosting food necessary for an active lifestyle.

Avoid Empty Carbs

When people talk about cutting off carbs, what they really mean are the simple or refined carbs. These carbs are composed of sugars and refined grains, and many of these foods have little to no nutritional content and increase health risks. While sugar can come from fruits too, it can be easily found as added sugar in processed food

Your Main Source of Energy

Most of our energy sources come from carbs, which is why 60 percent of calories should come from them. Whether you’re active or not, you need energy to fully function. Eating just enough carbs to maintain energy is actually an effective weight loss strategy. If you limit your carb intake to match your energy consumption, your body would eventually go to a state of ketosis and start breaking down stored fat. This is actually the main idea of keto dieting.