Carbs are kind of like jet fuel for the body. They cause large spikes in insulin, especially when they’re eating alone or in great quantities. Think Skittles people, fricking Skittles!
You eat a whole bunch of Skittles and your bodies like, “hey, awesome I’ve got all this sugar!”
Your pancreas goes, “woah, you just ate a ton of sugar, I’ve got to get some insulin out there to help keep blood sugar levels down.”
Basically, your insulin response peeks up when you intake a large amount of carbohydrate or mixed foods (ie. Think pizza, a burger, or something with a whole bunch of calories). This is a safety feature for the body since we don’t want to have our blood sugar levels too high. Again, make this easy think what happens when you get diabetes or uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Bad things right?
So, now insulin spiking all the time pose a problem when you’re trying to lose weight, because once you’ve stimulated a large insulin spike, all that blood sugar that is floating around in circulation gets shuttled into the tissues. The tissues in this case are the liver, muscle tissue and body fat.
Now the body can only push so many carbs into the liver and muscle tissue. If both of these storage sites are full, guess where the excess go?
Yep that’s right, fat storage!
It’s kind of like trying to top off your gas tank in your car when it’s already full. It just spills out onto the ground—only in the body the excess gets stored in your fat stores where it can be tapped into later in time of a food shortage.
But I don’t know about you, but there’s not very much of a food shortage around here. Maybe if you were to go on a long trek through the wilderness without any foodstuffs lying around you might run into some problems, but for the most part many of us are quite OVERFED.
So to solve this problem, basically we need to figure out how to not over stimulate our insulin response. We can do this very easily by choosing better forms of carbohydrates like vegetables and fruits. We can combine our meals with a small amount of protein and healthy fats that will help slow insulin release and absorption of foodstuffs.
Additionally, eating smaller serving sizes will also help slow down an insulin release and making sure we’re not overeating. So chew your food and take your time. Acknowledge when you’re body says okay, enough is enough. Excess in anything will cause problems, even if all you’re eating is bacon.
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Jesse “Captain Smash” Howland is the owner of SMASH’s Strength Lab, which offers targeted personal training to reach a variety of fitness and physique goals. A natural bodybuilder, competitive powerlifter, certified personal trainer, and nutrition coach, Jesse is often the go-to resource for personal training Ottawa. He studied Exercise Science at Oregon State University and even trained at the world famous Gold’s Gym. He’s a former US Army Captain with the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, a former blog writer at Veterans Fitness Career College, and former Chief Executive Officer at U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). His workouts and personal training are army-inspired to help reach your weightloss, athletic, or physique goals.