This is a continuation from this previous article – Maximize the Metabolism Part 1. In it I talked about how one can speed up the metabolism by slowly reverse dieting. Reverse dieting means adding in 5 grams of carbs a week over a long period of time to either recover a broken metabolism or make an average one even better.
The main focus on this article is going to be the benefits of carbs and how much you can actually eat without them being “readily stored as fat.”
Low carb diets are everywhere and most people that start them see initial success with great results. The problem is most experts that tell you about low carb diets ONLY TELL YOU THE BENEFITS. One important thing they leave out is, the NUMEROUS NEGATIVES of this type of dieting. Long term low carb diets LITERALLY SHUT DOWN THE METABOLISM and cause countless other problems that are too numerous to mention. Heres a few though:
- Adrenal Stress – No carb diets greatly stress the body and add this on to an already stressed lifestyle and you get abdominal fat, chronic fatigue and pessimistic attitude toward life
- Low muscle glycogen – means very low motivation toward life and exercising
- Bad digestion – causes bloating and food just sitting in your stomach
- Thyroid down regulation – The main metabolic controller and is very sensitive WHEN CARBS ARE REMOVED BELOW A CERTAIN LEVEL
- Lower Hormone production – less energy hormones and more fat burning hormones.
- Catabolic Environment– promotes a break down environment not a building up environment. Good for fat loss, but prolonged for too long and the benefits become negatives. Also terrible for muscle gains.
- Chronic Cortisol production – antagonist to testosterone. Promotes belly fat, loss of muscle and over stresses the organs.
- Bad Liver Health – because it has to convert protein or fat into glucose since its not receving any from carbs.
I could go all day, but these are all very real problems that people face on long term low carb diets and they have no idea whats wrong. They have been told these diets were supposed to be amazing and fix their health and it probably did at first. But somewhere down the road these people hit a wall and some if not all of these problems start showing up.
How to avoid these problems? EAT CARBS! When I say carbs i’m referring to a specific kind as there are many different types and not all have the same positive effect on the body or metabolism. The kind you want to focus on is STARCH. Not fruit, not sugar, but glucose molecules. Here is a chart of the what positively effects the body:
- White Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Red Potatoes
- Quinoa (never tried, but heard its good)
- All types of Rice
- Ezekiel bread and even more refined bread has low sugar starch in it
- Wheat – not the healthiest, but does fit the bill
- Beans – although loading up on these can be problematic due to the excess fiber
- Popcorn – with no added fat
- Starchy Vegetables
- Pizza – made with a healthy crust (or even refined versions are still broken down to glucose)
These have the most profound effect on metabolism. A note on fruit: fruit is definitely good you, but contains a healthy dose of fructose, which doesn’t have the positive benefits that glucose does. Sucrose (sugar) is half glucose and half fructose. Sugar isn’t nearly as bad ad people claim it is, but for the purposes of speeding the metabolism, FOCUS ON GLUCOSE.
And now for the part I really wanted to get to in this article. How many carbs you can eat without getting fat. Lyle McDonald is one of the experts I trust the most and this was one of the most interesting articles I have ever read: How We Get Fat. He basically shows how certain macronutrients get stored as fat in the body and many people will find this interesting. Here are the cliff notes:
- Protein is basically never stored as fat.
- Carbs ARE VERY RARELY STORED AS FAT.
- When you eat carbs you burn less fat and the Dietary Fat you eat is stored as Fat.
- Why not just eat zero fat? – because when you dip under 10% of your calories as fat, DE NOVO LIPOGENESIS kicks in.
- DE NOVO LIPOGENESIS – is the process where carbs DO GET CONVERTED TO FAT. This happens only extreme cases such as extremely low dietary fat intake or if you eat over 800 carbs a day for several days without working out. (In other words, this is nothing to worry about for most people)
- So what happens to excess carbs eaten in surplus? – They get burnt off as heat. Making them the perfect macronutrient to MAXIMIZE THE METABOLISM and teach the body to burn more efficently.
Now you know why low carb diets recommend not eating carbs. Because eating carbs suppresses fat oxidation. But then again you can eat all the protein and fat you want and NEVER LOSE FAT if your not in a calorie deficit.
Here is the point of all this information. When your trying to maximize the metabolism you have to increase your glucose intake. Protein and Fat have certain dietary minimums your supposed to reach, but you don’t get the increase metabolic benefits from increasing these two macronutrients. Carbs have been bashed for making people fat, but this article shows that this is not the case. There are many factors that make people fat, but placing the blame solely on carbs is flat out misinformation. Eat your protein, keep dietary fat above the minimum threshold around 20% of total calories or (.3-.5 grams per pound of bodyweight for most people) and the rest go to carbs. Once people finally accept that carbs don’t make them fat and get over “CARBOPHOBIA” they usually see drastic health improvements and just about all areas of health. Trust me I was one of them ;).
There is a lot I want to say about this topic, so in the next part I want to lay out a simple plan to MAXIMIZE THE METABOLISM. And also how it can be used to build muscle with great speed. (something I’m greatly interested in at the moment)
Bottom Line: De Novo Lipogensis ONLY occurs in extreme cases and is highly unlikely in most people. Carbs can drastically improve your health and quality of life if you have been on long term low carb diets. Glucose from starches have the greatest impact (not protein, fat, fruit, sugar or fructose) on your metabolism and they are the true key to taking an average metabolism to a fast metabolism.