Carbohydrate: Friend or Fat?

We all love carbs in all its forms.

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When we are bored, we munch on them. When we are down, we munch on them. Even when we celebrate, we munch on them. Everything we do, gets linked to them one way or another. And the aftermath is usually guilt and frustration. So what’s the solution? Knowing we can’t stop ourselves from having them since we get too cranky, so why put our loved ones through all that constant PMS.

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The truth is that carbs :

  • Are the major source of energy for the body.
  • We need 120 grams daily just for our brains to live.
  • They help burn fat indirectly by increasing the metabolic rate after an exercise session.The key to always being able to all the carbs we desire, is to learn how to balance between energy in and energy out.

Or in other words, we can say:

Change in Body Fat = Calorie Input – Calorie Output

Given the golden numbers below, the situation starts getting better:

  • 1/2 Kg of fat = 3500 calories
  • 1g carbohydrate contains 3.75 calories.
  • 1g protein contains 4 calories.
  • 1g fat contains 9 calories.
  • 1g alcohol contains 7 calories.

For example if you are a mankooshe lover, knowing that half a regular mankooshe has 350 cal, make sure to burn off that amount of calories or even a bit more (if you’re aiming to lose weight)- 2 hours before consuming your treat and you’ll be on the safe side.

Note that for 1 pound of fat to burn by walking at a moderate speed (5-7 KPH), we would need 12 hours to achieve that!!

Here are a few tips to make life easier for everyone:girl-weight

  • Avoid having heavy amounts of carbohydrates such as pizza and pasta on the days that you do NOT workout.
  • Do 2 sets of 20 crunches at every break you take-the first set being basic crunches and the second set being reverse crunches- instead of munching on chips or cookies and keeping your tummy flat and sexy!
  • Skipping rope! Its fun, and can be done anywhere! You can burn 500 calories in 30 minutes.
  • If you don’t feel like weight training, go for a swim, 30 minutes and you’ll burn 200 calories!
  • Don’t stop moving! Turn up the music and just dance for one hour at home   and burn 300 calories.
  • Breath slightly deeper and use a little more lung capacity for effective fat burning.
  • Wake up early to workout as to burn fat faster and more efficiently, while enjoying the fresh air as you do a 30 minute brisk walking, power walking or even jumping rope to burn off 300 and 400  calories respectively.
  • Substitute your bad carbs ( Refined grains like white bread and rice, processed foods like cakes and chips, soft drinks and alcohol) with good carbs (veggies and fruits), e.g: you can have a banana or  1 cup of Nescafe, 20 minutes prior to your workout. As for after your exercise, when your body is tired and  more prone to infections, grabbing a light yogurt 30 minutes post-training helps you feel full and keeps you safe from infections!
  • Always, always, and I repeat, always! Stay hydrated. Get plenty of water and minerals. Since your body loses salt due to sweating, it’s very important to compensate for the lose minerals via a rich source of electrolyte, such as Gatorade!

So! As you can see, carbohydrates can be both a friend and/or a foe, depending on how we consume it. Losing weight and staying fit, does NOT mean that we have to stop all what tastes delicious to us; its just a matter of finding the right kind of balance and learning how to earn those yummy treats guilt-free!

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