Carbs: Are they good? Are they bad?
by Dana — Assistant Editor
Carbs: Are they good? Are they bad? It can all be very confusing. But one man is stepping in the middle of that gap, saying there can be a healthy balance that can yield optimum weight loss and fat burn.
That man is Robert Ferguson, MS, who is a weight-loss coach, CEO of Diet Free Life, motivational speaker and author. Recently, Ferguson has been speaking out about carb confusion- specifically concerning how too many can be a bad thing, and too few can be even worse.
In an article recently featured in First for Women Magazine, Ferguson discussed new science that’s showing our blood sugar has a sweet spot that results in optimal fat burning and peak metabolism. And he says this research is going to help women melt pounds away without feeling deprived.
The secret? Finding the right balance of fast carbs and slow carbs.
Ferguson clarifies fast carbs are those which make our blood sugar spike, like cookies, bagels and white bread. Too many of these, he says, can cause serious gain.
On the other hand, slow carbs – such as beans, veggies and whole grains, which are high in fiber – slow the conversion of carbs into glucose to provide a steadier dose of energy which optimizes metabolism. “By stopping glucose from flooding the bloodstream,” he says, “fiber keeps the body out of fat-storing mode.”
According to a USDA diet analysis, plans that included high amounts of fiber showed more than three times the weight loss as plans that didn’t – which is all the more reason to eat foods that have a high fiber content.
In addition to slow carbs, protein is another key piece of Ferguson’s diet puzzle. This is because protein has been shown to slow glucose absorption during digestion, so we don’t experience that spike in energy. The author also points out that adding protein to our diets can curb cravings, preserve learn muscle, and double post-meal calorie burn.
But what Ferguson says we should never do is avoid carbs entirely, because it can cause our body to hang onto inner fat stores instead of burning them.
“When carb-form energy is in short supply, the body will cannibalize lean muscle for fuel long before it taps into fat,” he says. This is why crash diets that cut carbs entirely send our bodies into starvation mode, which can slow metabolism by up to 40 percent.
The key to Ferguson’s model of weight loss – which even allows for fast carbs when done correctly – is pairing fast carbs with slowing items such fiber and protein, and adding in regular snacks to produce a steady glucose profile which supplies healthy energy and maximizes metabolism, thus eliminating the insulin surges which have been proven to pack on fat. This model, he says, has been shown to stimulate nearly five times the weight loss and triple fat loss, according to recent studies.
Some examples of foods that pair healthy carbs with slowing items might be a turkey sandwich on wheat bread, peanut butter on carrots, or milk and whole grain cereal. As long as you’re not eating too many carbs, or the wrong kind of carbs, there’s really no reason you should avoid them entirely. This, my friends, is music to my ears and carb-loving heart.