The carbs that you eat, whether they are from bread, sugar, vegetables or fruits, they can contribute to weight gain. This is particularly seen, if it causes the sudden changes in your blood sugar level. It is therefore important to known as to what causes carbohydrates to increase your weight.

What Causes Carbohydrates to Increase Your Weight?

What Causes Carbohydrates to Increase Your Weight?

Carbohydrates can increase your body weight when you take more calories than you burn. The carbohydrates you eat are converted into blood glucose. Moreover, insulin is the hormone that regulates the blood sugar level. It flushes out excessive glucose from the bloodstream and converts glucose into starch called glycogen which is mainly stored in the liver and muscles. Human body can only store limited amount of glycogen and the excessive glucose is stored as body fat. This is one way in which carbohydrate causes increase in your weight.

Water in Glycogen Causes Carbohydrates to Increase Your Weight

When you consume a carbohydrate rich diet it gets digested into glucose, which reaches the cells and gets converted into energy. So, if the blood sugar level is high, the glucose automatically goes to the liver where it is stored as glycogen. It can also be stored in skeletal muscles and liver which can be converted into energy when your physical activities increase. You body is responsible for storing a set amount of glycogen, but it can increase during your endurance training. Based on the intensity of workouts and body's capacity, the stored glycogen can deplete automatically in 20-90 minutes.

Glycogen, which is stored in liver and skeletal muscles contains large amount of water. However, this is not water retention, as the water in glycogen is the molecular structure in itself. The water present in the glycogen is responsible for increasing body weight. So, if you are on carbohydrate rich diet, then it can refill the glycogen storage in body, which can increase body weight by 3-5 pounds. This is one factor that causes carbohydrates to increase your weight.

Carbohydrates Increase Your Weight with Blood Sugar Changes

Some kinds of foods contain higher amount of carbohydrates, mostly made out of added sugar. Foods like white rice and white flour also contain small molecules of glucose, which are very easy to digest and hence they can enter bloodstream faster. The insulin hormone starts flushing out excessive sugar when the blood glucose level increases. The sudden changes in blood glucose level is one of the factors that cause carbohydrates to increase your weight.

If the level of sugar increases in bloodstream, insulin is unable to perform at the optimum. It fails to balance the transportation of sugar to cells for more energy and stamina. It acts abnormally and sends messages to liver for storing more fat as glycogen. Once the level of glycogen in liver increases, it converts the excessive glucose into triglycerides which is stored in adipose tissues. Insulin also sends messages to fat cells to stop the breaking of fat which are already stored there. Insulin basically malfunctions and prevents you from losing body weight. Thus consuming carbohydrates results in various abnormalities of metabolism and this is what causes carbohydrates to increase your weight.

High Calorie Intake Causes Carbohydrates to Increase Your Weight

High calorie intake or overeating is a common reason that causes carbohydrates to increase your body weight. Carbohydrates come in various forms, including junk food, colas, chocolates, bakery products and many other products with simple carbs. Excess calories and simple carbs that you eat through snacks, favorite foods and sweets are an important factor that causes carbohydrates increase your weight.

Each gram of carbohydrate comprises over 4 calories and the sweetened cola that you drink with snacks contain over 37 grams of sugar and 155 total calories, of which 148 come from the sugar added to it. So, when you consume carbohydrates your calorie intake is very high. This can also increase your weight significantly because of an increase in blood sugar level. When you consume excess simple carbs, you experience sudden changes in sugar levels, which can cause increase in your weight.

Consuming more calories than your body burns can significantly increase your weight. If you consistently consume high calorie diets and carbohydrates without burning enough calories, you are sure to gain weight. This is the commonest reason that causes carbohydrates to increase your weight.

How to Prevent Weight Gain from Carbohydrates?

A simple way to prevent carbohydrates from increasing your body weight is to stop the body from storing more glycogen. Glycogen is required to provide adequate energy and improve performance if you are involved in endurance activities, sports and also to lead an active lifestyle. If you perform rigorous physical activities, then consuming adequate carbohydrates and storing glycogen in body won't harm you adversely. However, if you consume large amounts of carbohydrates and do not involve in physical activities, the excess carbs will be stored in the body and increase your weight.

You can also prevent the fat storage effect by avoiding simple carbs and including complex carbohydrates in your diet. Vegetables, whole grains, whole wheat, brown rice, legumes, oats, quinoa, and peas are some of the complex carbohydrates that are healthy and can prevent increases in your weight. Some benefits include

  • Complex carbohydrates have larger molecules of sugar and hence they take longer time to get digested and enter into the bloodstream. This helps to maintain blood sugar level and maintain healthy weight.
  • Complex carbs contain fiber that prevents sudden changes in blood sugar level and aids in better digestion, also helps to manage weight.
  • Complex carbs make you feel full and you do not feel hungry more often, thus preventing increase in your weight.
  • They also provide antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that helps to keep your body fit.

The calorie requirement of every person varies based on the age, gender, weight and type of activity or lifestyle. Hence, it is necessary to plan a diet according to the individual needs and include complex carbohydrates. It is important to avoid excess consumption of calories and simple carbs in order to prevent increase in your weight from carbohydrates.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: July 7, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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