It's Upper Body Day

Carbs: Too Little or Too Much

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Fitness Tips

Having a balanced diet with protein, carbohydrates, vegetables, and fats is important, but what happens if we don’t eat enough or too much of these vital foods? How does it affect our bodies? We’ve already reviewed protein, so let’s go over carbohydrates.

Knowing what you should can be confusing, especially with so much inconsistent information out there on nutrition.

At Farrell’s, we take the speculation out of what to eat, how much and when. When you follow our tried and true, whole-food nutrition plan, you will have results. And feel the transformation in your body and mind that only nutrient-dense food can give.

What are Carbs?

Carbohydrates are our body’s main source for energy. There are simple and complex carbohydrates.

Simple Carbs

Simple carbs are foods with single and double sugar molecules. This includes glucose, fructose and sucrose.

Common simple carb foods include:

  • Milk (also a protein)
  • Table sugar
  • Fruit

Complex Carbs

Complex carbs are foods that have multiple sugar molecules linked together by “starch.”

Foods dense in complex carbs include:
  • Legumes
  • Grains
  • Starchy vegetables like corn and peas
  • Pasta
  • Bread

Glycemic Index Explained

The glycemic index (GI) is a measurement of how much blood sugar (fuel) goes up based on carbohydrate intake. The higher the GI number, the more blood sugar goes up.

The Farrell's nutrition plan is designed to supply members with a low glycemic load that keeps them in “burn mode” throughout the day, warding off cravings and overeating.
 

5 Effects of Too Little Carbs

Carbs are an important macronutrient. Cutting out or decreasing carbs from your diet can have some side effects that we’ve shown below.

1. Energy Loss & Fatigue—Carbs are our primary fuel source. Not eating enough healthy carbs decreases the body’s fuel source. If you don’t have enough glucose from healthy carbs to burn, the body will begin burning fat. Doesn’t sound negative, but for active people, exhaustion and energy loss will settle in quickly and long-term effects could mean decreased performance.

2. Constipation—Our dietary fiber comes from complex carbs and is essential for bathroom regularity. A low-carb diet could cause constipation, so it’s important to ensure you’re eating enough healthy fiber, or “roughage” as they used to say, to stay regular.

3. Mood Changes—Carbohydrates have been connected to the release of serotonin in the brain, which is the chemical that makes us feel happy. Not enough healthy carbs can mean a drop in serotonin levels, possibly causing mood changes like anger, sadness, and even mild symptoms of depression.

4. Hypoglycemia—Not enough carbs can mean low blood sugar, which can lead to hypoglycemia. Signs of hypoglycemia include shakiness, dizziness, hunger, weakness, and difficulty speaking.

5. KetosisKetosis is a natural metabolic operation. If you don’t have enough glucose (energy) from carbs to burn, your body will start burning fat, which is known as ketosis. During this process, your body creates ketones for a fuel source. If you’re following a balanced diet, this isn’t an issue and your body becomes accustomed to to your levels. Where ketosis can become unhealthy is when your body builds up too many ketones from lack of energy, which can lead to dehydration and a chemical imbalance in the blood. Many individuals use a low-carb ketogenic diet for weight loss, but it needs to be balanced to make certain you’re still getting enough of what your body has to have to function normally.

3 Effects of Too Many Carbs

What could happen to your body if you eat too many unhealthy carbs?

1. Sugar Crash—We’ve all gone through it. The blood sugar roller coaster of eating too many refined carbs and then suddenly crashing and feeling exhausted. Eating carbs high on the glycemic index can cause a hike in blood sugar because they are quickly broken down versus carbs that are high in fiber that digest at a lower pace, discharging energy over time. When this spike occurs, our bodies release hormones to adjust blood sugar, which prompts the crash. Carbs that are complex and dense in fiber will help avoid the carb spike and crash.

2. Type 2 Diabetes—While not an immediate result of consuming too many high-glycemic carbs, a high-carb diet can heighten your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Eating the right portion size is essential for decreasing the risk of having type 2 diabetes. While carbs, and the sugars from carbs, are important for proper function, they need to be the right size for what is needed. Too many sugary drinks and foods is what puts you at risk.

Adding just one serving of a sugary beverage to your diet daily ups your risk by 15 percent, according to a study from the Harvard School of Public Health, published in November 2010 in Diabetes Care.

3. Weight Gain—Eating too many refined carbs or high-glycemic carbs can also make you gain weight, which could lead to becoming overweight or obese, which can lead to a number of other issues like stroke, heart disease, and sleep apnea. Eating too many carbs, like any macronutrient, means we have an excess in our bodies. When we have this overload, our body holds onto the excess as fat.

Farrell's Good Sources of Carbs

When preparing meals and grocery shopping, make a habit to read the nutrition label. Don’t buy foods that have added sugar and sweeteners and stick to water in place of sugary drinks and sodas.

If you’re using your Farrell's nutrition plan, you’re already receiving the right, balanced nutrition your body needs to perform effectively and efficiently to perform in and outside of the gym.

If you're currently not a member of Farrell's and not reaching your fitness goals, get in touch with one of our locations or enroll in our next session to undergo a real fitness transformation! We also offer a free week of fitness classes!

Sources:

  1. LiveStrong
  2. Everyday Health
  3. LiveStrong
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