Carbs, sugar, & fat. OH MY!

So, to all of you thinking I’m crazy for removing sugar and processed foods from our lives for 21 days (and potentially more), this post is for you.

Diane goes into a great explanation in the guide book, ‘How glucose gets stored: insulin at work’ which I’m going to paraphrase for you… 

So you have a new box of legos.  You can hold so many in your hand; the rest must go into storage bins or be used to build something. Now imagine the legos as glucose and your hand as your bloodstream, you can’t keep more than 4 grams of glucose in your bloodstream at any given time so the ‘extra’ needs to either be used or stored.  Storage of glucose is where insulin comes into play.  Released by the pancreas in response to carbohydrates in your diet, insulin’s job is to send a message to your cells to let nutrients (including glucose) into your body’s ‘storage bins’: your liver and your muscles. The glucose that is stored in these ‘bins’ is now called glycogen.  (But, before glucose is stored, your liver (the master regulator of blood glucose levels) runs a check to make sure that your brain and red blood cells get what they need… then it can proceed storing what’s left of the glucose.   The more carbohydrates you eat, the more insulin is produced in your body to make sure the glucose is stored for later use…. sounds efficient right? Like your body is planning ahead.. Well, there’s a catch.  Just like your Lego bins can only hold so many Legos, your body only has so much storage space for carbohydrates (this exact level differs from person to person).  So, now you’re wondering ‘Well what happens to the stuff I can’t store?’  Similarly to if you kept purchasing Legos and putting them in the bin without taking any of the old ones out to create new creations with them, the bins would overflow and you would have a BIG mess. In your body, the carbs that you don’t use up for activity/exercise and that you don’t have room to store as glycogen are converted to fat! FAT! The bane of our existence!  Now, our bodies are sneaky … they have limited room for storage of carbohydrates, but UNLIMITED storage for fat… Fat is stored either circulating in the blood as triglycerides or as adipose (body fat).

Here’s some carbohydrate math for you to better empower your healthy choices:

total carbohydrate storage capacity = liver storage + muscle storage + carbs burned in a day 

Now, if carbohydrates eaten > liver storage + muscle storage + carbs burned in a day , then your body has no choice but to store the excess as fat.

((Thanks Diane for that awesome explanation! If you want to read more details, please check out her book, The 21 Day Sugar Detox. How great was it that she used Legos to explain? Pretty creative, this one.))

Think about what you had for breakfast today.  How does your breakfast measure up? (Click Here then click the corresponding category in the middle of the page for a great resource on carb content for various foods.)

Are you maxed out on your carb count for the day? Are you storing those extra carbs as fat? Hit the gym after work! Try a group exercise class like Cycle or Insanity for a session of high intensity exercise (this does not include walking or jogging), and/or hit the weights! Building more lean muscle mass will help you burn more calories all day long. Both high intensity exercise and lean muscle mass can increase your glycogen storage capacity, meaning your body will allow more legos in storage rather than storing them as fat!  Who doesn’t want that? 🙂

remain stationary

(Pic borrowed from the amazing Spinning instructor, BenR from Greenville, SC.  Go take his class @ SportsClub if you’re in Gville. & check out his awesome photos: Ben Robi Photography.)

It’s all a balancing act. Good carbs vs. Bad carbs. When the carbs are packaged as nature intended-together with vitamins and minerals, required for their metabolism- your body works efficiently.

If you thought I was crazy before, since I’m removing sugar from my diet, do you think I’m crazy now?

Tomorrow, make more efficient fueling choices. With facts and knowledge, I hope to empower you all to make healthy choices!

Add some carb-free sunshine to someone’s day & share this post with them! Bring them with you on your way to a healthy lifestyle!

xoxo

Syd

(*As I am not a licensed healthcare professional, please consult with your doctor prior to starting or implementing a new diet or workout regimen.*)

9 thoughts on “Carbs, sugar, & fat. OH MY!

      1. Bread has always been my biggest weakness! That and things smothered in cheese. The biggest thing that helped me was going gluten-free and trying Brittany Angell’s bread (and more) alternatives. She’s also converted some of her recipes to 21DSD approved so they’re sugar-less. Here’s a link to her blog if you’d like to check her out! 🙂 http://brittanyangell.com

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      2. Yea. I cut out cheese too. I love pizza and bagels and live in NYC and a joint selling these two carb filled foods on every corner.

        Have you lost weight?

        Will check out the blog.

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      3. Oh gosh, the temptation!
        The 21DSD program isn’t much different from how we ate before- gluten and dairy free ‘partial paleo’, so I’m not expecting my weight to fluctuate too drastically. The guide book suggests for you to not weigh yourself except for the day before you start and the day after you’re done. This is because the goal of the program is not to lose weight but to ‘reset’ your blood sugar & your taste buds. But, I have been checking my weight just to keep tabs on it, I’ve lost 1.5# so far, and today is only day 4 for us. I should also point out that I am a Spinning Instructor (and when I’m not teaching, I’m practicing my class profiles) so my activity level is pretty high.

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      4. I need to lose weight. I gained about 20 this past year.

        However, eliminating the carbs doesn’t cut the craving.
        Trying to saying in the 1,500-1,700 calorie range….. easier said than done.

        That said, I try to stay off the scale.

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  1. I did paleo for six months, and then completed the 21DSD. It really is amazing and gave me a whole new perspective on even natural sugars like honey, maple syrup, etc. It’s crazy how many things taste way too sweet after this detox.

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    1. We usually did what I call ‘partial paleo’ since we allow things like popcorn and gluten free chex cereal, prior to 21DSD and we’ve done that for a year (my fiance longer than me due to his dietary restrictions). But when I started the ‘partial paleo’ it was life changing! I felt better, more energized, happier, and my heart rate and body weight have decreased! I cant wait to see what wonderful things come from this sugar detox! Im not experiencing anything yet but we are only on day 4. Its so great to hear from others who have participated and loved it! Thanks for reading!

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