Despite what people say, most carbs aren’t natural. Even most complex carbs have been created by humans. This isn’t to say that they’re bad for us, it just means that we’re going to be getting a higher amount of carbs than natural food would give us per serving.
Take carrots for example. 100g of carrots gives us 10g of carbs
Now lets look at rice. 100g of rice gives us 28g of carbs
Now this isn’t to say that rice is bad, we’re merely saying that in order to eat these foods, you have to be a very active person.
Everyone knows that carbs turn to fat when unused. It’s also common knowledge that most people are overweight, or at least not in the shape they wish to be in.
We see top athletes and fitness models who eat these man-made carbs, and they look great. But the difference is the amount of exercise they’re doing. These types of people are so active that they need the extra carbs in order to function at their best. They’ll burn these extra carbs off effortlessly.
The average person may go to the gym 3 days a week. If you’re eating man-made carbs at least once a day, then you’re going to have two issues.
- You’ll have high fat storage
- Your body becomes insulin resistant
This is a process where the cells fail to respond normally to the hormone insulin. We produce insulin naturally when we consume glucose through carbs. An active person uses up all of this glucose as energy, someone who’s not so active will see this glucose stored as fat.
The more we’re exposed to something the more changes our body makes. People who live on a poor diet and become insulin resistant, can end up developing type 2 diabetes.
The amount of carbs that are in natural foods such as carrots are manageable for the body. The amount of carbs that are in man-made foods become too much for the body to handle, unless you’re performing vigorous exercise.
Consuming a bowl of porridge for example before physical activity would actually benefit the body. Consuming a bowl of porridge, a bowl of rice and 2 pieces of bread on a non-active day however is going to load the body with carbs and consequently glucose that won’t be used up, therefore it’ll be stored as fat.
Over time your body becomes saturated, and cannot deal with the amount of sugar in the bloodstream (insulin resistant). This is where we see a change in the normal human setup.
When you’re young, your body is probably wired up to burn fat, not store it. Most people grow up with food available to them whenever they want. The body had no reason to panic and you were most likely a very active person as everyone is when they’re young.
I remember a time when every boy in my class had a six pack, was physically active and had no problem with weight. We were around 8 years old at this stage.
Fast forward 10 years and I can guarantee most of these people are overweight, have high body fat percentages and are wired up to store fat, not burn it.
By going paleo for one month you give your body a chance to reset. It has time to deal with the extra sugar in the bloodstream without becoming overwhelmed.
One month is a perfect commitment. Too long and people become discouraged, too short and it’ll have no effect.
Once the month is up, you’ll find that you can eat poor quality foods and your body will deal with them better because you’ve trained your body to burn fat not store it.
This is how fitness models are able to have a cheat day and actually look better off the back of it.
This isn’t to say that you should eat poor quality food after your month of paleo, but it gives you an indication of how your new body will be operating.
You may experience some level of what’s called carb flu when doing this. Like any addiction, your body will produce withdrawal symptoms.
It’ll be craving sugar, and it’ll let you know about it. Simply ride through this and reap the rewards afterwards.
The Long Term Benefits
If the paleo month becomes a regular thing in your life, or even paleo weeks where you give your body time to reset, then the benefits will be tremendous.
- Those horrendous cravings for sugar and food in general will subside. You’ll find that you can eat less and actually be full
- You’ll have more natural energy
- You’ll sleep better and when you’re supposed to
- You’ll lose fat effortlessly without really doing much exercise
Fitness models have been doing this method by accident for years. They go carb, sugar and salt free when preparing for a competitions, a shoot and so forth.
This indirectly enables their body to deal with the sugar in the bloodstream and wires the body to burn fat not store it.
The average person however is consuming cereal for breakfast, bread for lunch and maybe rice or pasta for dinner, whilst sitting in an office all day and in-front of a TV all night. The two lifestyles simply don’t go together.
If you eat more carbs than you burn, then expect increased fat. If you exercise vigorously, then your body will deal with the carbs easily.
It’s why so many experts recommend having a low or no carb day on your rest days.