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Too much sugar can pack on pounds quickly.
Eating carbs doesn't necessarily mean you'll gain weight. In fact, carbohydrates are your body's main source of energy. However, overindulging in carbs means you could be exceeding your daily calorie allotment, which often leads to weight gain. Choosing the right balance of protein, carbs and fat will reduce your chance of gaining unwanted pounds.
If eating too many carbs causes you to consume more calories than your body burns off, you'll likely gain weight. In fact, if you indulge in too many carbs and eat just 500 calories more than you burn off on a daily basis, you'll start to gain about 1 pound weekly. Each gram of carbohydrates contributes 4 calories to your daily diet. Limiting carbs to recommended amounts, controlling your total caloric intake and exercising regularly lowers your risk of gaining weight.
Although high-protein, low-carb diets are often used as weight-loss diets, getting too few carbohydrates can leave you feeling sluggish. Therefore, the Institute of Medicine recommends all adults consume at least 130 grams of carbs on a daily basis, preferably obtaining 45 to 65 percent of their daily calorie intake from carbs. Based on these guidelines, an adult eating 1,800 calories a day should aim for 202 to 293 grams of carbs daily to maintain a healthy weight.
Carbs that provide calories but few nutrients are a main culprit of unplanned weight gain. Highly processed carbs -- such as white bread, white rice, regular pasta and white tortillas -- sweets and sugary drinks, such as soda, contain calories but don't keep you feeling full as long as healthier options. This decreased satiety after eating unhealthy carbs makes it harder to control your overall caloric intake -- and more difficult to avoid weight gain.
Some carb-rich foods can help you achieve or maintain a healthy body weight. Foods high in fiber, a type of carbohydrate, reduce your chance of weight gain and obesity, according to a 2009 review in вЂњNutrition Reviews.вЂќ Fiber-rich foods include nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Because low-fat milks and yogurts are high in protein, these carb-containing dairy foods increase satiety and help your body burn extra calories, according to a 2009 study published in the вЂњJournal of Nutrition, and this reduces your risk for weight gain.