Low carb, high carb, no carb-our obsession with carbohydrates has led to more confusion and less clarity. And if the experts can’t agree here, how are you supposed to make a decision?
Even worse, if you manipulate your carbohydrate intake the wrong way while simultaneously increasing exercise intensity, the results could be disastrous. Especially if you are lifting weights.
So here are the essentials of carbohydrates for toning flabby arms that you have to know:
1. Function: There are three main functions that are most relevant. First, carbs are the preferred energy source for your brain. Second, they are the stored energy source for your muscles. Finally, they stabilize your mood through the production of neurotransmitters. Thus, not only do carbs provide the energy for exercise, but they also provide the components for mental well being.
2. Dangers of having too little: The biggest drawback here is the increased breakdown of muscle protein which gets converted to blood sugar. And recall that muscle has a huge impact on your metabolic rate. Also, cutting out carbs drains your muscles of stored energy which in turn decreases the intensity (and caloric burn) of your workouts.
Even more demoralizing, is the loss in muscular definition and arm tone. Without carbs, your muscles become dehydrated and end up looking flaccid.
3. Dangers of having too much: When you flood your system with too many carbohydrates, your active tissues actually reduce the amount of nutrients they absorb as a protective mechanism. So not only do you end up with too much blood sugar, but your active tissues resist absorbing the excess. In other words, you provide the optimal situation for excess fat accumulation. It’s like giving your fat cells a direct (and enlarged) feeding tube.
4. How to identify good sources: The best sources of carbohydrates are going to be high in fiber and low in sugar. This is by far the simplest way to evaluate carbohydrate quality. Even easier, legumes and/or beans are the slowest digesting carbohydrates. If you simply limit your carbohydrate intake to legumes and beans, you are almost guaranteed to lose arm fat.
5. Common myths: One common myth is that you can’t burn fat while eating carbohydrates. This is not true-as long as you are in a negative caloric balance, you will lose fat. Another myth is the idea that eating carbohydrates during exercise that is less than 1 hour in duration provides benefit.
Your body has the ability to provide more than enough nutrition and energy when you exercise for less than 1 hour.
Don’t get caught up with all the carb confusion. Your approach is simple: focus your carbohydrate intake on beans and legumes, and have a robust amount of carbs for breakfast and after exercise. And remember that taking action here is more important than anything else!