Your body loves carbs, partly because it is its preferred source for energy. Yet when the carbs you consume are converted into glucose (your body’s fuel source), not all of this glucose gets used. Instead it ends up being converted into glycogen and stored in your liver and muscles.
And this happens more often than you think, as your body only needs so many carbs a day in order to help you function. Eat too many, and all you are actually doing is adding to your fat stores.
How much is too much?
Now the amount of carbs you need everyday will greatly depend on your activity levels. For instance if you consider yourself to be a bit of an athlete, then you’ll need more carbs per day than someone who spends all day at a desk.
However, to give you an idea here are some examples:
- If you are trying to lose water weight, then consuming between 0-50g of carbs a day will help you to do so. This will force your body to go into ketosis which is a metabolic state when your body burns your own fat as its main source of energy.Now before you get any ideas, ketosis does come with its own risks and shouldn’t be done long term as at the end of the day, your body is not receiving enough carbs (leading to other health issues).
- To achieve healthy weight loss you should aim to eat between 50-100g of carbs every day as this offers your body the right balance between what it needs whilst preventing excess glucose from being converted in glycogen.
- Depending on the types of carbs you are eating (some are better for you than others), 150-300g of carbs a day will lead to gradual weight gain.
- As you can guess, if 150-300g per day can contribute to gradual weight gain, then over 300g of carbs a day is certain to cause you to put on weight.
Is there anything I can do to increase my carb burn?
As mentioned above, the amount of carbs you can have will be greatly depend on how much you exercise. So if you have got a bit of a ‘thing’ for carbs, then the more you exercise, the healthier your weight loss will be.
Now out of all your exercise options, cardio workouts are probably your best route to increasing your daily fat burn and keeping your body in tip top shape. By doing short bouts of cardio consisting of high intensity intervals, you can expect to burn a larger quantity of calories.
Which cardio workouts are best?
Obviously some forms of cardio will help you to burn fat easier than others. That is why we have done a little research and come across the following workouts.
- Workout One: comprising of 27 minutes on the treadmill, this is split into uphill walking, uphill running/sprints, moderately paced walking/jogging and periods of recovery. Alternate these throughout your workout and you can burn over 500 calories.
- Workout Two: Less intense than the above cardio workout, over the course of 22 minutes you need to walk, jump rope and moderately run. Done at intervals this can help you to burn between 400-600 calories.
- Workout Three – if you are new to interval training, then this workout is for you. Combine 20 minutes of walking with moderately paced running, jump rope and stretches.
Now your cardio workouts don’t all have to be on a treadmill. You can also incorporate running, swimming and kickboxing into your routine – and these can be surprisingly effective at helping you to burn calories.
Take a look at these figures:
- Running at 5.2mph for 30 minutes can help you to burn 300 calories.
- Bicycling for 30 minutes can burn anywhere between 250-500 calories depending on how fast you cycle.
- Doing breaststroke for 30 minutes at the swimming pool can help you to burn up to 400 calories.
- Step aerobics is another good fat burner as it targets your legs, bum and hips and burn 300-400 calories in 30 minutes (when doing high intensity).
- Walking moderately fast can help you to burn 180 calories in 30 minutes.
So give these workouts a try, and witness the difference they make to your weight loss and energy levels. If going for a walk 4 times a week can help you to burn 720 calories, imagine what 4 sessions of swimming can do…