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Metabolism 101

Episode 118: Why You Gain Weight When You “Just Look At Carbs” 

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Welcome to a fascinating episode where we delve into a common weight-related query: why do you gain weight when you merely glance at carbohydrates? Today, I’ll be discussing everything related to carbs, including how they can potentially lead to weight gain, when it’s appropriate to consume them, and the science behind their role in our body.

We’ll also look at how the fear of eating carbs might be causing weight plateaus. I have a lot to cover, so let’s dive in. If you’ve ever felt like you’ve gained weight overnight from just looking at carbs, you’re not alone. I’ve been there too.

Before I became deeply knowledgeable in sustainable weight loss, macros, metabolism, and overall health, I was stuck in a cycle of restricting and binge eating. I remember the guilt and the fear, particularly around carbs. But I managed to overcome it, and today, I have the freedom to enjoy food without fear, which is why I’m so passionate about what I do.

So, when can carbs actually cause weight gain? To answer this, we need to understand what happens when we cut carbs for weight loss. Consider this example: A woman is maintaining her weight at 2,500 calories a day, which includes a balanced mix of nutrient-dense carbs like oats, grains, quinoa, sourdough bread, fruits, and vegetables. She decides she wants to lose some weight.

Instead of going into a safe calorie deficit and tracking macros, she decides to cut out carbs. After four months of low-carb dieting, she’s lost weight and is getting compliments, but she’s also started to binge eat, her energy is low, and she’s feeling disconnected.

Despite this, she thinks that once she reaches her goal weight, she can start eating carbs again, and everything will return to normal. Four months later, after reintroducing carbs, she’s regained all the weight she lost and then some. She blames the carbs for her weight gain.

The truth, however, is that it’s not directly due to the carbs. Rather, it’s the result of the restrictive diet she followed, which led to rapid weight loss, and subsequently, rapid weight regain once she returned to her normal diet. This is why I always recommend tracking macros and aiming for a safe calorie deficit rather than cutting out any food group entirely.

I have coached over 3,500 women through this process, and I have seen firsthand how life-changing it can be when we heal from the inside out. When we take care of ourselves, we are better able to show up for those around us.

So, remember, carbs are not the enemy. They are an essential part of a balanced diet. The key is to approach weight loss in a healthy, sustainable way that includes all food groups and supports your overall well-being.

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