carbs-are-good-400x400I’ve done a lot of personal research into the mystery of weight loss. A lot of it through trial and error. I’ve jumped on a few bandwagons here and there, but not for very long. I’ve discovered that the bottom line is always the same: fuel in, energy out.

It takes 3,500 calories to gain or lose a pound. That’s 3,500 calories more or less than what your body needs to “maintain” your current weight.

Our bodies are designed for balance. To cut out carbohydrates is neither healthy nor desirable. Oh, some may claim it worked like a charm, but what happens when you put a few back into your system? Your weight goes up. You may not believe this, but it’s not the carb causing weight gain, it’s the water that’s needed to process it.

Here’s the straight scoop: For every gram of carbohydrate (glycogen) in your body, you need about four grams of water to push it through your system. So for the 34 grams of carbs in a Snickers bar, you need 136 grams of water to process it. Cutting out carbs tells your body you don’t need that “extra” water, so it’s released, and your weight drops.

But your body NEEDS that water! All systems, from your brain on down, count on water to make it function properly. The “big weight loss” that happens at the START of a no-carb diet is only dehydrating your body.rocky-iii-l-oeil-du-tigre-1983-15-g

After that first drop, you continue to lose just a pound or two a week—the same as with most “diets.” A balanced diet includes 45-65% carbs. Check the list of “good carbs”—the ones that contain fiber and absorb slowly in your system (like whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans) and stick with those. Refined carbs (sugar, sugar, white bread, white rice and more sugar) can go.

Your body will thank you.