Chicago Personal Trainer Tip: Cut Refined Carbs to Shed Those Pounds

By Jaymeson Anderson, Owner, Form & Function Training

Summer is on its way!  And many of us have a swimsuit floating around in the back of our minds that we’d like to fit into in just a few short weeks. And while exercise is important, it’s certainly not the only to properly slimming down and toning up.

As Chicago’s #1 Personal Trainers, we can help you focus on a proper diet, including cutting down on refined carbohydrates – in some cases, the enemy of a lean and trim physique.

Refined flour is a very common type of refined carb. Flour begins as a grain, seed, nut, vegetable, fruit, or root that has been machine ground into a relatively fine powder. Wheat flour is one of the most common types of flour in the U.S., and we use it in most of our bread, cereal, noodles, and pastries.

In its whole grain form, wheat contains a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, carbohydrates and protein. However, once a wheat grain has been milled between two stone or steel wheels and “bleached,” it becomes something altogether different, namely refined white flour. Although it started out as wheat grain, research now suggests that the digestion of white flour is unhealthy, and can have damaging effects on the human body.

Sugar is another very common carbohydrate. Refining sugar from sugar cane, beets or corn delivers a high amount of exceptionally simple carbohydrates to the digestive system. Of course, sugar is a popular ingredient in many different types of foods throughout the world, and as an additive, it is hard to avoid ingesting it in our modern dietary culture.

White rice also starts off as a “complex” carbohydrate, also known as wild rice.  It’s a healthy grain with fiber, vitamins and minerals, but the refinement process removes the husk and bran from the grain, and then “polishes” the remaining portion to create a simple carb: refined white rice.

Many studies that have been conducted on the effects of ingesting refined carbohydrates, and the results demonstrate some seriously negative effects:

  • Refined carbohydrates produce higher levels of oxidative stress (stress within the body that produces free radicals, and damages cellular tissues). This stress can lead to cancer, hypertension and heart disease (due to high levels of blood triglycerides and inflammation of the interior walls of the arteries).
  • Refined carbohydrates are considered one of the primary causes of type 2 diabetes and obesity. In their refined state, these carbs are digested rapidly, causing a spike in blood sugar, followed by a crash. This rollercoaster ride (spike, then crash, then spike and crash again) that your blood sugar levels take causes excess weight gain and eventually insulin resistance, which prevents the body from using insulin effectively to break down your body’s blood sugars.
  • Refined carbohydrates cause blood triglycerides levels to rise 50 percent more than complex carbohydrates. Generally, above average belly fat and rising insulin levels are often the first signs that your risk for heart attack, stroke and diabetes are increasing.

The consumption of refined carbs contributes to obesity, diabetes and poor cardiovascular health. That slice of bread, bowl of rice, or piece of candy should be regarded as a foreign foodstuff that your body does not play well with. If you cut down on refined carbs, not only will you have that beach body, you’ll feel so much better, too.

If you want help cutting down on carbs, contact one of our Chicago fitness trainers today to learn more.