There are two ways that carbohydrates and body fat interact. One is directly by turning into body fat, and the other is via insulin.
Turning into body fat is like adding fat into the fat cells, whereas carbohydrates spiking insulin does not add anything to fat cells per se, but hinders the release.
The former is like a + equation, where the latter is a double negative which results in something that seems positive.
There is a process called de novo lipogenesis (literally: Creation of fat from non-fat sources) that can occur in the body. This process turns glucose into lipids, which are then stored as body fat.
This process is normally quite inefficient in the body, which suggests that carbohydrates cannot be stored as fat to a high degree.
The process can be upregulated (enhanced) if dietary fat comprised almost none of the diet (lesser than 10%, as a rough estimate), if carbohydrate intake is excessively high for a period of a few days, or if one follows an obesogenic diet (diet that is likely to make you fat) for a prolonged period of time.
Carbohydrates spike insulin, which is a hormone that mediates glucose metabolism.
Insulin is not good or bad, insulin is insulin. It can be thought of as a lever that switches the body from fat burning mode into carbohydrate burning mode. This allows carbohydrates (and glycogen) to be burnt at a greater rate, but directly reduces the ability of fat to be lost.
Overall metabolic rate (calories burnt over the course of a day) does not change significantly, just where the calories come from.
When insulin is spiked in presence of ingested dietary fat, the dietary fat can go into body fat stores and not be released since glucose from glycogen is being used in place of it.
It should be noted that insulin spiking does not work as a dichotomy (all or nothing). When insulin is 'spiked' it can be spiked to various degrees, and it would hinder fat loss in a proportional degree. It is never 0%, and it is never 100%. There is always a degree of fat being used for energy and always a degree of carbohydrate being used for energy, the amount of each just varies in response to diet and exercise.
💊 Get unbiased supplement information
- Is it better to do aerobic exercise fasted?
- Will carbs make me fat?
- What should you eat for weight loss?
- Is saturated fat bad for your health?
- Low-fat vs. low-carb? Major study concludes: it doesn’t matter for weight loss
- Does Garcinia Cambogia help with weight loss?
- Can hypothyroidism lead to fat gain?
- How do I stay out of "starvation mode?"
- How eating better can make you happier
- Measuring body fat percentage: It's an accuracy thing
- Does eating at night make it more likely to gain weight?
- Does diet soda inhibit fat loss?
- How to minimize fat gain when you binge
- Be the tortoise or the hare: it doesn’t matter for fat loss
- A compound from beer may help fat loss
- Can one binge make you fat?
- How do I get a six-pack?
- Does eating a higher carb diet make you more full?
- How does protein affect weight loss?
- Will eating eggs increase my cholesterol?
- Really-low-fat vs somewhat-lower-carb - a nuanced analysis
- Will lifting weights convert my fat into muscle?
- How do I lose fat around my belly?
- How much fat do I need to absorb vitamin D?
- Does high-protein intake help when dieting?
- Does eating fat make you fat?
- Is diet soda bad for you?
- How important is sleep?
- How to minimize fat gain during the holidays
- What is Adrenal Fatigue?
- I have lost significant weight and now have loose skin. How can I tighten up my skin?
- Put down the apple and have some cheddar
- Stepping up weight loss: Can walking help dieters shed fat?
- Do artificial sweeteners spike insulin?
- How do I increase insulin sensitivity?
- Does dairy cause acne?
- The myth of the sugar rush
- Glycogen storage capacity and de novo lipogenesis during massive carbohydrate overfeeding in man. Am J Clin Nutr. (1988) Acheson KJ, et al.
- De novo lipogenesis during controlled overfeeding with sucrose or glucose in lean and obese women. Am J Clin Nutr. (2001) McDevitt RM, et al.
- Effect of carbohydrate overfeeding on whole body and adipose tissue metabolism in humans. Obes Res. (2003) Minehira K, et al.