Carbs are essential nutrients for energy, satiety, and gut health – yet many people following protein diet fads may be cutting their carb intake too drastically, leading to complications like constipation.
Attaining a healthy diet includes including carbs from grains, legumes, starchy veggies and fruits in their daily diet. Being aware of when your carb consumption has become out of balance can help make healthier choices more easily.
1. You feel sluggish
Eating too many carbohydrates can leave you feeling sluggish and fatigued. Once consumed, carbs enter the bloodstream where they’re broken down into glucose for energy use; when glucose levels spike, your body produces insulin to bring them down; this up-and-down cycle affects mood and leaves you feeling lethargic throughout the day.
If you find yourself craving carbs and eating them regularly, this could be a telltale sign that you’re consuming too many. While carbohydrates provide energy to sustain daily energy needs, cutting back could help increase energy and promote overall better health.
Another indicator of too many carbs can be seen if your food choices contain an abundance of processed or refined carbohydrates such as bread, pasta and chips. Consuming too many carbohydrates may cause digestive issues such as bloating, gas and constipation.
Carbs can be found in many foods, with certain being more beneficial than others. Try to limit your intake of foods with added sugars and opt instead for whole plant sources such as fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts and seeds as a source of carbohydrates.
Diets high in carbs can have numerous detrimental side effects, ranging from feeling sluggish and tired, to weight gain and headaches. If any of these are plaguing your life, it may be wise to cut back on carbs and switch to one more balanced in fats, proteins and complex carbs – your body will thank you later! Here are 11 additional signs that your intake is too much.
2. You gain weight
Your weight seems unmoved by reduced carb consumption, yet your scale won’t budge. This could be a telltale sign that too many carbohydrates are still entering your system, leading to weight gain if they’re not balanced with protein and fiber in your diet. Unfortunately, most carbohydrates-rich foods also contain sugar which stimulates insulin production which stores excess glucose into fat cells instead of aiding fat breakdown.
Consuming too many carbohydrates can also cause your body to store water, leading to bloating and other digestive discomforts. Luckily, excessive carb consumption often only causes temporary discomforts which can be easily overcome with more fiber consumption and drinking more water.
If you want to regain momentum with your weight loss goals, be sure to read all food labels – not only the calorie counts – to determine how many carbohydrates there are in each serving. Look out for total carbs as well as grams of sugar and fiber content; Nutrition Facts labels usually provide this information. Opt for complex carbs like whole grains, beans and legumes, vegetables and fruits which offer low amounts of sugar while offering protein, fiber and fat benefits; for optimal blood sugar management your carb consumption should be spread out throughout the day for best results.
3. You have headaches
If your headaches seem more frequent than usual, it may be time to reduce carb consumption. Carbs activate dopamine release from the brain, which then leads to cravings and can eventually lead to serious health issues, including headaches. Eating too many carbohydrates also can cause insulin levels to spike then crash quickly afterward causing them to spike again leading to headaches.
Sugary foods provide a short-lived boost of energy, but this boost quickly wears off as glucose and insulin are quickly consumed by your body, leaving you feeling fatigued and exhausted. In addition, high-carb diets have been linked with elevated triglycerides levels and lower HDL cholesterol, both contributing to heart disease.
Maintaining a nutritious, balanced diet is key to avoiding carb-related headaches. Be sure to include non-starchy vegetables, fruits and whole grains. In addition, drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly are both excellent ways of helping regulate blood sugar levels.
Avoid skipping meals to prevent headaches as this can also contribute to headaches. Without food for extended periods, glucose levels in your body drop, leading to headaches associated with migraines.
Skip a meal and your body has to find energy elsewhere, like fat and protein for fuel. This may cause headaches as your digestive tract works harder to process them.
4. You have brain fog
Brain fog could be a telltale sign that your body is lacking essential vitamins and nutrients. Signs include mental fogginess, forgetfulness and an inability to focus. Furthermore, its symptoms can make you feel lethargic and tired – which could affect how well you perform at work or school. If this sounds familiar to you, make an appointment with a healthcare provider as soon as possible if the symptoms persist.
Brain fog can arise for several reasons, including nutritional deficiency, stress, poor sleep and hormonal fluctuations. An inflammatory response can also contribute to feelings of sluggishness and fogginess – this is often observed among those suffering from conditions like obesity or autoimmune disorders like fibromyalgia; similarly asthmatics and allergy sufferers frequently report feeling foggy-headed due to elevated histamine levels in their systems.
At times, even simple changes to diet or lifestyle can help relieve symptoms of brain fog. Eating more whole plant-based carbohydrates may give your brain the energy it needs for proper function; and restricting how much food you eat at once may reduce inflammation and improve cognitive performance.
Other contributing factors can lead to brain fog, including medications and lack of sleep. If you are taking any medication that could be contributing to your symptoms, be sure to talk with your physician; he or she may be able to reduce or recommend another solution. Stress may also contribute to mental fuzziness; learning how to manage it over time can improve both mood and clarity of thought. Sleep is essential to keeping our minds functioning effectively – getting enough rest each night can improve concentration and memory performance, with early sleeping arrangements or by decreasing activities which interfere with restful slumber.
5. You have digestive issues
Eating too many carbs may make it hard for your body to digest them effectively, which may result in bloating, abdominal pain, gas and diarrhea. To maximize digestion it’s best to source carbs from natural sources like whole grains, legumes, fruit and vegetables rather than processed food such as pasta and doughnuts. Eating too many carbs also raises triglyceride levels which increases heart disease risks.
Carbs are composed of fiber, starch and sugar. There are four calories in every gram of carbohydrates and an ideal diet should include both complex (such as beans and whole grains) and simple carbohydrates ( such as candy). Eating too many carbs will cause insulin levels to spike rapidly causing blood sugar “roller coasters” which in turn leads to fatigue as well as diabetes obesity and heart disease over time.
Eating too many carbs may also contribute to feelings of hunger more frequently, since carbs tend to contain higher calorie counts compared to proteins and fats. Furthermore, many processed carbohydrates lack essential fiber and vitamin content. If your hunger seems more persistent than usual, consider cutting back on carbs while adding in healthier options like lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables into your diet instead.
Remember, carb intake will vary based on an individual’s activity level and metabolism; however, 45-66% of your calories should come from carbohydrates. Therefore, to ensure you are getting adequate amounts of carbohydrates-rich foods.