One of the first things I tell my clients (after I explain what carbohydrate is and where it comes from) is to spread out their carbohydrate intake as evenly as possible throughout the day. Instead of 2-3 large servings of carbohydrate, aiming to eat every 2-4 hours and including a small amount of unprocessed / minimally processed carbohydrate is preferred. Why is this better? For a number of reasons all great for weight loss. Let me explain...
Controlled Sugar Cravings
Providing your body with carbohydrate regularly & consistently that meets, but does not exceed requirements, helps to maintain stable energy levels and avoid the fluctuating highs and lows that many of you would be most familiar with around 1-2pm. Extended periods without carbohydrate intake will leave you lacking energy often leading to over eating on high sugar foods that should be avoided. More stable and sustained energy levels help prevent energy lows giving greater control of sugar cravings leading to better food choices.
Increased Training Performance
Small regular servings of carbohydrate spread throughout the day provides the fuel required to train hard. Increased energy levels during training results in an increased training performance which burns more energy for weight loss and achieves greater fitness results. Consistent carbohydrate intake throughout the day also aids muscle recovery post training which prepares you for your next workout.
Including unprocessed / minimally processed carbohydrate in regular meals and snacks throughout the day results in a feeling of fullness sooner with less food and for longer. This earlier and prolonged satiety and resulting appetite control helps to reduce total food intake at meal time and avoid unnecessary snacking leading to greater weight control and weight loss.
Reduced Fat Storage
When carbohydrate is consumed it is broken down to glucose and absorbed into the blood. In response to increasing blood glucose levels insulin is released which transports glucose from the blood and returns blood glucose levels to normal. The more carbohydrate you eat, the more insulin is required to achieve this. High levels of insulin promote increased fat storage and inhibit fat burning. Eating small regular servings of carbohydrate instead of larger servings maintains more stable blood glucose levels and reduces the amount of insulin required which results in less fat being stored and a greater ability to burn existing fat stores for energy.