Why Giving Up Carbs Can Destroy Your Waistline

Think ditching carbs altogether is a quick way to lose weight? Think again.

Good complex carbs

Demonized as the button-busting devil, carbs are often seen as responsible for out-of-control weight gain. Therefore, some people have cut out carbs entirely in an effort to shed a few. The problem? Carbohydrates—especially healthy complex carbs—are an essential part of a well-balanced diet. As one of your body’s macronutrients, carbs are important for energy, brain function, and yes, even weight loss. The problem is this: Not only are people miserable when they start giving up carbs (due to a lack of energy), but they’re also more likely to gain weight.

Sure, giving up carbs can help you drop pounds in the short term. But overall, it’s not a healthy or sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off. We talked to dietitian Jim White, RD, ACSM, and owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios to find out why some people actually gain weight when they give up carbohydrates.


You’re missing out on fiber.



Fiber is an important nutrient that helps your digestive system, keeps you feeling fuller longer, and can ultimately help you lose weight. The Institute of Medicine recommends women get around 25 grams of fiber per day while men need 38 grams. Since fiber is found in a lot of whole-grain foods, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, and brown rice, cutting out carbs will mean missing out on this valuable nutrient.

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that people who increased their fiber intake to 30 grams a day and made no other dietary or lifestyle changes lost just as much weight as participants who cut calories. Fiber also contains important B vitamins and can help lower cholesterol — all important reasons why carbs shouldn’t be eliminated from your diet.


You have no energy to work out.

Fit serious Asian sportsman exercising with weights in gym


Did you know eating healthy plays more of a role in weight loss than exercise does? According to a Frontiers in Physiology study, exercise will burn off between 10 and 30 percent of your total caloric intake. Meanwhile, food accounts for 100 percent of our total energy intake; hence, having power over your diet is more influential than your fitness routine. That being said, exercise is important for heart health, longevity, and can help accelerate your weight-loss efforts. The problem when you give up carbs, however, is that you have no energy to hit the gym. Because carbs are your body’s preferred source of energy, when they’re gone, so are your energy levels.

White says people who give up carbs or severely carb restrict experience low energy. “A lot of times you even skip workouts or you don’t give enough intensity to see a good result,” he says. If you can’t muster up enough energy to make it to the gym and end up sleeping in rather than working out, that will start to impact your waistline.


You eat too much protein.

chicken breast


Getting enough protein in your diet can help you lose weight, and it’s an important macronutrient that will help you build lean, fat-burning muscle mass and keep you full. But when people cut out carbs, that leaves only two macronutrients: Protein and fat. And as good as protein is for you, it’s not a free-for-all.

“People think, ‘I can eat as much protein as I want.’ [But] protein still has calories. In fact, one gram [of protein] has four calories, so I see what people do is they lower their carbs and then they increase their fat and their protein to high amounts.” This means people are taking in way more calories than they intend to. For weight loss, men should shoot for 56 grams a day, while women need around 46 grams.


You eat too much fat.



Same as overdoing it on protein, some people may eat way too much fat when they are giving up carbs. Sure, healthy fats such as omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and help you feel satiated, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

“Fat has double the number of calories as carbs do,” White says. “I think how [people] can gain weight in that sense is they overeat on the other macronutrients, causing them to gain weight. They over-consume calories.” Although healthy fats aren’t something you should be afraid, you should try not to go over the recommended 60 grams a day.


You get low blood sugar.

Sick woman covered with a blanket lying in bed with high fever and a flu.


When your body goes without carbs for too long, it can start to affect your blood sugar levels. When you eat food with carbohydrates, your body breaks the digestible carbs down for energy. This causes your blood sugar levels to rise and your pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone that helps your cells absorb blood sugar to use for energy.

When your blood sugar is low, however, you can start to feel extra hungry and crave high-sugar junk foods so your body can replenish its energy source. Keep your blood sugar stable by combining a complex carbohydrate with a protein and a little healthy fat (think: Ezekiel bread with peanut butter), and you’ll be sure to stick to healthy snacks instead of an all-out binge.


You get “hangry.”



Your body first feeds off of carbs for energy. They’re so important for energy, in fact, that 90 percent of your brain’s fuel comes from carbs, White says. So when you cut them out, it affects your mood. Some people might feel depressed and like they want to sleep all the time. Others might get super hungry and angry (“hangry,”) which prompts them to lose self-control around food and eat everything in sight. In general, eating a diet rich in whole grains combined with lean protein and healthy fats will help stabilize your mood and ward off hunger.


It’s not sustainable.



Perhaps the biggest problem with cutting out carbs entirely to lose weight is that it’s not sustainable in the long run. White says people can lose weight on a no-carb diet, but it’s usually temporary.

“Each gram of carb holds onto about one gram of water, so when we start giving up carbs from the diet, we can tend to lose water weight,” White explains. The problem is, people think they’re actually losing body fat when they’re not. Once people start to eat carbs again, White says, they gain all that weight back. Plus, with the moodiness and lack of energy that comes from eliminating this important macronutrient group, people who are giving up carbs completely feel miserable most of the time. That’s no way to live.

So, how can carbs fit into an effective diet?



The reason why giving up carbs can be so effective for weight loss is because people tend to eat the wrong types of carbs, to begin with. Foods like refined carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, white pasta, sugar, etc.) spike your blood sugar more than the healthier complex carbs that come from whole grains and fruit. White says sticking to portioned servings of those healthy complex carbohydrates is key; depending on your level of activity, he recommends your diet should be anywhere from 40 percent to 65 percent carbohydrates.

“I always recommend for men trying to stick around a cup of cooked starch per serving and women around a half a cup starch per serving,” he says. If you do feel like you ate too many carbs for breakfast and lunch, then it’s fine to skip them for dinner. But for overall weight loss (and to keep your sanity!), you’re better off including carbs as part of a healthy diet.

Ohio Nurse Reveals COVID Quarantine Hypocrisy




RUSH: Kathy somewhere in Ohio, you are a nurse at a children’s hospital, right?

CALLER: That’s absolutely right, yes.

RUSH: Okay. Tell me your story. (humming the Jeopardy! theme)

CALLER: First, I just want to say how it’s such an honor to talk to you, and my husband and I are praying for you all the time.

RUSH: Well, thank you, because I believe they work, and I really appreciate it. Thank you so much.

CALLER: I do too. I’m a firm believer in prayer for sure.

RUSH: Absolutely.

CALLER: Yes. But I am a nurse. I’ve been a nurse for 42 years and I actually still work at the bedside, unlike most of the people my age. And I do work in a children’s hospital in a pediatric ICU. Well, my daughter as well as my son both had children that are in the same day care. And the day care workers… It’s a home day care, and the day care provider and the assistants that she has all came down with the COVID virus. My daughter got it, my daughter-in-law got it — and I think, actually, my granddaughter had it as well. And I was around my daughter. My granddaughter, she stayed the night. We were in close contact (crosstalk).

RUSH: Okay, hang on — let me — let me — ’cause I need to make sure the audience gets this. You’re a nurse at a children’s hospital.


RUSH: Relatives of yours, a number of them around whom you are in close proximity, came down with COVID-19?

CALLER: That’s exactly right.

RUSH: You’re thinking the hospital will not want you anywhere near the hospital since that happened. You’re probably gonna have to quarantine; right?

CALLER: That’s exactly right. Plus, I had had some mild symptoms. We’ve had some weird weather, weather changes, this and that.

RUSH: Except the hospital didn’t do that. They wanted you to keep coming in, right?

CALLER: That’s correct. So what they told me was… I called “the hub,” I got the test, I was negative. And then the nurse I spoke with from the hub said, over the phone — it was like one of those virtual visits where you look… It’s like a FaceTime video thing, and she said, “Yes, you… You still can’t leave your house.” This was about a month ago, okay, that this happened.

She said, “You can’t leave your house. We don’t want you leaving your house unless it’s for medical reasons. You still need to be quarantined for the 14 days. I don’t want you going to work, and I’m gonna email you a note for your employer so that you don’t have to work,” and she went through all this stuff. But then she missed the little flag on my chart saying I was an employee.

So I said, “Okay. That’s good. I’ll need to have the letter because I need to give it to my manager. I work in the pedes (sic) ICU.” She said, “Oh. Are you…? Oh, so you’re a team member?” and I said, “Yeah,” and then she said, “(snickers) Well, this is gonna sound kind of funny, but we actually are gonna have you come to work. You just need to self-monitor.”

RUSH: All right. That’s it. That’s the payoff. So they originally were gonna have you quarantine and then they found out, “Oh, my gosh. She’s a nurse in the ICU,” and they said, “We need you.”

CALLER: Yeah. Yeah. (chuckles) She said, “Yes. We’ll just have you monitor your symptoms. If you develop any further symptoms or if you start a fever, but, yeah, we still need you to come to work.”

RUSH: Right. Okay. So here’s…

CALLER: (cdrosstalk)

RUSH: Look, I don’t mean to be rude, but I’ve got limited time here, and I’ve got a point I want to make. I want to pull all this together. So she’s a nurse at a children’s hospital. Close family members of hers tested positive and had COVID-19. She tested negative. Policy normally would be she is quarantined at home, two weeks, can’t risk it.

Then for some reason, they find out that she’s a nurse — a very crucially needed nurse — and they say, “Never mind. You know what? Go ahead and come in,” even though under normal circumstances, they would be quarantined for two weeks, and she was gonna point out, this is political. They’re obviously not concerned about this. If they’re concerned…

“I’ve been surrounded by COVID-19 people. I don’t have it yet, but who knows?” and she was gonna make the point that this is more political than it is medical, and it’s exactly right. It is exactly right. So they wanted her, a nurse for 40 years, to continue to come in when they found out that she was fulfilling an important function in the hospital as a nurse.

Folks, it’s no different… Of course, this is political, because everything in our country is that the left has touched. If the left has anything to do with it — climate change, COVID-19, whatever — I guarantee you it’s been politicized. Let me give you another example: The White House Thursday night acceptance speech by Donald Trump at the Republican convention.

During his speech and the immediate aftermath, here comes the media bellyaching and whining and moaning that nobody was wearing a mask; there wasn’t any social distancing. They accused Trump of conducting a superspreader event outdoors. (impression) “Yep. Donald Trump. No compassion, see? Donald Trump doesn’t care!

“Donald Trump, all he cares about is whether he’s got it or not, and he doesn’t so he doesn’t care.” So they rip Trump and they rip the people that attended Trump’s acceptance speech as knowingly participating in a superspreader event. By the way, there’s no way an outdoor event can be a superspreader. I don’t think there’s one on record. But what happened?

The speech ends, and those same people engaging in very uncompassionate behavior are then accosted and attacked, and some are physically intimidated and threatened as they’re leaving the White House. Nobody’s concerned about whether or not the protesters, the attackers, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, do they have COVID-19?

They weren’t social distancing, they weren’t wearing masks, and there wasn’t one complaint about it — and you know why?

Because protesting Donald Trump and protesting Donald Trump supporters is worth getting COVID-19. It’s a sign of how much people are devoted to the cause. And there are countless other examples where people engage in protest activity against Trump without wearing masks, without proper social distancing, without doing any of the guidelines that we are all told we must follow, and there is not a syllable of criticism for those people.

Same thing with our nurse here in Ohio.

Once it was found out that she was needed, “To hell with the rules! To hell with the regulations! To hell with the fact that she was surrounded by family members who tested positive for COVID-19.” It didn’t matter. “We still need her at work,” even though she could at any time test positive because she’d been surrounded by people. Now, folks, how do you do that? What must they know that we don’t know about this that permits such willy-nilly, random acquiescence to the rules?

Coronavirus Cases Are Receding



Here’s another headline. This is from the New York Post. Jacob Sullum: “The Numbers Are Clear: COVID Is No Real Threat to Kids — CDC confirms [it] again: Youth aren’t at COVID risk.” Go ahead and open the schools. “The latest data on COVID-19 cases and fatalities from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm that young people face a negligible risk of dying from the disease, while people 65 and older face a much higher risk.

“That latter group accounts for about 16% of confirmed cases but four-fifths,” or 80% of all COVID-19 deaths, are among people older than 65.

Wall Street Journal: “We hate to be the bearer of good news, but here goes: The so-called second virus wave is receding and has been far less deadly than the first in the spring thanks to better therapies and government preparation. Nobody is suggesting we should now let it rip, but the progress should give Americans more confidence that schools and businesses can reopen safely.”

So, we’ve got testing dialed up to high, and it’s catching noncontagious traces of the virus in asymptomatic people, but we’re never told that in the numbers. So we don’t know what the numbers we’re dealing with are. “The so-called second virus wave is receding and has been far less deadly than the first in the spring…” The Wall Street Journal says, “[T]he U.S. seven-day rolling average of new cases has fallen by about 40% from its peak on July 25.

“Hospitalizations and deaths in hot spots peaked at about the same time in apparent contradiction to epidemiological models that have predicted two- to three-week lags between cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Hospitalizations are down by 62% in Texas, 60% in Florida, 48% in Utah, 45% in California, and 44% in Louisiana from their peaks, which all occurred between July 21 and 24.” The peaks were a month and a half ago.

So the Journal says, “We hate to be the bearer of good news, but here goes…”