How To Understand Glycogen


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Thinking about going low-carb to lose weight? Don’t do it! A low-carbohydrate diet will have you dropping pounds, but it will do nothing to assist you with fat loss. Here’s why.

The entire low-carb craze is fueled by those lacking knowledge in what glycogen is and how it works.

Glycogen is a polysaccharide that is stored in your muscles or liver. If the food or drink you consume has carbohydrate, glycogen storage will result. If you drink a can of Pepsi, you consume carbohydrate and that gets stored with a lot of water. For every 1 gram of glycogen that get stored in your body, a staggering 2.7 grams of water gets stored with it!

If you have been dieting and completely omitting carbs and are now glycogen depleted, “super compensation” results when you eat carbs again and you’ll store as much as 3.5 to 4 grams of water per glycogen molecule.

See where this is going?

If a person consumes the same amount of calories every day and 30% of those calories are carbohydrate, that person will obviously weigh more – since a significant amount of cells now have water weight.

The average person will be 5-10 pounds heavier when consuming carbohydrate – solely attributed to water weight.

The percentage of body fat is exactly the same.

Carbs are the first choice of fuel for the body, for any activity beyond leisure – in which case, fat is the preferred fuel. If you omit carbs from your diet, your body will start burning fat in the form of ketones and this will be the preferred fuel.

While this might initially sound like a great way to burn fat, if calories are equal, you’re not burning any more fat than when consuming carbs as dietary fat is increased to replace carbohydrate. Burning more fat serves no advantage if you’re replacing that fat at the same time.

Carbs are still highly beneficial for persons leading active lifestyles and especially for individuals engaging in vigourous exercise. Don’t buy into the low-carb/high metabolism myth for burning fat. Buy into the “eat less and exercise more” concept. It’s proven and it works well for anyone.

To burn fat and improve body composition, burn more calories than you consume. That’s really all you need to do.

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