Carbohydrates can be stores as body fat thru de novo lipogenesis, but it takes a lot >500 grams of carbohydrates a day. With carbohydrates overfeeding, there is an increase in energy expenditure, but this does not seem to occur with fat overfeeding. Once glycogen stores are full, de novo lipogenesis (i.e., creation of fat from carbohydrates) starts to occur.
HOW FAST DO CARBS TURN INTO FAT ARTICLE SUMMARY
- Carbs turn into fat, but it takes a lot!!
- When an excess of 500 grams of carbohydrates was eaten per day, carbohydrates were converted to fat. (That is a lot of pasta!)
- Once glycogen stores are full, de novo lipogenesis (i.e., creation of fat from carbohydrates) starts to occur.
DOES FAT MAKE YOU FAT OR CARBS?
Popular diets have advocated cutting your complex carb intake to lose weight. Popular diets such as the Zone Diet advocate increasing fat intake and limiting carbs as a source of energy. The specific macros are 40% protein, 30% carbs, 30% fat. The problem with this diet is that it limits the good carbs for bodybuilders to train intensely to gain muscle.
Fat vs. carbs for energy is not a factor if your workouts are less than 45 minutes. If you train for over an hour or train with multiple sessions per day, then low carbs may limit muscle gain. Do carbs help build muscle mass/are carbs good for muscle gain is a common question?
Eating carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, and simple carbohydrates are being touted as the cause of weight gain. Carbs increase blood glucose levels, and spike insulin, causes obesity, is still being spread on the information despite it being a myth!
The biochemical process in which excess carbohydrates are converted into body fat is known as de novo lipogenesis. It takes a lot of carbohydrates for this process to occur!! Do carbs cause fat? Yes, but only when consumed in excess!
The studies that are mentioned below all have one thing in common. If you give people a caloric surplus of carbohydrates or fats, an increase in fat gain can occur.
Obesity is due to excess calories! Carbs turn into fat when consumed in excess. Fat turns into fat when consumed in excess.
FATS VS CARBS BODYBUILDING DILEMMA
This should be distinct from someone eating within their caloric balance. Many ask, “Should I cut fat or carbs?” You can cut either one and lose body fat.
DO CARBS TURN INTO FAT?
Here are commonly asked questions and answers regarding fat and carbs for fat loss:
- Q: Is eating fat better than carbs?
- A: Cutting fat vs. carbs weight loss is similar when diets are standardized. You can cut either carbs or fat and lose fat. Long-term studies have shown that when protein and calories are standardized between groups, there is no difference in fat loss between the high-carbs, low-fat foods group and the low-carb, high-fat foods group. You can consume high carbs and low-fat meals and lose weight equally effectively as a low-carb, high-fat meals when diets are similar.
- Q: Is it better to go over in fat or carbs?
- A: As you will read below, storing fat from excess carbs is much more energetically difficult than overconsumption of fat.
- Q: Do carbs make you fat or calories?
- A: As long as you are in a calorie deficit, carbs will not make you fat. Popular diets, such as the potato and rice diet, advocate high carbohydrates, yet weight loss still occurs. Obesity is the result of excess calorie consumption rather than carbs.
Studies have shown that you can eat a diet with 50% carbohydrates and lose weight, and de novo lipogenesis will decrease if you eat in a caloric deficit.(1) It takes a very large surplus of carbohydrates to be converted to body fat. Excess carbohydrates can stimulate key lipogenic enzymes in adipose tissue.
In one study, 500 grams of carbohydrates were fed to subjects, such as bread, jam, and fruit juice. Note: 11 cups of white rice is about 495 grams of carbohydrates to give you an idea of how many carbohydrates they were eating. Even after this massive feeding of carbohydrates, there was no net gain in body fat; it was stored as glycogen. These subjects were not glycogen-depleted either, so excessive carbohydrates are not easily converted to body fat acutely.(2)
ARE CARBS STORED AS FAT? LET’S EAT SOME PASTA!!
In studies, researchers increased the intake of excess calories from carbohydrates above the baseline, leading to an increase in baseline energy expenditure. However, overfeeding fat didn’t result in any increase in energy expenditure(3, 4) Carbohydrate overfeeding boosted NEAT, but fat overfeeding didn’t elevate any energy expenditure parameter.
Therefore, when consuming excess calories, the body stores overfed fat more readily as body fat, while it’s less likely to store excess carbohydrates. In a different study, participants adopted a low-carb diet and exercise routine to deplete their glycogen stores. After that, researchers put them on a diet with a significant carbohydrate surplus to identify when excess carbohydrates turn into body fat.