How Carbohydrates Can Make You Fat

I’m excited about the opportunity to share some ideas that you can use in your life to improve your performance.  Good nutrition can make an amazing difference in your life and is not just the preserve for elite rugby players.

One of the main areas that I have to focus on with rugby players is monitoring their body composition. Some players are on a muscle building program while with others the primary focus is on reducing their body fat %.

This week I’m going to share a couple of strategies that you can use yourselves if you would like to shed a few extra pounds.

With most rugby players and certainly members of the public the main cause of excess body fat is the result of over consumption of too many simple carbohydrates. Simple Carb’s are found in bread (sandwiches, toast etc), jam, potatoes (jackets, mash and chips), pasta, rice, cakes (muffins doughnuts, croissants etc), cereals (cornflakes, muesli etc) chocolate bars and sports drinks (lucozade, red bull etc).

How do simple carbs make you fat?

When you eat a big bowl of pasta it gets broken down by the body very quickly into sugar and is used to top up your energy stores. 

If you eat your bowl of pasta  without having exercised vigorously  your energy stores don’t need topping up so you have excess fuel  ‘kicking around’ your body. Your body then has to deal with this excess fuel and it does so by converting it into fat.


If you are trying to lose fat then simple carbohydrates should be avoided. That way your body has a chance to access your fat reserves to keep it functioning instead of relying on the fuel provided by the simple carbs.  I’ve put together a series of video’s that describe in more detail how this works you can find them at Four Week Fat Loss.

As part of a weight loss program it’s preferential to get your carbs from vegetables, especially fibrous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and small amounts of fruit.  Carbohydrates in these forms are released a lot slower and are therefore less likely to be converted to fat.

One other key component of a weight loss program is to take a good Omega 3 (Fish Oil) supplement.  It seems counter intuitive to be eating oil if you want to lose fat.  The reason is that Omega 3 is an important part of the cell membrane of fat cells; if you don’t have enough Omega 3 then your fat cells find it hard to open up and release the fat you are trying to get rid of.

I’ve put together a list of some of the Omega 3 supplements that I recommend, and how to read the label to choose a good one, and I’ve also put a more detailed list of other weight loss tips you can access them all at Sports Nutrition Vlog where I am happy to answer your questions.


Matt Lovell – Elite Sports Nutritionist

Matt Lovell - Elite Sports Nutritionist

Matt Lovell is the sports nutritionist for the England Rugby team and works with  UK Athletics team as they prepare for the Olympic Games in London in 2012.

Matt has written a comprehensive guide on Preparing for a Big Event, the popular Fat Loss Program Four Week Fat Loss and Regenerate a Muscle Building Nutrition program.


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