This is something we are asked very regularly when new clients start up at Strength Lab. New clients usually see a big bump in carbs as they get started with us. This is usually met with a fair bit of skepticism and doubt initially.

So do carbs make you fat?

To find this out we need to understand how carbs are converted into fat deposits. There are 2 ways carbs can be stored as fat. (1) By directly turning into fat (this is known as De novo lipogenesis) or (2) via Insulin.

Carbohydrates make the body secrete insulin which hinders fat loss briefly. The second way is not a direct conversion but more an inhibitor of fat loss.

Ok lets take a closer look at each:

1. De novo lipogenesis (DNL) - Carbs directly turning into fat is actually quite an inefficient process in the body. Studies have shown that carbs cannot be stored as fat in very large amounts. in fact they are very rarely converted directly into fat unless there is not enough dietary fat coming in through your diet or you are eating like a complete whale 🐳. I’m talking chronic overfeeding for a prolonged period of time. 

2. Insulin - Like i mentioned above spiking insulin inhibits fat loss. People hear this and assume insulin is bad. Its not in normal amounts. Yes you will have a spike after a carb meal but soon after you will be back to burning body fat IF YOU ARE IN A CALORIE DEFICIT. This is what dictates fat loss. 

So if your gym bro is telling you carbs will make you fat or will stop you from getting lean they are wrong

Focus on creating a calorie deficit, optimal macro ratios for YOU and stop worrying about carb BS .

Strength Lab - Personal Training, Body Transformation Coaching and Competition Preparation

Personal Training Camberwell, Melbourne


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