Cutting down on carbs can leave you leaner, energized, and feeling better than ever.

Updated October 05, 2017

Your body needs carbs for energy, and cutting them out isn’t going to solve every diet issue you might have. But many of us eat too many sugary, processed foods, and those empty carbs give us highs and crashes without much sustained energy, so it stands that cutting down on them will make you healthier.

Here’s what you can expect to happen to your body when you cut out carbs.

You’ll burn more fat

Lowering your carb consumption naturally cuts out calories, and this forces your body to burn stored fat for energy instead of getting it from carbs. Working out in the morning can be a particularly good way to utilize this to your advantage–when you work out on an empty stomach, your body burns fat instead of carbs from the food you’ve already eaten that day.

You’ll feel less hungry

Simple, refined carbs don’t provide much in terms of fiber, protein, or healthy fats, and those are the nutrients your body needs and craves. So when you fill it with things like cookies and white bread, they don’t really fill you up, and you need to eat more to satiate your body. By cutting them out, you’ll actually eat less and feel more full.

Your belly will get flatter

When you eat sugary foods, the bad bacteria in your gut’s microbiome have plenty to feast on, and this can cause bloating. By nixing refined carbs and bumping up fiber, you’ll maintain the delicate balance with good gut bacteria and your digestion will improve. No more bloating!

You’ll slash your risk of diabetes

Refined carbs cause your pancreas to produce insulin. If you consume them in high amounts, the pancreas produces more and more insulin, which may eventually lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Your muscles get stronger

Simple carbs lack protein, the essential building block for muscle. By eating other foods that are higher in protein than refined carbs, you’ll get the nutrients your muscles need without the empty calories.

You’ll feel more energized

Refined carbs do give you energy, but it comes on quickly and leaves just as fast–that’s a sugar crash. Carbs leave you searching for more quick energy. By eating more fiber and whole-grain, low-glycemic carbs instead, you’ll get sustained energy and avoid those crashes.