Complex and Simple Carbs, Simplified

By: Melanie Nelson

Carbohydrates; simply put they are a large group of organic compounds occurring in foods. They include sugars, starch, and cellulose. They can be broken down through digestion to release energy in the body.
We need them, and they have been given a bad rap, so let’s break down complex and simple carbs, TLS-style!

There are Two Types: Complex and Simple Carbs.

Simple carbs break down in the body faster, therefore raising their Glycemic Impact on your blood.
This means that it produces a spike in blood glucose while providing the body with a short-lasting source of energy.
This type of carb is the simple sugars found in:
  • Candy
  • Breads
  • Pastas
  • Pastries
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Most flour products
  • Alcohol
  • Sodas
  • Fruit juices
  • and other sugar-filled drinks.
Some fruits are also going to fall into this category, but that’s not to say that fruit is a bad thing! It’s simply why we suggest pairing your fruit with protein during snacks or meals. Try adding fruit as a side to eggs or snacking on it alongside nuts or nut butters to help lower the glycemic impact of the fruit’s simple carbs.
It is also why we have the saying; “Protein and fiber at every meal, make losing weight no big deal”
Complex carbs take longer to break down in the body, making them low-glycemic. That’s what we’re all about! These include:
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes,
  • Nuts
  • & Whole grains (like brown rice, barley, buckwheat, bulgur wheat, oats, wild rice, spelt and quinoa).

Many of these whole grains are on our approved list of foods, but it does depend on which TLS program you’re following. Be sure to check! When it comes to vegetables, variety is the spice of life! Have fun, try something new each week, and definitely check out our awesome recipes!


Here’s an example of simple and complex carbs at work.

When we skip meals, our blood sugar drops and there comes a point when you feel it. You NEED food, and now!
Even if you choose a healthy fiber-filled salad, (complex carbs), you STILL feel hungry after. Why? Your body needs something to bring your blood sugar back up! It’s why we go for the simple carb; the desert, muffin, or hidden treasures in your purse.
This cycle is inevitable. You cannot lose weight effectively when you skip meals and become a slave to the simple carb cravings. This is why you will hear us preach; “don’t skip meals, eat every few hours”. 

Break the Cycle.

The TLS® Weight Loss Solution teaches you not only the difference between complex and simple carbs but also teaches you to select foods that keep your blood sugar level all day. Although you may want a treat once and a while, you’ll find that you don’t actually need one and there is a BIG difference in that feeling.
Break the cycle, live the TLS® lifestyle, and take back your control over food!