Carbs Are Your Friend!

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So you’re considering cutting out carbs? I know what you are thinking.

“If I could just cut out carbs… 

…I will have so much more energy

…I will lost so much weight

…I will never bloat

…I will finally achieve my dream body.”  

WRONG!

I am a firm believer in not completely removing anything from your diet (except in cases of allergies or medical conditions, of course!). That is a one-way ticket to falling off the wagon. Hard.

It drives me crazy to hear people talk about how you have to cut out carbs to get results! The truth is: you do NOT have to give up carbs to get the body you want! In fact, they can actually HELP you achieve your goals. Hear me out…

Your body needs carbs. In fact, the Harvard Health Journal warns that by avoiding carbohydrates, “You deprive your body of a main source of fuel - and many essential nutrients that you need to stay healthy.” 

“[Without carbohydrates] you deprive your body of a main 

  source of fuel - and many essential 

  nutrients that you need to stay healthy.” (1) 

You read that right. Without carbs, you are depriving your body of energy and nutrients! Your body turns to fat and protein for energy and these are not good long-term options! What is a good long-term option? Knowing what carbs to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat them. So here we go:

WHAT CARBS TO EAT

You want to put your focus on complex carbs: they have plenty of nutrients and fiber and they are slowly digested, so you are able to burn them off throughout your day. 

A few good options to consider include:

  • sweet potato

  • brown rice

  • oats

  • quinoa

  • whole grains

Limit your intake of simple carbs: these do not contain much fiber or nutrition; they are absorbed very quickly into your body; and can spike your glucose levels—yikes! Ever had your energy just crash and burn midday? That is what happens after those glucose levels spike and then drop. 

Try to limit:

  1. white bread

  2. chips

  3. cookies

  4. white rice

  5. cereals

WHEN TO EAT CARBS

We have already established that carbs are FUEL for the body, so what better time to eat them then around a work out? This would actually be the time to “indulge” in your simple carbs, keeping portion control in mind. 

So, less than 30 minutes before your gym sesh, grab a PB&J or whip up some protein pancakes. This will give you energy for your workout and be burned off quickly!

Complex carbs are great to balance out any of your other meals. I eat most of my carbs during the first half of my day and around my workouts. As you near the evening, stick to protein and veggies.

BUT HOW MUCH?

Keep your carbs in check! Julia Renee Sumpano, RD, LD, of the Cleveland Clinic recommends limiting your carbohydrate intake to 40 to 45 percent of your total daily calories.” 

That seems like a LOT right?! Remember to keep your portions in moderation and spread them out over a few meals and snacks. 

Start by fueling your workout with carbs before and after. This is when you will be burning up that energy the most (so simple carbs work here! Yay!)  Consume the bulk of your remaining carbs for breakfast or lunch, and stick to complex carbs. Not only do these break down slowly, but they offer you the nutrients and fiber that you need! 

FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. I understand that the #carblife might not even be for you, everyone is different! But don’t be afraid of them; they are not the main reason why your body is sluggish, or bloated, or not gaining muscle.

And remember: Carbs are your friend!

1) https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/carbohydrates--good-or-bad-for-you

2) https://health.clevelandclinic.org/good-carb-bad-carb-dont-buy-into-4-myths/