Emmet Rushe looks at why carbohydrates so misunderstood and how we can adjust our intake to suit our bodies.
Carbs are public enemy No1!!!!!
It’s common knowledge that if you want to lose weight, you simply cannot eat carbs because they make you fat….right?
If you have been on the internet in the past few weeks and months, you may have noticed that the ‘Ketogenic’ diet is getting another resurgence in popularity.
It is a high fat, moderate protein and very low carb diet.
On different Facebook groups and forums, the usual arguments are taking place as people try and prove that their diet is the best.
Carbs are once again being vilified as the cause of all weight gain and sugar especially is being blamed.
The government’s stance on sugar is probably one of the reasons why the Keto diet is rising in popularity.
After all, extremism sells.
Carbohydrates are probably the most misunderstood of all the macronutrients.
A few years ago, the humble potato was outlawed and only fools ate them.
So which is it to be?
High carb, low carb, no carb; which will give us the best results?
The answer is…all of them.
It depends on what your personal preference is and whether you will be able to sustain the way of eating for a prolonged period of time.
When it comes to weight loss, the simplicity of reducing carbs or eliminating them from the diet is a big selling point.
People know that once they reduce or eliminate carbs from their diet, they will lose weight.
You have reduced or eliminated an entire food group, so overall calories have reduced (this is the part that people don’t realise) and weight loss will occur.
What isn’t simple is actually sticking to it.
You are taking staple foods that you have eaten for years and removing them in order to get success.
These are the usual foods that people will remove when trying to lose weight.
They will initially get weight loss, but this is largely because of fluid loss, muscle glycogen loss and a bit of fat loss.
Once the fluid and muscle glycogen loss slows down you will get your true fat loss.
But, that is the point where people usually get frustrated and give up, because they do not realise that the initial big drop in ‘weight’ at the beginning of the diet is actually from fluid and your weight loss should slow to 1-2lbs per week.
A diet that is based on deprivation is never easy and can lead to binging,
It can lead to a bad relationship with food and when you stop the diet and reintroduce carbs, you will get an increase in ‘weight’ due to muscle glycogen and fluid refilling again.
But again, this is not fat gain.
What we want to achieve when we decide to change our health for the better, is a way that we can do this and be able to enjoy life.
If you can’t do this then what is the point?
I look awesome, but I’m miserable inside??
Not exactly a long term solution.
So the question is……CAN YOU LOSE WEIGHT AND STILL EAT CARBS???
Yes, yes you can.
The link below will allow you to work out your daily calories and how much carbs you can allocate yourself per day for your goals.
What people should be focusing on reducing is the foods that are often seen as ‘carbs’ but are actually treat foods that have loads of carbs, fat and calories in them.
Do you have to remove them altogether?
No, you just can’t have them ALL THE TIME.
You know this already, we are just very good at fooling ourselves to how much of these we actually eat.
These are treats and should be seen as such.
Having one or two things from the list each week won’t mess up your goals.
Having one or two each day will.
Like I said earlier, the amount that you eat is goal dependent.
If you are someone who trains twice per day, 5-6 days per week, going low carb is not the best choice.
You would be at the upper levels of the high carb diet and even higher on days leading up to an event.
They are needed for energy, recovery and for optimal performance.
If you have some weight to lose in order to drop a dress size for a special occasion, then you could do this by going low carb and not over restricting the types that you eat.
Check the link above for how to structure this.
Just allow an appropriate amount of time to do this, (not 1 week)
If you are severely overweight with impending health problems, high blood pressure, and are pre-diabetic, then the lower end of the scale would probably be your best starting point.
As you may be starting to figure out, there is no one size fits all prescription here. We are all different weights, we have different activity levels, and we have different fitness goals.
But I hope this will help you to understand that carbs are not bad.
Inactivity and the over consumption are the real problems.
If you have any question on this article or for getting a tailored program based on your starting point, please contact me through the link below.