Last week on Instagram, I ran a poll in my story...you should start checking those out and participating =>mr_bootcampany way...
I asked if you thought that there were good carbs and bad carbs...
Most people said YES...
So I said, let's see if I can help...and explain.
People have a lot of opinions and feelings about carbs...notice how I didn't use the word facts...
feelings and opinions..
"Carbs are bad or carbs make you gain weight...you have to cut them!!"
Whether it be restricting them to lose weight, for example Atkins or The Ketogenic Diet.
Or calling them toxic and harmful, the cause for obesity, harming our health, say hello to Dr. Lustig.
People now have a skewed perception about carbohydrates, they see them as something that should be avoided if they want to remain healthy.
The simple fact is no one needs to completely avoid carbohydrates, doing so is not required for health or fat loss. Anyone who restricts themselves needlessly of any food is missing out big time, and well who doesn’t love pizza?
LET'S START WITH SOME TRUTH
What are Carbohydrates?
First off I think it is important to give a bit of background to what carbohydrates actually are.
Carbs are a collection of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules, which is where the shorthand CHO comes from. Sugars, starches, and fibres are all carbohydrates. These can be put into three general groupings; 1. monosaccharides 2. oligosaccharides 3. polysaccharides, you can think of these as the teams and then within each there are a bunch of different players for example glucose and fructose are monosaccharides whereas lactose and sucrose are oligosaccharides and then finally starches and fiber are polysaccharides.
Many people seem a bit confused on what foods contain a significant number of carbs.
Potato, Rice, Pasta
The above all contain mainly carbohydrates, you’re not on a no carb diet if you’re eating fruit, sorry.
All carbohydrates are broken down and eventually released into the blood stream as glucose. That is worth repeating,all carbs are eventually broken down into glucose, ALL of them.The process of digestion begins in our mouths, then our small intestine, to our liver, then into the bloodstream to be used as fuel or stored in our liver or muscle as glycogen or if there is excess it’ll be turned into body fat.
So we either use the energy then and there or store it for later use.Whether or not the fact it is stored as body fat matters depends on our overall energy balance, because you might be in a positive energy balance at breakfast, but if by the end of the day you have taken in less energy or equal energy to what you’ve burnt you won’t have stored extra fat, it will have been used as fuel.
So let's get to some of the things you may have heard, that may have made you develop the feeling and opinions you have...
But…Sugar is Toxic?
Ah yes, I forgot that many have suggested sugar is toxic and well we now know sugar is sucrose and that is a carbohydrate. So is sugar toxic? The short answer is; it depends on the dose.
Sugar can be toxic, but so too can water, oxygen, and pretty much anything if consumed in excess. The devil is in the dose; sugar is not inherently toxic.
But…Sugar is Addictive?
Sugar has not been shown to have the ability to cause an addiction like drugs can, and so do not compare it to them. Eating palatable food does trigger the same areas that are lit up in response to other addictive substances that make us feel good, but that is an emotional attachment, not the same as how a drug works. What therefore needs to happen is a behavioural change; acknowledge the fact sugar tastes good and you like it and that you therefore need to be mindful of how much you’re eating.
But…I lost loads of Weight Dropping Carbs?
Key here is weight. You see carbohydrates when stored as glycogen require 3g of water per 1g of glycogen. Thus if you cut out carbs, you will slowly deplete your stored glycogen, and with that drop a load of water weight. Therefore, it isn’t a huge drop in fat you’re seeing, it is an initial large drop of stored water weight. Once this has been cleared you will start seeing more usual drops in weight (assuming you are in a caloric deficit) as you would with carbs in your fat loss diet.
But…Carbs at Night make you Fat?
Hopefully this one has already been cleared up, but if it has not.... You can eat all the carbs you like at night and stay lean, only when they contribute to a long term caloric surplus above that needed for lean muscle tissue will it make you fatter. You can cut them out after a certain time if you find it helps you keep to your nutritional goals, but there is no need to.
To quote Alan Aragon: ”There are no night-time insulin fairies ready & waiting to store carbs in the fat tissue”
THE BEST DIET IN THE WORLD HAS 3 PARTS..
PART 1...IT HAS TO SUPPORT YOUR GOALS
PART 2...YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW IT
If it does not have those 2 parts...it's just not going to work.
You will not lose weight following keto, atkins, low carb, high carb, zone, vegan, paleo, carnivore etc. etc....or any of them because you know some one that did it and they lost weight. That does not mean you will do what they did.
Your friend that was trying to lose weight, reduced their calorie intake and increased their activity level for enough time to create a result.
That result only belongs to them if they can keep it, and there is where we find part 3....THE BEST DIET IN THE WORLD HAS TO BE SUSTAINABLE....
and in order to be sustainable it has to have the same ability to be flexible as your life, you should build your diet around your life, not you life around your diet ;-)
Those are the things that I help with in our Nutrition Coaching program....
I create real world options, not short term solutions....6 months from now the person, your friend, your cousin, your aunt, or who ever you saw lose a few pounds from doing something that was not sustainable, will gain the weight they lost back and probably some more.
And that just isn't real weight loss....
So carbs are not bad, I hope you have a better understanding now...
and if you would like to set up time to talk about some of your fitness goals and how we can help you reach them, let me know...if you have questions send them my way