Carbs have definitely got a bad name for themselves over the past few years. It’s gone from being Fats you should cut out of your diet to carbs and when you do the research it’s hard to think why. This post will look at 3 reasons why carbs aren’t the enemy and why you should keep them in your diet. Hopefully this will show that “No carbs before Marbs” isn’t entirely accurate.
There’s more calories in fats
If we take a look at how many calories per gram of each macronutrient then carbs are the second lowest:
- Fat – 9 cals per gram
- Protein – 4 cals per gram
- Carbs – 4 cals per gram
Sticking with the formula of calories out > calories in = weight loss then the best way of limiting your calories in is to monitor your fat intake. You definitely shouldn’t cut them out completely (something I will come on to later) but definitely watch how much butter you put on your bread and how much oil you put in the frying pan. If you are trying to lose weight and stick to a certain amount of calories per day then you are going to be able to eat more food if you base your diet around protein and carbs and then limit your fat intake. The more food you are able to eat then the less chance there is of you giving up because you are hungry.
Carbs give you energy
This point is especially prevalent if you are a gym bunny. How are you meant to smash out a decent gym session if you are running on empty?! Think of yourself like a car, and carbs like fuel. You aren’t going to get very far if you don’t have any fuel in the tank. I would definitely recommend a high carb/protein meal 90 mins before your session so you have the energy to keep your intensity at a high level and burn more calories which allows you to eat more calories.
Some of you will tell me that your body can also use fat for energy. Whilst this is true, fats are much harder for the body to break down to use as energy and therefore the potential output will be far less. If you have heard of marathon runners hitting “the wall” that is when their body has run out of carbs to use as energy and is switching to using fats.
There are different types of carbs which have different effects on the body. Lower glycemic carbs will be broken down slower by the body and therefore give more slow release energy whereas higher glycemic carbs will get broken down quicker and give off more quick release energy. Use this to your advantage and pack in the slow release energy pre workout so you don’t crash halfway through your workout! If you want to check out the glycemic index then click here.
A balanced diet is a healthy diet
Each macronutrient has it’s purpose in the day-to-day running of your body, they intertwine together to keep you healthy. Here’s what each one does:
- Protein – Repairs cells
- Fats – Protect vital organs
- Carbs – Provide energy
This is why I wouldn’t advocate a diet which cuts out 1 food group entirely. How is your body meant to run smoothly if you aren’t giving it the right tools to do so. Many will say the Keto diet has been successful for some, however it hs been successful for weight loss because calories out > calories in not because of the lack of carbs. All it means is that the fats in that diet are being used as energy rather than the job which they are supposed to do.
Natural carb sources such as potatoes and beans (not the baked kind) are high in vitamins which also contribute to keeping your body healthy. Unless you are willing to spend the earth on vitamin tablets to ensure you are getting them all then cutting out a food group can lead to deficiencies. Hence “a balanced diet is a healthy diet”.
Make sure you comment on this post if you have any questions and I will get back to you ASAP. For more articles like this then hit the follow button!