I know you’ve heard more times than I can imagine – Carbs are evil, carbs make you fat, or something similar.
Carbs, fat, and protein are important macro nutrients that should make up a sound nutrition plan. All three of the macros have been villainized in one form or another.
- Carbs make you fat – grains are the devil.
- Fat makes you fat, it clogs your arteries.
- Protein- eat too much and it turns into fat. Meat wasn’t meant for us to eat. Yada yada yada. When people spew this nonsense, my eyes glaze over and all I hear is the music from the twilight zone, lol!
Yes, carbs, fats, and protein all have the potential to make you fat. Why? Because excess calories cause weight/fat gain. Carbs alone are not the culprit per se. If you eat too much of anything, fat gain will happen. So, let’s get that straight.
Another factor, you may be relying solely on processed carbs or simple carbs for your food choices. Again, the cause of the weight gain comes from excess. When you only eat simple or processed carbs alone, they digest faster, leaving you looking for more to eat. Ever notice when you just grab some chips from the vending machine, an hour or less later you’re hungry again? Your body processed those Lays chips quickly and is ready for more.
Processed carbs lack nutrients and fiber, and digest faster than complex carbs, which digest slower due to having more fiber. You’re more likely to want more to eat after that bag of chips because there’s no fiber or sustenance. Chips are light and easy to eat, it’s almost like the stomach doesn’t even register you are eating them. Before you know it, you downed the whole bag and you’re still hungry.
I used chips for example, but really any carb source by itself can digest quicker when it’s not paired with a protein or veggie item.
So, how do you include carbs into your nutrition? First, sometimes, you will enjoy a carb source such as chips, cakes, or donuts, because of life, events, holidays, etc… Food is meant to be enjoyed as well as for nourishment.
On a regular basis, here are 4 ways to include carbs in your life:
1. Fit carbs to your activity level. If you lift the things or if you are a runner, you need carbs! They are your number one fuel source. Try running 10 miles on just protein and green veggies and let me know how you feel. As for lifting weights, good luck not eating carbs and trying to do deadlifts. It just won’t work, you’ll feel weak and won’t be able to reach your full potential. Definitely won’t make any strength progress. So eat your carbs!
2. Always always pair your carbs with a protein and veggie source. These two macros will help slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and they will help you feel fuller longer.
3. Eat more complex carbs than simple carbs and refer to number two. Complex carbs will have more sustenance than simple carbs.
4. Place carbs around your workout to support your training and restore muscle glycogen post workout.
The above list should hush the noise around the “carbs are evil” craze. Eat carbs moderately, follow the tips above and you will be fine. No need to worry about gaining weight if you aren’t eating them excessively.
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