We have all heard it, especially this time of year….
“Just cut out carbs, you’ll lose plenty of weight.”
“Don’t eat carbs, that’s how you gain weight!”
“Carbs are evil!”
I’m going to start this off by saying no one has ever lost weight just because they cut out carbs. Yeah ... you read that right! If your friend said they lost weight just because they cut out carbs, it wasn't just that. They lost weight because they cut out FOOD, which in turn ... cut out calories. It honestly has nothing to do with the carbs themselves, and everything to do with just simply cutting out food/calories from their normal routine.
In fact, you can lose a lot of weight and enjoy many different types of carbohydrates! Carbohydrates are actually the main fuel/energy source for your body, so I am sure you have started a diet by cutting out carbs at some point. You may have started to feel more tired and lethargic, while having a hard time getting up the in morning and even focusing all day. This is because you had taken a major fuel source out of your diet, which takes a while to adapt to. You basically were basically not putting gas in your car, and were more or less running on fumes.
Most data points to carbohydrates actually being almost necessary for healthy body function. As I stated earlier, carbohydrates are our body’s main source of energy. In fact, our brains need glucose (the simplest version of carbohydrates) to function optimally. I think we can all agree that we want a healthy brain … right?
The most recent Dietary Recommendations state that we should try to shoot for obtaining about 45-65% of our caloric needs via carbohydrates…aka they are important!
Now, when it comes to weight gain ... that is exclusively due to overeating. You can over eat ANY food group and gain weight. Carbohydrates usually get a bad rap because sugar is grouped in with carbs. Sugar is not inherently bad, but is generally easy to overeat, because let’s be honest ... it tastes good! So, it is not the carbs that are making you gain, it’s the overconsumption of calories! PERIOD.
Moral of the story … do not be afraid to eat carbs! Your body prefers them, your brain needs them, and you will be far more likely to stick to your diet because you are enjoying the foods you eat!
Remember … the most important aspect of fat loss is your calorie intake, not your carb intake! You can over do any type of food and it can lead to unwanted weight gain! Stay balanced and enjoy life!
If you are struggling with a meal plan, drop into one of our Supplement Superstore locations and speak with our Certified Sports Nutrition Specialists. It would be our pleasure to customize a plan that personally fits your lifestyle and goals!
**This article was written by Andrew Lynn. Andrew is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist and has a Bachelors in Science Nutrition and Dietetics.