August 28, 2020 3 min read

With schools starting up, sports back in action, and gyms re-opened … many of us are now working on getting back into a good fitness routine.

One of the most common questions we’ve been getting in the stores is “What are the best foods for weight loss?”

Before we get started, always remember there is no “best” food for weight loss or “best” diet to follow. It will all come down to what you can sustain and stick to long term.

With that being said, I thought I would continue to cover different foods that you can throw into your plan TODAY to help get back on track. We have covered the importance of protein already .... so today we are going to talk about Carbohydrates.

I already know what you are thinking … how can carbohydrates and weight loss go hand-in-hand? Don’t you need to stop eating carbs to lose weight? The simple answer to that is … No, you do not need to cut out any food groups to lose weight.

You need to burn more calories than you take in to lose weight. PERIOD.

Carbohydrates, when monitored properly, can actually HELP the weight loss process. Before I jump into that, let’s do a little refresher on what carbohydrates actually are.

Simply put, carbs are the body’s main/preferred fuel source. They come from sugars, starches, and fibers found in fruits, grains, veggies and milk products. We often see carbs pulled out of today’s most “trendy” diets, but any expert will say that Carbohydrates are important to a healthy diet.

So how can carbohydrates actually HELP with fat loss? Let’s take a look!

  1. Carbs provide energy – We all know exercise is important for fat loss. We all know that having the energy to exercise helps quite a bit. One of the best ways to fuel your body and get it ready for physical activity is consuming carbohydrates, both before and after the workout! Think of it as putting gas in your tank! The fat burning process within your body also requires energy to work, so carbs help there as well! Think of this as “fuel” for the fat loss process.
  2. Decrease risk of Disease – Fiber (a carbohydrate) is extremely important for a healthy, balanced diet. Fiber promotes proper digestion and bowel health, reduces risk of constipation, as well as helping reduce cholesterol levels. Diets higher in fiber are also associated with a lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
  3. Helping Control Overall Calorie Intake– Starchy, high fiber carbs have a high satiety value (meaning they help keep you fuller for longer). This can allow you to better control your overall, daily caloric intake. Basically, this is helping prevent overeating!
  4. Healthy Carbohydrate Sources are Packed with Nutrients– Your high fiber carbs such as vegetables, fruits, and legumes contain iron, calcium and B Vitamins. You may not know this, but your body NEEDS all of its required nutrients to function efficiently, especially when it comes to fat loss. When losing weight, naturally you are eating less, making nutrient rich food (like healthy carbohydrates) even MORE important. This is simply because you are intaking less, making what you do eat THAT much more important.

As you can see, Carbs provide many different benefits when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle and losing weight. Just stick to the examples we've provided above ... whole grains, vegetables, fruits, etc.

Now, there is a time and place where you may need to lower your carb intake, which we understand.

What you need to be aware of is that long-term, low carbohydrate dieting typically has more negative effects than positive. Our bodies need healthy carbs to function! Do not feel as if you need to remove carbohydrates to lose weight and be healthier. In fact, it is quite the opposite!

If you need or want more help figuring out what foods YOU should be consuming, simply reach out to any of our Sports Nutrition Specialists. It would be our pleasure to help get you on the right track!

*This post was written by Andrew Lynn, who has a Bachelor's in Science Nutrition and Dietetics. He is also a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist.