Let’s get one thing straight!
The only thing, YES the only thing, that will make you put on weight/fat (outside of genetic and metabolic issues), so for 99.9% of the population….
IS EATING TOO MUCH!!! Putting yourself in what is called a calorie surplus, consuming more energy than you’re consuming!
Carbohydrates DON’T make you fat, neither do fats, there is not one specific food group or type of food that makes you fat! Period.
Eating too much of anything will make you fat, you could get just as fat eating vegetables all day as you could from eating mars bars all day!
Why you ask?
Because, first and foremost weight/fat loss all comes down to energy balance. Energy in vs energy out.
Hence why you need to be active and moving/training every day, and on a portion/calorie controlled nutrition plan if you’re going to put yourself in the best position to burn fat. Doing these two things will ensure you have a negative energy balance and put you in what’s called a calorie deficit (consuming less calories than you’re burning – a situation where your body will burn fat!)
So, why do people think you get fat from eating carbohydrates?
There are numerous reasons, below are the main ones.
The myth busters are back!!!
- Carbohydrates are the bodies preferred energy source, therefore because they provide us with energy people think that if they don’t put any energy in their body IE eat no carbs , then it will burn off all the fat instead, however this is not exactly true, and there’s much more to it!
- This ones simple, carbohydrates are often easy to over-consume (everyone loves a carb-coma!), and people often over-consume them, put on weight, and therefore blame carbohydrates, however it could have been anything they were over-consuming!
- They believe the bullsh*t they read in magazines and on the TV which promote very low carbohydrates diets.
Now moving forward, let’s looks at what a carbohydrate is.
There are two types simple & complex.
Simple carbs are ‘as they say on the tin’, simple to utilise by the body and provide a quick release of energy. They are foods such as fruit, chocolate, sweets, muffins, all confectionary, breakfast cereals & bars, and anything else ladened with sugar or sugar like chemicals!
These carbohydrates are on the whole not as good for us as complex carbohydrates when fat loss is considered, as the quick release of energy spikes our blood sugar levels which puts the body in a ‘fat storing mode’ IF WE ARE IN A CALORIE SUPLUS!!!
Complex carbohydrates sometimes called starches provide a slower releasing supply of energy and are foods such as oats, potato/sweet potato, rice, quinoa, lentils, butternut squash, chickpeas, pasta, bread. Bread & pasta particularly I don’t prefer like to include here as they are processed and therefore have more ‘simple’ like properties. In relation to fat loss you are better to stick with the others mentioned.
On the whole ALL or certainly MOST of the carbohydrates you consume on a regular basis should be complex and not simple, as this fuels the body appropriately for exercise, and everyday activity both physically and mentally. Simple carbohydrates provide the body with short and often useless bursts of energy and result in messed up signals being relayed by the body on a hormonal level.
So, what’s the benefits of carbohydrates:
Below are 6 Reasons you should eat CARBS…..
1. To fuel maximal exercises performance. Without carbs you can’t perform HARD exercise optimally – so HIIT sessions, weight training, running, cycling and sport performance performance will all be sub standard without sufficient carbohydrate in the diet
2. It supports your metabolism by keeping your Thyroid in check. A low carb diet, over a period of time, will down regulate Thyroid function leaving you at risk of lowering your metabolic rate, terrible news for fat loss
3. Carbs can be highly nutritious, both from fruit and vegetable sources, and starches also. But remember when it comes down to your starch choice, oats, sweet potatoes, starchy vegetables etc are elite in comparison to bread and pasta nutritionally
*You should always want to optimise the calories you eat to be as nutritious as possible, where possible.
4. Carbs are essential in recovery. Exercise is glycogen depleting, so having carbs after exercise, or in your daily diet is essential to replace what is lost via training, assess what type of training you do and re-fuel appropriately, which ties into point 1.
5. Carb restricting for long periods of time can make you have poor concentration, be lazy, and lethargic. Long term depletion of any macro or micro nutrient will have down regulatory effects on your energy, central nervous system, and overall well-being / physical function.
6. They taste good.
Don’t be afraid of carbs.
Carbs won’t make you fat, EATING TOO MUCH WILL!!!
Your carb content should always be focused on fruit, vegetables and starches as calorie for calorie they are the most nutritious.
1 – carbohydrates do not make you fat
2 – overconsumptionof any food can make you gain weight/fat
3 – simple carbohydratesshould be kept to a minimal (fruit being the most nutritious/consumed from this group)
4 – eat an appropriate amount of vegetable and complex/starchy carbs (2-4 portions a day depending on your training/lifestyle)
5 – carbs have many benefits, 6 of the most important explained above!