Carbohydrates. Are they really that bad for you?
“Obsessing about carbs. We all have and do at some point. Me included, however we all need to stop worrying about carbohydrate intake and be more concerned with overall calorie consumption.”
Quick question to kick things off: Which diet will make you lose more weight: A or B?
Option A Protein: 200g Carbs: 50g Fat: 111g Or Option B Protein: 150g Carbs: 250g Fat: 44g
Well it’s a trick question… as both diets above are exactly 2000 calories each. My point is that a lot of people will immediately look at the carbs first and assume that by eating 50g of carbs you will lose more weight as opposed to eating 250g carbs. When really the FIRST thing you should consider is overall calories consumed! People need to stop obsessing about carbs and be more concerned about overall calorie consumption.
If 2000 calories is a calorie deficit for you, then you will lose weight from BOTH of the diets above. The most important factor that underpins a successful diet is being in a calorie deficit. You can lose weight eating 100, 200, 300g of carbs etc., as long as you’re in a calorie deficit. I have come across so many people in my career who I have sent a nutrition plan to and they have looked at it and gone “Oh my God I can’t eat that it’s 200g of carbs” Or “I can’t eat 80g of Oats for breakfast it’s too many carbs, I’ll never lose weight!?”
My immediate response is “Yes but more importantly its 2200 kcals putting you in a calorie deficit for the day!” You can lose weight and still eat carbs!
Carbs are demonised so much it’s scary. “No Carbs before Marbs!”. Everyone automatically assumes to diet they have to be completely removed and that’s not the case. Keeping as many carbs in your diet as possible will be of huge benefit to you with regards to performance in the gym. When you eat carbs, your body converts that into what we called glycogen (stored carbohydrates) and it’s that glycogen which pretty much acts as the petrol in your car to fuel the session. If you diet on low carbs all the time you’re entering each workout with an empty petrol tank which is tough. You feel like you have nothing in you, or you get to around 10 reps out and then try and push and it just feels like there is nothing left in you. That’s simply because you’re depleted of glycogen, or going back to the car analogy “you’re running on fumes”.
When you consume carbohydrates, your body releases “serotonin” which is an important chemical neurotransmitter in the body. This acts as a chemical messenger straight to the brain and it makes you feel good! Low serotonin levels (in severe cases) have been linked to depression. It is literally your body’s happy hormone and helps regulate your mood balance, which explains why it feels so good to tuck into bread, pasta and porridge!
Anyway, my point is carbs make you feel good and I don’t know many people that don’t enjoy eating them, which is another reason not to cut them all out of your diet! Going back to my two example diets at the start of the article. Which diet plan above, A or B is best for you? Well if you like eating carbs, Option B. But if you like red meat, cheese, avocado, eggs, nuts, salmon (all good sources of healthy fats) probably Option A might be a better option for you. Remember the most successful diet is the one you enjoy the most, because that way you will stick at it for longer! It is always a case of finding simple, sustainability.
Also in my experience, the simpler the diet to follow the better too, for exactly the same reason. Overcomplicating nutrition just for the sake of it is very common when dieting and it really doesn’t need to be done. Energy balance can be altered through diet. I am currently going through a very tough transition into a ketogenic diet however due to my love for carbohydrates and increased metabolic rate of late I have to phase the healthier fats into my body whilst dropping carbohydrate intake in order to change my fat burning fuel source.
Get the basics right, this applies to when you’re dieting or bulking and looking to build muscle.
I hope you found this short article useful and it has got you thinking about the important of overall calorie consumption before carb intake.
Please drop me an e-mail and let me know if you found this article interesting or if you learned anything reading it, I love hearing feedback from you guys! Also, if there are any topics specifically you would like me to write about in 2018, hit me up!
Thanks a lot,