"Carbs are NOT bad for you" (Blog #53)

For as long as I've been in the training industry, I've always heard nutritionist, doctors and trainers telling us that carbs are bad for us. The first question i'd ask them is what do you mean by carbs? Carbohydrates are found in foods like fruits, vegetables, bread, rice, pasta, etc. Carbs from food get broken down into sugar in your body and then used for energy. Carbs are your bodies main fuel to perform your daily tasks (walking, sleeping, breathing, jogging, etc). Every carb you ingest has 4 calories in it, so if you eat 20 grams of carbs, you would have consumed 80 calories.

Now here's the kicker, all carbs are not created equal! Carbs from vegetables and fruits are natural and are not processed. Plus, these types of carbs are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals which slows down digestion slightly and stops those dreaded insulin/sugar spikes, that overtime can lead to diabetes. Carbs, in moderation are not only good for you, but they are essential for survival. Your brain needs a constant supply of sugar or you will die...

So am I telling people to go eat 6 slices of Pizza? (which sometimes can be ok) NO! The "doughy" carbs (pizza/bagels/breads/crackers/rice/pasta/etc) are the carbs that can be detrimental if you eat too many of them. These types of carbs make you feel "bloated," because these carbs bind to water in your body - It’s all about the glycogen stores (glycogen is stored glucose/sugar) — as it turns out, each gram of glycogen is bound to 3-4 hefty grams of water. So, as your body burns its way through the reduced dietary carbs and into the glycogen stores, the water attached to the glycogen flushes away as well — resulting in the phenomenon commonly known as “water weight.”

The bottom line is, that if you're carrying a substantial amount of body fat and are bloated most days of the week, you're eating too many doughy or sugary carbs. Start eating the "good carbs" that we discussed earlier. Limit yourself to having 1 to 2 cups of your carbs with a larger protein (meat) and vegetable side during your meals. Most people are shocked when I show them what 1 cup of rice or pasta actually looks like. Grab a small Tea cup and fill it with cooked rice and there you go, its a lot less than you think, but its enough!

The more fat you want to lose the more you should limit the doughy/sugary intake like sandwiches, hoagies, sodas and snacks. Build your meals around your protein; (ground meat/fish/chicken/steak/eggs/etc). This will put you on a path to looking, feeling and performing great! Every-time you sit down to eat, you must ensure that your plate is colorful - This is such a simple rule to follow. If your plate looks like this picture below (tan/brown/no color), you are about to take a ride on the bloat balloon...

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