When trying to lose weight many people think of a low carb or keto diet as a fail-safe weight loss solution. This is a misconception, and while some people experience initial weight loss from a no or low carb diet, most can’t maintain it. The weight seems to somehow always come back.
Carbs are necessary for brain function. Our brains can only process glucose – a simple sugar which is an important energy source and a component of many carbohydrates. Eating the right carbs can help you eat less, burn more calories, feel more energised and less stressed, and lower choleseterol.
You can lose weight and eat carbs! Learn to love carbs; you just need to get to know them!
WHAT ARE CARBS?
To put it simply, it is a food with a combination of starch, sugars and fibre.
Commonly known carbs are those such as bread, grains, pasta, starchy vegetables and snack foods. Other foods such as nuts and legumes, milk and yogurts, fruits, vegetables and sauces/condiments are also considered carbs.
EAT THE RIGHT CARBS
Refined and complex carbs are very different, and it’s important to distinguish between the two. Complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly and supply a lower more steady release of glucose into the blood stream.
The healthiest sources of carbohydrates—complex carbs which are unprocessed or minimally processed whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans—promote good health by delivering vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a host of important phytonutrients.
Unhealthier sources of carbohydrates include white bread, pastries, sodas, and other highly processed or refined foods. These items contain easily digested carbohydrates that may contribute to weight gain, interfere with weight loss, and promote diabetes and heart disease.
ENERGY AND FIBRE MATTER
Carbs also contain fibre which our bodies can digest. Fibre gets to the bacteria in the intestine where the enzymes digest it can turn it into beneficial compounds. In other words, fibre is essential for a healthy gut, which has been linked to maintaining a healthy weight.
Some studies have even shown that fibre, especially soluble fibre (like those found in oats), can lead to weight loss and improved cholesterol. You should try to get a mix of vegetables and wholegrains into your diet for fibre, and drink plenty of water.
LOW CARB ISN’T SUSTAINABLE
Although some people experience initial weight loss from a no-carb diet, most can’t maintain it. Fad diets don’t work and are not sustainable long term. It is important to eat a well balanced diet that you can sustain, one that gives you energy. For weight loss, look to burn off more calories than you consume.
CARBS MAKE YOU HAPPY – LITERALLY
This is because carbs play an important role in creating serotonin, your happy hormone. Your brain is literally fuelled by carbs – low carb diets can lead to mood swings and the struggle to concentrate.
HOW MANY CARBS TO EAT FOR WEIGHT LOSS
As always with weight loss, a moderate and sustainable caloric deficit is key. Knowing your daily calorie intake is crucial for long lasting weight loss. An easy to use method for carb intake is portion control. Measure 1 handful of complex carbs for every meal. This can help keep you consistent and on track.
TIPS to eat carbs for weight loss:
- Caculate your desired calories and macros using a nutrition calculator
- Track your food intake in a Fitness app
- Pay attention to macro % and be as precise as you can
- Don’t be afraid of carbs! Use portion control guidelines to stay on track
- Choose whole food and complex carbs over simple carbs and refined snacks
The truth is, you won’t store fat unless you’re in a calorie surplus. Individual meals are actually rather insignificant and having a bagel when craving it won’t undo all your hard work. It takes weekly, monthly and yearly consistencies to make changes to your body.
Carbs are not the enemy! You’re more likely to enjoy your fitness journey if you don’t restrict yourself – restriction leads to hunger, possible binging, and overall unhappiness!
P.S If you’re tired of giving up all of your favourite foods every time you try to lose weight, click here to schedule a chat, I’ll help you crush your goals while eating carbs every day!