Carbs… I love em!

I have always enjoyed “carbs” but since being pregnant I adore them…

Fresh tiger loaf bread still warm from the oven, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, Hot Chips and any other form of potatos, pasta & rice…I just can’t seem to get enough.

So I thought I would take this opportunity to write about my biggest biff with the “weight-loss” industry (well one of them anyway):

THE PROMOTION OF LOW (or worse, NO) CARB DIETS!

People are scared of “Carbs” and avoid them like the plague. I don’t think “carbs” deserve the bad rap at all and here’s why…

Carbs are gold! But I am a runner and runners are bias – they are our life blood. The reason we embrace them is they are the most useful and easily converted energy source for our body. But runner or not we all need energy every day so it is no wonder that “carbs” are recommended to make up over 50% of our diets each day.

When you mention “carbs” people tend to think of things like I mentioned earlier, potatoes, bread, rice and pasta. And yes while these are excellent sources of carbohydrates these only make up a small portion of the carbohydrate family. These “carbs” are still good and an important part of EVERY diet but people avoid them like the very mention of them is going to add inches to their thighs. The truth is these particular carbs are energy dense and you get a lot of energy per serving as opposed to other carbs and protein. But rather than cut out important foods in achieving a healthy balanced diet we just need to adjust our serving size for how energy rich they are.

So yes some carbs if eaten in excess will make it easier to gain weight based purely on the fact that more energy in than out = weight gain – NOT carbs in = weight gain.

Also another reason not to be a carb hater is not all carbs are high in energy. Did you know all fruit & vegetables are primarily carbs? In fact if its not protein and its not fat it must be carbs! Obviously foods can and do have all three (fat, carbs & protein) but if something mainly consists of carbs or protein we tend to classify it as that.

so to recap so far:

1. Carbs aren’t the devil….our serving sizes are
2. Carbs should make up over half your daily diet
3. Carbs are the most important energy source for ENERGY
4. Carbs is a term that is misused to describe only a small portion of what carbs are. So don’t just jump on the anti-carb banwagon.

Balance is always the key. So just be aware of the energy dense carbs and realise that you may not need as much of them to feel satisfied and be refeulled as you thought you did. But please, do not deprive yourself. At the end of the day a potato is a vegetable and if you want to have a potatoe every day then you are eating a vegetable every day! However remember that one potatoe has more energy than a bowl of broccoli so adjust your portion size accordingly.

my final thoughts…

LOW or NO carb diets will NOT achieve a long-term, healthy maintainable weight -loss. Diets that do not follow the healthy eating guidelines i.e 50-55% carbs will not be sustainable and are not the answer to weight loss.

Anything and everything in moderation and remember there is only one simple answer for weight loss. Burn more than you eat!

So in conclusion if you would like to lose some Kgs move more and eat less don’t remove a VITAL food group.

As for carb-loading (after all, this is a running blog) I will save that for another post because “effective” carb loading is a skill and worthy of much detailed discussion.