Carbohydrates are one of those things in the nutrition, dieting world that have been put down and as a means of shame over the last decade. With the popularity of low carb diets and keto, there are certain people and influencers who look to demonize a whole macronutrient group to sell their diet or cookbook.
So are Carbs making you fat? No they are not. Let’s first define a carb. Simply put, Carbohydrates are sugar molecules. Along with proteins and fats, carbohydrates are one of three main nutrients found in foods and drinks. Your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose. Glucose, or blood sugar, is the main source of energy for your body’s cells, tissues, and organs.
You see we need carbs for optimal energy, recovery and performance. Unless there’s an underlying health issue, getting enough carbs for your output will keep you moving strong, recovering well and performing your best in the gym and also at work.
What’s making you fat is eating more calories than your burning in a 24 hour period, whether that food comes from carbs or not doesn’t matter.
The harder you workout and the more you move the more carbohydrates your body needs to fuel all that energy output.
Sources of carbohydrates that I love and live on- Fruit, Veggies, Potato, Sweet Potato, rice, Sourdough bread, oats, Honey, Maple syrup, pasta. I eat these ALL on a weekly basis.
What are NOT CARBS- baked goods of any kind, pies, cakes, etc. yes they have carbs in them but they also have more fat then carbs typically and are calories bombs with very little nutrtional value.
Whole food sources of pure carbs are your bodies first and easiest source of energy for workouts and for your brain to think and do work. When you cut them out you lose a whole macro and a lot micronutrients in the process. You get less out of your workouts, less out of your work and you recover slower. Your CNS (central nervous system) recovers better after heavy lifting with appropriate amount of carbs.
So how much should you eat? As a base rule take your bodyweight and times it by 1.5 and you’ll get a good baseline of how many grams you need on a daily basis. From there it depends how much you move and train on a daily basis.
Eat your carbs, enjoy them, reap the benefits they bring and never ever feel guilty for doing it.