Personally I prefer to use a bread knife or pizza cutter for cutting carbs, but that probably isn’t the answer you are looking for. I want to give you a bit of information around reducing your carbohydrate intake to help with losing weight.
When I train clients, either in the gym or online, carbs often becomes a talking point and something certain people struggle with. Cutting out carbs from your diet is regularly used as a method to shedding a few pounds before a holiday, wedding or summer shredz. I am going to give you my opinion on carbs and give you the pros an cons to let you make an informed decision.
Lets’ start with the positive as I am a glass half full kinda guy.
They are delicious
This is the biggest reason for me and the sole reason I still include carbs into my diet, even when trying to shed a couple/lots of pounds. All of the tasty foods I can think of all contain a high amount of carbs. Biscuits, pizza, beer and even chocolate. Whilst these choices may not be the wisest (for those that are dieting), they can be included as long as we are maintaining your calorie target.
We are permanently surrounded by tasty foods and to say you are going to remove them forever is highly unlikely. Willpower only lasts for a limited time and most people revert back to the same foods and food groups once a diet finishes. You don’t need a new diet, you need to learn to control the one you already have.
Note: My diet is not made up of biscuits, pizza and beer, but this is just an example. I do include these types of foods but carefully controlled as I have a secret fat man living inside of me.
We need it for energy
Carbs are broken down by the body into glucose and is either used for energy or stored in the muscles or liver as glycogen. If we consume an excess of calories, this will be then stored as body fat for energy when need later (this same principle applies for protein and fats consumed in excess of requirements). When we play sports, lift weights or carry out almost any form of exercise, we will need carbs to support this. Whilst our bodies can get around this by producing ketones in the absence of carbs, I am not going to go down that rabbit hole today.
They are nutritious
Whilst we normally associate carbs with tasty treat like foods, we often overlook foods such as fruits and veggies. They contain loads of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, fibre and lots of other good stuff. If you are getting rid of those types of foods just to lose a few pounds for holiday, you may need to review your priorities. There are lots of different types of carbs, and I agree you may need to reduce those containing high amounts of added sugar and processed carbs (sometimes), but most of our diet should be made up of plants.
We probably eat too many of them
Because carbs are bloody delicious it is very difficult to say no to them. They have a positive impact on the brain and makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. From an evolutionary perspective this makes sense. When food was sparse our bodies and brain would tell us when we are eating something high in calories and is very sweet.
As food is no longer hunted and is now manufactured, the companies making this food is very aware of these facts. They make food that our brains love. Foods that are high in carbs, salt, fats and therefore usually high in calories. It is no wonder we struggle to say no to a takeaway, as it is designed to make us crave that type of food.
Whilst carbs can be helpful for sports performance, recovery and energy levels, it is not essential to consume the large quantities the people often think.
They are very easily over consumed
We are permanently surrounded by yummy foods and therefore it is very easy to eat too much of it with very little effort. For some people this can be difficult to control and therefore just opt for getting rid of them completely. We live in a world where I can get a 3000 calorie meal placed on my lap in the car in under 5 minutes. Convenience is king and will usually win most of the time. If you have the choice of making a large salad or picking up a quick burger, I know the option most people will go for.
Not always the best food choice
When you picture carbs in your head, you very rarely think fruit, vegetables, grains and pulses. We usually think of bread, cake and sugar. When we are given the free reign on carbs or aiming for a certain target, the types of carbs will have a big impact. Foods that are higher in added sugar (sweets, cakes, chocolate) are going to be more difficult to control portion sizes, fill you up less and contain less vitamins and minerals.
As you are a grown adult you can make your own decision about reducing your carb intake to manage your weight. I hope these pros and cons can help point you in the right direction. Carbs do not need to be feared surrounding weight loss but they do need to be controlled. You cannot have a free for all down the pastry aisle and still make progress.
If you need help with managing your carb and calorie intake to reach your goals, then you should get in touch today. I have 1 to 1 and online personal training options for every budget.
The brains, brawn and beauty of Dackattack (basically it’s just me). A personal trainer with a private gym in Norwich, dedicated to giving out simple, actionable advice that will give you outstanding results.