‘I’ll pass on the potatoes’, ‘I’ve banned bread', 'I’ll skip the spaghetti’. If these phrases seem like rules you live by, or even if you subconsciously and involuntarily find yourself adhering to them, then it’s time to get your facts straight. In this post we’re going to delve into the benefits of carbs and how they can in fact help you with your weight loss. Nowadays, low-carb diets are especially popular. You’ll find a diverse range of low-carb recipes all over the internet and endless advocates of carb cutting on social media, claiming they’ve lost 4lbs in a single week!
Yes, reducing your intake of carbohydrates can be a speedy way to lose weight but here’s the real reason why: for every 1g of carbohydrate you consume, your body will hold around 3g of water. Therefore, by reducing carbs all you technically reduce is the water in your body and water can weigh a lot, hence the lower number on the scales. Now that you know the biology (carbs cause water retention) can you begin to view carbs as something other than the enemy?
Carbohydrates are also 1 of 3 macronutrients we consume daily. Cutting out an entire macronutrient from our diet will essentially cut out a big chunk from our total calorie consumption. An easy option on paper but in reality, probably the most ridged choice and the hardest to stick to.
We know by now that weight loss comes from a total calorie deficit and this can still be achieved while consuming carbs!
Carbohydrates containing high volumes of both soluble and insoluble fibre such as beans & legumes, green veggies, nuts, seeds and whole grains are prefect for helping you feel full and will keep your hunger at bay. This is because your body will digest and break down high fibre foods at a much slower rate.
A common downside when trying to lose weight is the feeling of hunger. If like us, you enjoy big portions or the feeling of fullness after a meal then we suggest you opt for volumous carbohydrates with very few calories. Were talking big salad bowls, veggies, stir-fries and berries.
Foods high in both carbs and calories are probably the ones you want to keep an eye on. We strongly suggest measuring quantities of these foods as theses are the ones we tend to over-eat on wihout realising.
Fresh fruit: bananas, pineapple, mango, melon
All dried fruit
Breakfast cereal (yes this includes granola too)
Instead fill your meals with
Vegetables; greens, peppers, carrots, courgette, aubergine
Carbs provide us with essential energy to go about our daily lives. If you’re someone who trains hard and expends a lot of energy then carbohydrates are vital as they increase the energy stores in your muscles. We would advise consuming meals higher in carbs on your workout days, either using them to fuel you through your exercise or enjoy them as recovery!