You’ve probably already heard that weight loss is 80% diet, right? This we know is pretty clear. But why is that when we are cleaning up our diets, carbs are usually the first thing to go?
High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are incredibly popular, and with good reason. Studies show high-protein, low-carb style diets help to retain muscle mass whilst losing more body fat in both the short and mid-term.
There’s also no denying that cake or pizza aren’t going to do you any favours, nutritionally or for your waist. White pasta, white rice and cakes are all high GI foods which spike our blood sugar, contribute to cravings and affect our skin, mood and body weight. So changing your food habits to eliminate these high GI, processed carbs for good will definitely help you maintain a leaner figure.
But what did the humble sweet potato, piece of fruit or bag of spinach ever do but nourish us? It’s really easy to forget that these foods are also carbs. Health food stores are also full of ingredients to make wholefood snacks and treats. Getting lean doesn’t need to mean going on a ‘diet’ where you deprive yourself, feel miserable and suffer intense cravings!
We need carbohydrates to fuel our brain and our muscles. Our brain’s main energy source is glucose, which is what carbohydrates convert to in the body. Ever suffered brain fog, moodiness, fatigue and memory problems on an Atkins-style diet? A lack of carbs is your answer!
The trick is choosing the carbohydrates that give you more bang for your buck.
You want carbs that are nutrient-rich, yet lower in energy. Sources like sweet potato, carrots, greens, broccoli, apples, bananas, nuts, seeds, ancient grains; and legumes and dairy if you tolerate it.
Not only do they fill you up with their fibre, water and even protein contents for some, they also provide you with a whole lot of vitamins and minerals for your body to thrive on. This helps your stomach signal to your brain that you’ve got what you need, and you don’t need to continue eating.
So what’s the take home message? It’s not carbs that prevent the weight-loss, it’s the crap! So clean up your everyday diet and make exercise a priority to reap the benefits.