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Carbs are Not the Enemy

CARBS ARE NEEDED BUT THE TYPE MATTERS!

Article by Emily Mobley

Photography by Amanda Donaho

Let’s dive into the ‘controversial’ topic of carbohydrates! 

Carbohydrates are the preferred source of fuel for our body! The body likes to use them right away as energy; therefore, they are digested extremely quickly (unless they are  high in fiber and/or paired with protein and fat)! Have you ever eaten a big bowl of sugary cereal and then were hungry 1-2 hours later? This is the exact reason why! 

From a weight management perspective, there are three important factors that matter when eating carbohydrates:

  1. What type of carbohydrates are you consuming? (ex: chips, breads, or fruits, veggies, etc.)
  2. How much are you consuming? (ex: does your diet consist of mostly carbs or not enough?)
  3. What are you pairing with them? (ex: do you have a healthy fat and lean protein paired with your carbs or are you eating them solo?)

When you are trying to manage your weight and also want to see fat loss, you really need to pay close attention to all of those questions above!

What type of Carbs Should you Consume? You want to be consuming complex carbohydrates or carbs that are higher in fiber. Some carbohydrates that are higher in fiber are: vegetables (any and all), fruits (especially berries and fruits with skins), beans, peas, lentils, legumes, chia seeds/flax seeds, psyllium husk, sweet potatoes/regular potatoes with skins, quinoa/brown rice/long grain rice, and crackers, cereals, wraps, etc.). A trick that I give me clients is look for foods that have >20% Daily Value of Fiber on the food label!

Carbs are extremely important for helping our energy levels, feeling of fullness, and overall bodily functions (heart health, going to the bathroom, lowering blood pressure, etc)

How much Carbs should you be consuming? This is a tricky question because it depends on our workout regiment and how active you are. I tell my clients to shoot for 30-40% of their calories coming from carbohydrates! We know if we consume too much carbohydrates, then that can lead  to the problem of fat storage due to excess calorie intake which is not ideal! 

You should always pair your carbohydrates with protein and fat! Why? Because doing this is ideal for: better blood sugar regulation- managing energy levels, satiation - achieving fullness for 4-5 hour period so you are not snacking and overeating all day, and increasing nutrient density in diet- getting in all your macro and micronutrients: fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals to support bodily function. 

I want to be clear here! You CAN eat carbohydrates and even a substantial amount of carbs AND still lose body fat! You just have to be strategic with your choices and consistent with matching your input to your output! 

Have questions about this? Do not hesitate to reach out! I would be more than happy to answer them!