You probably read the headline and had one of two reactions.
The first: “Surely this is fake news, carbs are the actual devil.” The second: “Well, yeah, everyone knows that, don’t they?”
Fortunately, hypothetical first group, no, carbs are not as bad as Atkins would have you believe. Carbohydrates are one three key macronutrients that our bodies use for energy. Although not essential for our bodies to work, they’re in many nutrient rich veg and cutting them out can have other effects on our health.
Eating loads of donuts isn’t going to help you shed the pounds, but Australian nutritionalist and dietician Susie Burrell believes that we shouldn’t avoid them because they’re essential to our diets.
‘An inability to lose weight, despite eating a low carb diet is a clear sign that your total carbohydrate intake is too low,’ she told Body and Soul.
– RELATED: Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs: What’s The Difference? –
If you’re exercising regularly, carbohydrates are an important source of energy that aid our workouts. In general, the first 20 minutes of any exercise is fuelled by carbs and then fat takes over. Burrell recommends eating 20-30 grams of carbs within 60 minutes before you do any form of high intensity workout.
‘As a general rule of thumb, intakes or less than 80-100 grams of carbohydrates each day, for someone exercising regularly is too low and as such may be the reason you are not getting the shifts on the scales you are hoping for,’ she said.
When we stop eating carbs, our metabolic rate slows down which makes it more difficult to lose weight. Instead, cut out simple carbs such as bread, French fries and fruit juices. These types of carbs are the main culprits to weight gain when it comes to the carb family and cutting them out will help aid weight loss.
When modifying your diet, listen to your body. A key sign that you need more carbs is when you have constant cravings for sweet foods as this indicates that your body needs glucose.
Also, if you’re feeling tired during your workouts, it may be time to up your calorie and carb intake – pasta at the ready!
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