Does everyone hate carbs?
Atkins. Keto. Low Carb. What does it all mean? Essentially all these buzzwords have one thing in common…a diet limited in carbohydrates. These diet approaches, while well-meaning, have led to the removal of a whole one out of three (1. Carbs 2. Protein, 3. Fats) macronutrient groups!
So, is carb cutting really necessary?
What is a carbohydrate?
Be honest, when you think of carbs you picture ice cream, bagels, cookies, cereals, bread, etc. You can read more about carbohydrates in my nutrition basics post.
A carbohydrate is made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen; they provide energy for your muscles, brain, heart, kidney, and central nervous system. They aid in digestion (in the case of fibre, which is a carbohydrate) and keep you feeling full longer. There are two main types of carbs….simple and complex carbs. Simple carbs can be found in fruits, milk, and sugar, while complex carbs can be found in whole grain breads, brown rice, seeds, and nuts. One all-important type of carbohydrate, needed for healthy digestion, is fibre.
Weight loss on low carb diets
One of the big draws to low carb diets is the initial amount of weight you lose. It’s true that many people report big drops in weight especially when they first begin the diet.
If I get you to exercise a bit more and cut your carbs, initially you will lose weight (not always fat!!!) fairly rapidly and here is why…
Carbs are first either used up for energy or converted to glycogen. For every gram of glycogen stored in your body, it will hold on to 2.7 grams of water. So when people cut out carbohydrates, they are losing this stored water. In other words, rather than losing fat, you are losing water, and once you go off the diet, you gain it right back. If water retention is a true concern of yours, however, there are many simpler ways you can lose water weight, including increasing your protein intake, increasing the amount of water you drink, and monitoring your sodium intake.
Heres the thing about coaching someone, I don’t want you to lose water weight, think its fat and get addicted to weight loss on low carb diets.
I want you to learn about carbs and enjoy eating them for long term healthy weigh management. I could get clients to lose weight more quickly, but then I would also be setting them up for failure long term. Thats not what were about at EventFit!!
Low carb vs. low calorie diet
Available research suggests that a low carb diet is no better than other types of diets… long story short, those in the low carb diet group lost weight more quickly initially, but researchers found that over the course of a year, there was no significant difference between the total amount lost by those on each types of diets. Low carb diets often result in a reduction of calories by virtue of the fact that dieters are eliminating an entire food group from their diet. In this way, they act similarly to a reduced calorie diet.
It’s all about the long term!
The best diet is one that you don’t necessarily think of as a diet, you just LIVE and I promise you that can happen with a bit of mindset shifting and habit forming,
Crash diets may help you shed a lot of pounds initially, but at some point you will hit a plateau, and that is usually where yoyo, or on off dieting comes in.
‘i’m on a diet’
‘i don’t eat chocolate’
‘ I avoid bread’
Gah! I want you to enjoy bread and oil, Pizza, bagels, ice cream yum! Thats right I want you to have a glass of Prosecco after a show. A bacon sarnie on a Sunday morning.
You read that right.
If you go on an extreme diet, lose a lot of weight, feel great about yourself, then hit a plateau. You get discouraged, or sometimes you just figure you’ll take a break from dieting for a while, and you gain back most if not more than what you lost. Which leads to you going on another extreme diet to lose it all again.
So back to low carb diets, myfitnesspal gets its 50th re-download.
Ask yourself this: do I really see myself still not eating bread or rice, or any type of carbohydrates at all 5 years from now? If the answer is no, this is not a sustainable diet for you. Think about whether you can follow a diet that doesn’t allow you a piece of bread every now and then or a slice of cake on your child’s birthday.
So enjoy a slice of cake when you want, just remember the old adage “everything in moderation”. Moderation is not daily and often even weekly!
And in terms of diets…stick to something that you can see yourself doing long term. If a low carb diet is sustainable for you and your life style, go for it!
My suggestion is also to opt for smart food choices in general rather than fad diets or diets that promise too-good-to-be-true weight loss, and you’ll be much more likely to lose the weight and keep it off too, without feeling deprived in the process!
This is exactly how it works in the EventFit Inner Circle.
A realistic and sustainable approach to training and nutrition so you can have longe term success and results. Come join us in the EventFit herd by clicking here.