Tom, the personal trainer who founded Waite Training in Leeds has many tips to help you get started on working for your fitness goals.
Many people seek weight loss tips and techniques that will help them shed pounds and stay in shape. One of the best ways of losing weight is to think about what you can do to improve your nutrition choices.
One of the dreaded macronutrients by dieters are carbohydrates. Now, there are a lot of myths surrounding carbs and the role they play in impacting your weight loss and health. In this article, we'll look at 5 myths around carbs that might ruin your chances to finally achieve the desired weight loss and keep it off for good.
Myth #1. All Carbs Are Equal
When people hear the term 'carbs', they generally think about starchy foods like pasta, rice, and bread. In reality, carbohydrates are a much wider macronutrient group that includes all fruit and vegetables, wheat and corn, and whole grains like buckwheat, quinoa, and amaranth.
If you like beans and pulses, they also contain a fair amount of carbs besides protein, and even dairy products have some carbs in the form of lactose, a type of sugar. Yes, that's right, sugar is also a carbohydrate, so whatever you use to sweeten your hot drinks adds carbs to the picture.
The bottom line: Cutting carbs ultimately might bring you some fat loss results in the short term, but it will also deprive your body of some super essential micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals from the veg and fruit. Instead of cutting all of them, focus on reducing your processed carbohydrate intake and replacing them with nutritious whole grain, vegetables, and fruits.
Myth #2. Carbs Make You Gain Weight
While cutting out carbohydrates can help you lose a little bit of weight, the reason why you're doing so isn't because of the carbs but because you likely eat less than before you did. There is little to support the idea that a low or no-carb diet is best for you in the long term.
Carbs are your body's preferred energy source, so you need to make sure you have some carbs as part of your diet. Not to mention that most people can't stick to a super restrictive diet long enough to see the desired results.
The bottom line: You will gain weight if you eat more calories than your body uses up. Aim for a balanced approach between nutritious carbs, lean protein and healthy fats and always eat veggies with your meals, and you'll be happier for it.
Myth #3. Carbs Spike Blood Sugar
As a blanket statement, we can't say that even though certain types of carbs, like sugar without fibre, might cause a blood sugar spike for some individuals.
A short-term 7-day study in 2014 showed that those who ate a high carb, high fibre diet saw a reduction in blood sugar levels. It also showed an improvement in blood pressure and helped with weight loss in the process as well.
Bottom line: not all carbs are created equal. Try to make sure you have a balanced level of carbs in your diet, including starchy carbs and fibrous carbs and limit the amount of sugar you eat.
Myth #4. Bread & Pasta are Big No-Nos
We're right back where we started at myth #1. It's easy to assume that you should avoid carbs like bread and pasta at all costs, but this is not necessarily the case again. It's all about the types of bread and grains that you choose that can impact your gut health and weight loss.
It might be a good idea to limit the amount of bread and pasta in your diet and choose options high in fibre and low in sugar, or don't even contain any sugar. It's not meant to be in bread.
Bottom line: You can eat bread and pasta sensibly. Say, a pasta dish once a week with pasta made of durum wheat and one slice of bread a day or less. Eat with lots of veggies and protein sources like serrano ham or smoked salmon.
Myth #5. Carbs Make You Bloated and Gassy
People with a healthy digestive system and free of food intolerances shouldn't experience any discomfort from eating carbs. If you do, see your GP and get it checked.
Also, those symptoms won't be caused by ALL carbs, just a select few. People with gluten or non-gluten related wheat intolerance might experience them when eating pastries, bread, pasta or cakes. Others who might be sensitive to specific starches could have issues with potatoes. Again others could be intolerant to beans or cruciferous vegetables. The list can go on.
The bottom line: If you feel bloated often, go and see your GP or an Allergist, don't fall for companies who advertise food intolerance tests online.
Eating carbs won't inhibit weight loss. Overeating carbs will. Especially if you mostly eat the processed types and won't take in enough fibre by consuming veggies. One of their most significant benefits for weight loss is that they fill you up but hardly contain any calories.