Are Carbs The Enemy?

By Krista Harris | 21 November 2022
3 Minute Read
By Jonny Lea

Carbs are not ‘bad’ for you! A lot of the foods that you would label as healthy are carbohydrates, fruit and veg for instance. Carbs are grossly misunderstood.

They have been vilified and tossed under a large umbrella of being “unhealthy” or that they cause fat gain. You might say: “But when I cut out carbs I lose weight?”. Yes you do.

Some of this will be water weight because stored carbohydrate also leads to more water retention in the body. The reason you lose weight is because you inadvertently create a calorie deficit – energy in through food and drink is less than energy out via activity and normal bodily functions. 

This is the foundational principle of fat loss.

No matter how ‘clean’ or ‘healthy’ you eat, without a calorie deficit, you won’t lose weight.

Carbs do not deserve the bad press they get and more context is needed to actually understand how to incorporate them into your life even when you are dieting.

Carbs actually result in:

  • Better performance
  • Faster recovery

Carbs got their bad press from when they were associated with diabetes and weight gain. However, it’s not that simple. When looking at foods in general, especially carbs, it’s all about context. ⠀

Essentially the over consumption of any macro nutrient/food group probably isn’t the best idea, as it would lead to compromised health markers and weight gain.

Carbs ARE NOT inherently bad for you. ⠀

Carbs are the body’s primary source of energy during exercise.

Furthermore, your body is still burning carbs, even when you are at rest and your potential for storing them in the your muscles ready for your next session is heightened.

Excessive spikes in blood sugar from foods that are high in refined carbs that are absorbed and processed fast are what started the major concern about carbs-diabetes and overweight associations.

NOT ALL carbs cause this kind of excessive spike. This spike needs to be taken into context. Repeatedly spiking your blood sugars with little to no exercise over time is where the health problems start.

In short, not all sources of carbs are created equal.⠀

Carbs are fuel.

They need to be understood in the context of your goals, your training and how you feel. Certain strategies to help you get carbs around “important” windows of training (before, during and after) can be effective.⠀

Higher spikes in blood glucose require larger insulin secretions – the concern is this repeated over and over again is detrimental and can lead to the onset of diabetes. However, the insulin response is contextual to the state of the individual (resting/active) and the type of carbs consumed. ⠀

Faster-acting carbs can help to fuel your day and help you to get the most from your workouts and later in the day a complex carb may be recommended.

Community & Support

So if you are thinking of getting in shape, keep in mind that a calorie deficit can cause fat loss, not cutting carbs! Carbs will help you fuel your work in the gym and generally keep you in a better mood about life.

If you speak to anyone who cuts carbs on a diet… they are miserable!

For healthy meal ideas follow @fueltarporley on Instagram and Facebook, or pop in for a meal in the cafe on weekdays 8am-2pm!

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