To begin with, carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients that all foods are made up of. The Get Fit, Lean nutrition plan focus is on achieving two goals. Simultaneously lose fat and develop lean muscle, thus transforming your body composition. Carbohydrates are one of macronutrients that you should optimize. You’ll achieve the best results by getting most of your calories from protein, then fat and then carbohydrates. I advise getting just 20% of your calories from carbs. This isn’t to say that carbohydrates aren’t important, they are.
Carbohydrates sources include a broad range of foods. When talking about carbs it’s important to understand exactly what kind of carbs we are talking about. The critical distinction between different types of carbohydrates is whether they occur as a component of an intact whole food or they’ve been refined through some process. Let’s focus on this one distinction as its most important in terms of fat lose.
Carbohydrates that occur as a component of intact whole foods are starches and natural sugars that are bound in fiber. They are found in fruits, vegetables and grains. Conversely, the fiber in refined carbohydrates has been degraded, destroyed or simply stripped away and discarded. Your body’s reaction to sugar bound in fiber versus processed sugar, not bound in fiber, is very different. When we eat carbs our digestion breaks down sugars bound in fiber slowly, triggering a slow release of insulin. Conversely, consuming refined sugar triggers a flood of insulin into our blood system wreaking havoc on our insulin release system. These insulin spikes are the root cause of why people store fat and subsequently can’t lose fat. Habitually triggering these insulin spikes is also linked to a long list of metabolic disorders and diseases. So, what is the solution?
Eat intact whole foods. Most fruit is high in sugar but it’s bound in fiber so eating fruit in limited portions is perfectly healthy. Root vegetables like red, gold, russet, and sweet potatoes also contain a lot of sugar but once again, it’s bound in fiber so eating limited servings of these starches is not a problem. Whole grains like whole grain rice, whole grain wheat, and whole oats to name a few are also not a problem if they are in fact intact whole grains. Green vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts also contain carbohydrates bound in fiber. Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale have carbohydrates also bound in fiber along with valuable micronutrients as well. If you want to pig out, do it on green leafy veggies. Never skip eating your green vegetables!
I believe that refined carbohydrates like white sugar and flour are akin to poison. Eating even small amounts trigger your insulin release system to flood your blood stream with insulin. The short term consequence is that you get fat. Long term sugar abuse is deadly, leading to metabolic syndrome, a whole host of diseases, including obesity, type II diabetes, coronary disease, high blood pressure, and dementia.
The solution is a simple one. Eat nothing made with refined sugar or flour. Read labels and especially eat nothing that contains added sugar. Instead eat intact whole foods. It’s really that simple. The right carbohydrates aren’t bad for you, but refined carbohydrates will eventually kill you.