5 reasons why carbs are not 'the enemy'
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Despite the immediate access we have at our fingertips to so much information, there are still so many misunderstandings around food.
Addressing attitudes around carbohydrates and re-educating clients is a task we're constantly undergoing here at M10.
It's very rare that we find someone who actually struggles with the digestion of carbs, and in most cases, any associated bloating stems from the environment in which they're consumed.
An overabundance of carbohydrates, mixed with rushed and distracted eating, will likely lead to some form of bloating and discomfort regardless of whether your body is 'intolerant' or not. Therefore, if this is something you suffer with, before completely removing a main food group - try changing your environment and be mindful of the way the food is consumed.
Although they're a "non-essential macronutrient", there's a range of benefits to having carbohydrates in your diet. Here are 5 reasons why carbs shouldn't be seen as 'the enemy':
- Digestive health is typically improved and regulated with a healthy balance of resistant starch and fibre within the diet. This is something that will likely require trial and error, as everyone will process them differently. However, starting with a good source of green veg, wholegrains and fruit in your diet, should put you in a good position.
- Sleep can certainly be improved with a serving of carbohydrates before bed. We know what you're thinking‚ "CARBS AFTER 6PM?!" But this myth is exactly what will lead you down the rabbit hole of misunderstanding and potentially not achieving the results you are after. To put it simply, carbohydrate consumption leads to the release of insulin, which can potentially boost serotonin production. Serotonin will be converted to melatonin by the pineal gland based upon light exposure to the eyes, therefore when evening hits, so will your readiness for bed, and hopefully leading to a good and restful night's sleep.
- Adherence & palatability are definitely worth considering when looking at carbohydrate content within your diet. This is the underpinning factor to all forms of progression, as without the consistency of sticking to a plan your results are not guaranteed. In fact, keeping carbohydrates in your diet is a great way of maintaining a positive relationship with food (there are no bad foods!), as well as having the ability to socialise without the difficulty of food selection.
- Muscle building won't be optimal without some carbohydrates within your diet - they're your primary source of energy after all. By general consensus anywhere between 2-6g CHO per kg/bodyweight will be sufficient in sustaining glycogen stores as well as providing energy for performance. Determine this number by the amount of calories you're currently on, the intensity, frequency and how advanced your training is. The more advanced a client, the higher we will likely take their carbohydrates.
- Fat loss - not to be mistaken as weight loss. You will likely witness greater weight loss on a lower carbohydrate diet due to reduced water retention. Fat loss can be achieved with or without carbohydrates - but the large factor to account for is adherence. Being able to stick to a structure that suits your lifestyle is going to be vital in sustaining this weight change longer term. Therefore, basing the carb amount on your remaining calories after determining protein requirements and essential fats, will likely be the best way for most. This will allow for less restriction during social periods too!
Carbohydrates aren't the enemy that they're made out to be, whether you choose to remove all, some or none out of your diet - we hope to help you make an informed decision.
Would you like to find our how we help our clients at M10 with their nutrition? Download a copy of the M10 Blueprint today.