Carbs – To eat or not to eat…
Isn’t really the question.
What you should actually ask yourself is, “Where should I be getting my carbs from?” and “And how many should I eat on any given day?”
You need some carbs. How many you need exactly is dependent upon the activities you are doing.
Especially when I was lifting and doing very little cardio, I found that I felt best when eating relatively no carbs.
Now that my workouts are more cardiovascular, I find that I need to eat more carbs than before.
BUT that doesn’t mean that I’m gorging myself and pasta and stuffing myself with all of those simple sugar power gels and drinks. You don’t need to “carbo-load” they way that people often do.
Anytime I need to fill up or replenish my glycogen stores, I eat whole,natural, unprocessed and unrefined carbohydrates.
I’ve always gotten a large portion of my carbs from veggies. Now that my body is craving more carbs with the increase of aerobic exercise in my circuit training, I’m finding that I’m craving more fruits and even occasionally some white rice and potatoes.
I’m sure some of you will be surprised by the fact that I said WHITE RICE over BROWN RICE, but my stance on “whole grains” is an issue for another post.
The point of this post is that you do NEED CARBS. You just don’t need to eat pasta, oatmeal and bread to get what you need.
Honestly, depending on your level of activity, your body may be satisfied if you just eat some nuts and veggies. If you workouts are intense and you are doing more cardiovascular activities, you may find that you deplete your glycogen stores more and that you crave more carbs after your workout. Fruit is a great way to get some extra carbs because fruit also contains essential vitamins and minerals.
And if you need quick acting carbs to replenish your depleted stores, potatoes and white rice, yes white rice, are a great way to get the carbs you need.
How many carbs you need exactly is dependent on YOUR level of activity. Not what your friend or neighbor or trainer eats.
Too many carbs can lead to fat retention and the “carb belly.”
BUT consuming too few carbs can also hinder your progress. Sometimes you need to eat a few more carbs or “carb cycle” (high carb and low carb days) to get off that last little bit of fat or to enhance your performance.
So experiment. Take a look at your diet. Have you been severely restricting carbs but are struggling to get off that last little bit of fat? Has your performance lagged? Have you failed to lose any fat?
Your carb intake, or the types of carbs you are consuming, may have something to do with it.