Okay, so we have all heard about the “low carb” or “no carb” diet right? Everyone says that carbs are bad or if you want to lose weight, go on a low carb diet. I will admit, that I was one who used to be terrified of carbs when I first started getting into this lifestyle 8 years ago. The only carbs I would eat was a bowl of oatmeal in the morning and then maybe an apple in the afternoon. I did not need to lose weight, but I wanted to be super lean. Well, nothing good came out of that super low carb diet because I started binge eating on the weekends and I had the energy level of a dead fish. I am here to tell you that carbs are NOT the enemy! BUT, not all carbohydrates are created equal! They are in everything from fruits, nuts, vegetables, pastas, bread, etc. The key is to choosing the right kinds at the right time and as always- portion control. So what are the right kinds of carbohydrates to eat Micki? Well, funny you should ask because I am about to name some right now!
100% Whole grains (breads, pasta, rice)
Oatmeal ( oatbran, cream of wheat, cream of rice, quinoa flakes)
Sweet potatoes (yams)
Red, white, purple potatoes are fine as well, but again portion control
Vegetables (Leafy greens have a lot of fiber!)
Carbohydrates are our bodies main source of energy. They are easily used by our bodies for fuel. Not to mention their importance when gaining and maintaining lean muscle mass.
Now, depending on everyone’s goals and body types, everyone will be taking in a different amount of carbs daily. The recommended amount for everyone to take in daily is at least 120 g. This is a good starting point and can and should come from different sources of carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates are those such as your legumes, rice, breads, grains, and potatoes, fruits, vegetables. When going for these, choose for whole grain due to the nutritional value in them.
Simple carbohydrates are those such as candy, juices, table sugar, white breads and pastas, soda, and baked goods.
Obviously, we want more of the complex carbohydrates because of their nutritional value for our bodies.
Yes, there are times that low carb diets are needed. Maybe your doctor has you on a low carb diet for some reason or maybe you are training for a fitness competition (well, even most competitors are eating more carbs than those on a low carb diet). There are times that eating a lower diet in carbohydrates is needed. Those looking to lose a lot of weight are typically carb intolerant so structuring the majority of their starchy carbs (breads, rice, oats, potatoes) post workout is important. The rest of their meals would consist of proteins, healthy fats, and vegetables and/or fruits.
Staying on a low carbohydrate or “no” carbohydrate diet for long term can be damaging to a persons body. They contain vitamins and minerals that our bodies need and as mentioned previously, are our bodies main source of energy. Getting in enough to meet your goals is key.
Start by adding in a carbohydrate for breakfast, along with a source of lean protein and healthy fat.
Typical breakfasts for me may include (but not limited too because they change all the time):
A bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter and vegetable omelette (sometimes I substitute protein powder for my protein)
Ezekiel bread with avocado and scrambled egg whites
Isagenix shake mixed with berries
….Other meals to include your starchy carbs would be pre and post workout
Leave your remaining meals with a lean protein, healthy fat, vegetables, and/ or fruits.
I am not saying this is exactly what everyone should be doing because again, everyone’s goals and bodies are different, but this is a good starting point to help get you on a routine and seeing what works for your body.
If you want something more individualized, please send me an email to Micki@mickilifestyle.comm and see about getting a customized meal plan and workout!