Carbohydrates are not the devil. Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred source of energy. The human body looks for carbohydrates to fuel nearly every bodily process. carbohydrates themselves are not the problem when it comes to unwanted fat. The whole carb scare, trend going on now exist because:
1.) The low-fat trend has been over-played, and effectively died in the late 80’s – 90’s. Everyone found out how unhealthy it is to have a really low-fat intake.
2.) No protein diets would never get good reception from the masses.
3.) That leaves health industry marketers with carbohydrates as the current “devil” that is making everyone fat.
The trick to obtaining a lean body when it comes to diet, is knowing how much of each macronutrient you need (carbohydrates-fat-protein). You can find out how much of each you need, by considering your activity level, your current body composition (ratio of fat to muscle), and weight. Too much work, huh? Well, then, keep complaining about your weight and stop reading now!
If the advice above is not very intimidating to you, then you’ll find that the trick to having the right amount of carbohydrates is making sure that you have the right amount of fuel for your level of activity.
If you’re the kind of person who skips breakfast and is starving by lunch, then you go to lunch and eat a carb-filled meal. You’ll likely take in more carbohydrates than your body can process in one sitting. People who do this are also more prone to do the same thing at dinner time. A person who does the above, is usually the kind of person who blames unwanted fat on carbohydrates (or some other singular evil source). Really their actions and thought process are the problem.
Most people are done with their daily activities by the time dinner rolls around. Therefore, if you load up on carbohydrates around then, because you starve all day, you are essentially filling up your fuel tank, but not doing the activity required to burn the fuel.
To find out how many calories you need per day, click here—you’ll need to know your body fat percentage and weight.
Food is fuel, if you take in more fuel than you burn, you’ll put on fat. The best times to have carbohydrates are at times when you will be awake and or active for a number of hours. Breakfast is the first place to start. This is when your glycogen (carbohydrate/sugar) stores are low from your overnight fast (sleeping).
- Breakfast should be your most carb-dense meal of the day. The carbohydrates you eat for breakfast will keep your body and mind fueled for hours. If you workout, particularly if you weight train, your second most carb-dense meal of the day should be pre-workout. That should be between one – three hours before your workout.
- Your third most carb dense meal should be post resistance training or lunch. Your carb intake should go down as the day goes on. That is because typically, people are less active as the day goes on, so there is no reason to load up on fuel (carbohydrates).
Think of food as fuel, particularly carbohydrates, because, as stated above, carbohydrates are your body’s fuel of choice for all processes. You should never cut out carbs, but you should eat the amount your body needs, and you should eat carbohydrates at times when they are needed.
If you really want to put carb fears to rest, the following book will teach you more about how to incorporate healthy carbohydrates into your diet. Written by fitness model and nutrition expert, Tom Venuto.
Whether you are active or inactive, the average 45-50% of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates. Try to eliminate fast releasing carbohydrates from your meals (like white bread, white pasta, white rice…) Replace them with slow release carbohydrates (like brown rice, whole wheat pastas. The reason being is, as I stated, food is fuel. Your body will process simple carbohydrates faster, and if you’re not active soon after eating, those calories can be put away in your personal storage (belly, hips, thighs). The only exception is with post-weight training when your body fast release carbohydrates and protein to kick-start recovery. A good example would be a protein shake with fruits.
Don’t fear carbohydrates, fear a lack of knowledge on how proper nutrition.