Should you eat carbohydrates while trying to lose weight?

There’s a lot of stigma that carbs are bad; especially when trying to lose stubborn fat. Did you know that you actually need to be consuming carbohydrates, no matter what your goals are.

What are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are part of the macronutrients (macros) that your body needs. Carbs allow your brain to function properly, it supplies you with energy, and also is an aid for your muscles and other tissues in your body. For the average adult, it’s vital to be consuming a healthy amount of carbohydrates each day. The amount is dependent upon your activity level, goals, height and weight.

Simple Carbs VS Complex Carbs

If you didn’t know; there are two different types of carbohydrates. Simply put, complex carbs digest much more slowly into your body and will not raise your blood glucose levels as quickly, as compared to simple carbs.

Simple Carbohydrate foods

Most simple carbohydrates can be found in processed foods. (White bread, white rice, cookies, etc) Simple carbs digest a lot faster. Hence, eating junk food and then an hour later feeling hungry again! To go along with hunger; simple carbs usually effect your energy levels in a negative way as well. As you become hungry, your glucose levels tend to drop. If you supply your body with a majority of simple carbs, your glucose levels with rapidly increase and decrease over a shorter amount of time compared to complex carbohydrates. This can result in you feeling energized and then quickly feeling groggy and even hungry again.

Complex Carbohydrate foods

Complex carbs can be found in oats, brown rice, starchy vegetables, and more. As you eat complex carbohydrate foods, your body takes a much longer time to digest, thanks to the fiber! This results in a much more steady release of blood glucose. Allowing you to feel more full/satisfied longer with no significant crash in energy levels.

How do we categorize fruits and vegetables?

There are natural sugars (simple carbs) and fiber (complex carbs) that occur in fruits and vegetables. If you want to further advance your research in fruits and vegetables, I suggest studying the glycemic index of particular fruits and vegetables to gain a better understanding of which are best to consume throughout the day.

Are simple carbohydrates bad for you?

Yes and no. Eaten in moderation they’re perfectly okay. It’s even been said that consuming an adequate amount of simple carbs before and after your workout is very beneficial!

How much do you need?

When tracking macros, it’s best to include healthy carbs into your diet with a range of 45%-65% of your daily caloric needs. 

**NOTE: This is one of a four part series. I will be going into depth of what macronutrients are, and the importance of each one.

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