I’ve heard the rumors as well.
“Keto is King”
“Carbs are Evil”
“Carbs Make You Fat” etc.
I’m sorry for those of you that believe any of these, but the reality is for most individuals carbs are not the culprit, overeating is the culprit. For those of you that like Keto, great, keep up your great work. Just know that it’s not right for everyone. No diet is.
To gain a better understanding of why carbs are not evil, let’s make sure we all are on the same page as to what carbs are. Carbs or carbohydrates (the technical term) are a macronutrient. There are five others. They are: protein, fats, water, minerals and vitamins. Carbs contain 4 calories per gram and they include sugars and starches, which are biochemically similar. All forms of sugar and starch digest into glucose. Glucose is a simple sugar that travels in the blood and with insulin fuels our muscles. Those that are fit tend to utilize carbs better than unfit individuals. This is due to a number of reasons, including: fit individuals tend to exercise more so the muscles need more fuel, they also tend to have more muscle mass to fat mass and muscles use glucose more efficiently than fat.
So, can you eat as many carbs as you want? The answer, “No”. Again, you need to be mindful of your overall caloric intake as well as you can overeat a certain macro. This can be said for protein and fats as well. Think of it this way. Your car needs gas “carbs” to run. It also needs oil “protein” and transmission fluid “fats” among other things. If your car is out of oil, but you give it more gas, what happens? It won’t run and it will overflow with gas. If you are eating too many carbs and not enough protein, the same thing is happening. This is why I suggest you track what you’re eating (use an app or write it down) and pay attention to how you’re feeling, performing and/or looking based on your goals. Also, realize that while biochemically sugars and starches are the same, if you are eating too many sugars it is easier for your body to store fat and you may have ups and downs. I suggest, unless you’re lean and/or you do a lot of cardio to keep your sugar intake under 50 grams a day.
Please keep in mind, these are just suggestions and you should always consult with your doctor before starting any type of dietary changes. I also suggest you consult with a dietitian or nutritionist to get your eating dialed in even more. There is no one size fits all and you should have someone help you create the right “diet” for you.
Scott Keppel is the owner of Scott’s Training Systems, a world-class coaching facility in Chandler, Arizona. He is a nationally certified trainer through NASM and ISSA. His mission is to empower women of all ages and fitness levels. For more information head to scottstrainingsystems.com or check him out on Instagram at @stsnation.