There is a belief floating around that carbs are the worst possible thing you can consume if you’re looking to tone up, lose weight, and get healthy. But not all carbs are created equal.. There are two types of carbs, and each will either help or harm your progress! Here’s what the differences are, and what type of carbs are best for your fitness goals.
Foods that contain carbs include bread and grains, nuts and seeds, rice and pasta, dairy products, candies and desserts, as well as fruits & vegetables. It’s important to realize the difference between them – some are complex and some are simple! (And yes, fruits & veggies are carbs!!)
Complex carbs are the ones that you should include loads of in your diet. Simple carbs are the ones that you want to focus on reducing to help you reach your goals.
Let’s dive into the simple carbs first. Simple carbohydrates include things like desserts, cereals, juices and soft drinks, as well as white bread & pasta. The problems with simple carbs is that they spike your blood sugar, giving you a temporary spike in energy before crashing. Our bodies don’t digest them well, and excess simple carbs are stored as fat. These are the things you want to eliminate from your diet! (PS. If you are really really feeling like those hot chips, or some dessert, grab it after a high intensity workout, as your body will be using it straight away. – Article for another day)
Now to the good stuff!! While you should limit your intake of simple carbohydrates, you don’t have to eliminate all carbs! You can include a mix of complex carbs into your diet to help you speed up your metabolism, feel fuller, and provide your body with the nutrients and fibre it needs! Fibre is the key here. Your gut takes longer to process food that have fibre as we can not break it down. All of the nutrients are extracted and the fibre that is left, well that ends up being your stool. (Fingers crossed you’re not eating right now).
Complex carbs include things like whole grain bread, pasta and rice, sweet potato, quinoa, leafy green veggies like kale and spinach, and fresh fruits (must have the skin left on!). Adding these complex carbs into your diet will help you lose body fat, give your metabolism a boost, and provide you with natural energy that won’t cause you to have that 3pm crash.
This week, try adding in two new complex carbs to your diet. What’s your pick? Mine is carrots & rice – as I’m living on rice noodle & veggie soups at the moment haha.