There is a very popular opinion right now that carbohydrates are bad, and should be very limited if not cut from your daily diet. While this may achieve a quick weight loss, it is NOT sustainable or a truly healthy choice. Don’t believe the “no carb hype”!
Our bodies crave and need carbs to function properly. The ultimate goal is to lead a healthy life, not just crash diet. When you lose weight, you want it to STAY gone! If this is to be achieved, you must make a lifestyle change not just a temporary diet change.
Now what this does mean is that you have to make the right carb choices. Yes, there is such a thing as the right carbs. Complex carbs are what you want to go for daily. They will give your body the right type of fuel without causing the undesirable effects of simple carbs, such as weight gain. By eating a balance of complex carbs, such as sweet potatoes and whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice and quinoa, you will keep your body fueled without retaining fat.
There are many benefits of keeping complex carbs in your diet. Not only does the body break down more slowly and make use of the complex carbs, but one of the top benefits research has shown is that these carbs promote the production of serotonin, a chemical in the brain which makes you feel good. When serotonin is produced it helps prevent feelings of depression, anxiety and anger. Those who deprive their bodies of carbs tend to have more struggle with these emotions.
Another major benefit comes from the fiber found in these complex carbs. Research has shown that increased fiber intake actually helps you lose weight over time. The soluble fiber found in carb rich foods also has been found to lower the bad “LDL” cholesterol while providing good “HDL” cholesterol. This all basically adds up to some major heart benefits.
It is important to choose the complex carbs over the simple ones on a daily basis. Enjoy some simple ones from time to time, but focus on a sweet potato with a touch of sea salt and olive oil, or some brown rice or quinoa cooked in chicken broth for extra flavor, and steel cut oats in the mornings. Fueling your body with these complex carbs throughout each day will give you the mental clarity and energy to function at your best, especially if you are doing physical activity and/or working out.
By eating complex carbs paired with lean proteins, greens, and some healthy fats, your body will be a lot healthier and sustain activity longer.
For more information regarding a personalized general or sports nutrition plan contact me at Prime Performance 423-805-0870.
By: Nick Thomas
Owner of Prime Performance Training, and Certified Sports Nutritionist