Carbohydrates are a good source of energy and because they release it slowly and are perfect for the active person for example a long distance runner, that does mean TRULY active, not just think they are or wishes to be!
But carbohydrates have, in the past bad press when it comes to weight loss. Many of you will remember diets where you got no carbohydrates and in fact there are still diets out there that still do
Sadly though, most of us aren’t active enough to claim the amount of carbohydrates that we consume and having a high proportion can be detrimental to your weight loss you would benefit by replacing some of your carbohydrates with protein.
- Just think for a minute – if you have a slice of toast for how many of you would it lead to another because it doesn’t fill you up?
- Try adding to the slice of toast either an egg or some baked beans and you would find it more filling and you would be less likely to need another slice.
- But then to make it even more filling you could add some vegetables e.g. tomatoes or mushrooms and voila a balanced and much more filling meal
So what is a carbohydrate? there are 2 two types of carbohydrates – simple and complex.
Simple carbohydrates are found in fruits, milk and milk products and processed and refined sugars and when you are looking at food labels remember that its not just sugar you should be looking at on the ingredients listing anything that ends in -ose is also a sugar e.g. lactose found in milk.
Complex carbohydrates are basically starchy foods and they are typically Potatoes, root vegetables, pasta, Rice, and anything made with them e.g. Chips and crisps. Anything made with flour e.g. Bread and cakes, cereals, crisp breads.
The problem we have with carbohydrate is we tend to think of it as a comfort food that fills us up when we are hungry and a lot of people are not in control of the quantities they eat of them.
Ideally we should have carbohydrates at each mealtime. But as we said getting the balance right is crucial to your success.
For how many of you does this sound familiar?
- Toast for breakfast
- Sandwich and a bag of crisps for lunch
- Cereal bar for a snack
- Lasagna and oven chips and peas
- Cake for desert
- Bowl of cereals as a snack in evening
It’s not that this way of eating always takes you over your daily calorie allowance but it is so high in carbohydrates it isn’t as healthy as it could be and the same will apply to your weight loss it won’t be as healthy as it could be.
We need more of a balanced approach and if you want the pudding with Carbs in it then try having the main course without or vice versa.
So many of us drive cars nowadays and for our cars to perform at their best getting us from A-B they need different types of fuel – petrol/diesel for the fuel tank, oil for the engine, water in the radiator and in the window washer bottle, brake fluid in the brake reservoir and all these different fuels help your car to run more efficiently and get you to where you want to go. the same is true of the human body we need different fuels for different reasons and when we overeat on carbohydrate remember it is like putting petrol in the fuel tank, the engine, the radiator, the window washer bottle and the brake reservoir and to be honest not many of us would expect that car to go far before it broke down.
When we have a more balanced approach and eat a variety of foods and nutrients our bodies will work more efficiently and get us to where we want to go faster.