Alright guys, I feel like I need to clear something up carbs are not bad. If you want to eat more carbs, do it! There are so many benefits to a higher carb diet.
Carbs do not cause weight gain. I mean, just look at the countries with lowest obesity rates, their diets are very carb rich. What does cause weight gain is eating in a caloric surplus.
Carbs are completely, 100% necessary for our body to function at its best.
Great things that happen when you eat more carbs:
You may lose weight. Not all carbs are created equal, but eating complex carbs may aid weight loss. A study done at BYU concluded that consumption of more dietary fiber promotes weight loss and a lower body fat percentage (source). Plus, fiber filled carbs will keep you feeling full longer, which may prevent you from reaching for seconds 😉
It lowers your Cholesterol. Soluble fiber found in oats, flaxseed, beans, and oat bran lowers LDL cholesterol.
You have less belly fat. In a 12 week study, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that including whole grains as part of your diet resulted in a significantly higher decrease in body fat in the abdominal area than those who don’t (source).
You have more energy. Your body’s main source of energy comes from glucose, glucose comes from carbs. More carbs equals more energy. This is why runners will carbo-load the night before a big race.
You think better. Your brain needs glucose for energy as well. When following a low carb diet, you are not only depriving your body of what it needs, but you are depriving your brain as well. Research shows that low carb diets are detrimental to learning, memory, and thinking (source).
Do you lose weight faster going low-carb?
Possibly at first. Carbs hold onto water, eating less can reduce the amount of water weight your body is holding onto.
Ultimately the main factor in weight loss is your caloric deficit.
The problem is that when we go low carb, it is easy to feel sluggish and irritable on a regular basis and it makes it much harder to stick to a diet in the first place. This means you are more likely to binge and overeat.
There have actually been numerous studies done comparing weight loss of individuals following low-carb diets vs people following low-fat, high carb diets and the results were never significantly different, both groups lost similar amounts of weight.
What this means is that following a low carb diet doesn’t necessarily help you lose the weight faster; what does seem to help is calorie restriction in general. And that makes sense–you eat less, of course you’re going to lose weight.
High carb diet for weight loss
Since your body uses carbs as it’s main source of energy, eating more can give you more energy to fuel some killer workouts.
There are a ton of online calculators that will help you figure out how many grams of carbs you should be eating based on your weight, height, gender, age, and activity level.
Personally, when it comes to carbs we recommend focusing on whole grains, eliminating sugars and starches, and adding in tons of veggies. We also like to track our macros to make sure we are eating to fuel our bodies properly.
Recommended Read: 10 Tips for Quitting Sugar
Carbs or protein
I don’t think there’s ever been a time where I had my protein goal higher than my carbs. My carbs are always higher. Keto dieters will suggest the opposite.
When it comes down to it, keto is just not a sustainable lifestyle for me. Eating a moderate amount of carbs, protein, and fats is. And that’s what is important. You should aim for a sustainable lifestyle change, not a fad diet.
I currently eat over 200 grams of carbs daily and am only 5’3″. It took time for me to build up to eating that much, but it was so worth it.