Lifestyle

Healthy Eating: Carbs Are Not The Enemy

Carbs, why do people think they are the enemy?

I wanted to write a little on the importance of carbs because time and time again I hear young girls say ‘I’m on a no carb diet’ and it just makes me so sad to see girls with no real idea how to eat healthy.  When you want to slim down or just eat healthier in general, it’s tempting to try to ditch carbs entirely.  After all, we grew up in an Atkins diet-loving world, and its carb-free philosophy somehow managed to stick with us throughout the years. But here’s the thing: You need carbs (the good, healthy ones, at least). Your body depends on them to function properly.

It took me many years to realise this myself so I understand why people think ditching carbs is the answer to losing weight. I used to obsessively count calories and watch my carb intake, and in my mind I still didn’t get the body I wanted. I was like a zombie most of the time, tired, with no energy to do anything. My skin lacked that ‘healthy glow’. It was only when I started weight training and watching the fitness YouTube stars that I realised I need carbs for energy and to build muscle. My goal was and still is to build an athletically shape with toned arms, legs and a peachy bum. I went from having hardly any carbs in my daily food intake to having carbs with mostly every meal. At first I thought I would get fat but my body thrived from my change in eating. With hard work and dedication to eating healthy most of the week and training hard at the gym I soon put on muscle and shape that I desired. I always hated my flat pancake bum, and now I’m so proud of my shape. Sure, it’s not perfect, I have wobbly bits but WHO CARES. I am so much happier in myself and I enjoy meals out with my family and friends without the guilt. Sure, I never over-do the binge eating because I know it will just make me feel sluggish and uncomfortable, but I enjoy eating healthy 80% of the time and seeing results in the gym.

Why do you need carbs?

They Help Your Brain Work Better

This one is huge, and I can’t emphasize it enough. Your brain needs carbs to function properly, because your brain runs on glucose, and you get glucose from carbs. If you don’t have enough of them, your ability to think, learn, and remember stuff will decrease because neurotransmitters in your brain will not have enough glucose to synthesize properly.

They Help Reduce Bloating

Good carbohydrates, like whole grains and fruits and veggies, contain a lot of fiber—and fiber helps keep your bowel movements regular. That means that you’re less likely to feel puffy because your body will naturally eliminate waste more efficiently.

They Make You Happier

There’s definitely some truth to the old “pasta makes anything better” adage. Why? Most carbohydrates contain tryptophan, which helps produce the feel-good hormone serotonin in your brain.

They Give You Energy

Think about trying to run a car without petrol; it’d be pretty hard, right? That’s basically what happens when you try to run your body without carbs. Carbs are fuel for your body because they contain glucose, which is your body’s number one source of energy. Protein and fat work, too, but carbs are definitely number one

Healthy Carbs

Barley, Lentils, chickpeas, peas, buckwheat and beans

Whole wheat pasta

Whole Wheat bread

Oatmeal

Quinoa & rice

Bananas, cherries, apples, blueberries

Sweet potatoes

Greek yogurt

If you’re feeling tired and unhappy with your body, try adding carbs into your diet. Remember eating healthy is about a varied diet, but remember to enjoy that cheat meal once a week 😉

 

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