Make carbs work for you

Carbs are bad for you right? What if it is not about good or bad, but rather, how are they being used in your body? Let’s ponder on this idea and make carbs work for you.

Carbohydrates (1)

Many weight-loss plans are focused on low carb. There is a reason for this. Energy is the burning of calories in the body. If we consume more calories than we exert, weight gain happens. When we decrease calories eaten to fewer than we burn, we can maintain or lose weight. The idea here is that one of the easiest ways to reduce calories eaten is to lower your carbs. So what does low carb really mean?

Examine has a very informative break down of different “low carb” diets. I think ketogenic diets are more extreme than this article shares because you virtually remove all carbohydrates except those coming from vegetables. But that’s neither here nor there. Read up on low carb diets. Try it. Every body is different and changes with age, environment and other factors. If your body response positively, great! If not, maybe there is another way you can make your carbs work for you.

In the past two and a half years of training and fueling my body for the sport of bodybuilding, I’ve learned that incorporating carbs is strategic. Whether you choose simple or complex, if they come from vegetables or fruits, have more sugars or fiber, this can all affect your body differently. Depending on your goal, that can matter tremendously. I’ve done higher carb, I’ve carb cycled and now I’m trying a lower carb diet.

Why am I switching to a lower carb diet when I’m in off season or improvement season? A few reasons. It mostly stems from not seeing progress in the gym because my caloric surplus has been so high. This comes in to play when you get a meal plan from a coach or for a new program and they have substitute suggestions. If you start to get burnt out on white rice, try some red skinned potatoes instead.

Fried rice with broccoli and pineapple and pork
Sweet potatoes cut for sweet potato fries

Once you really begin to understand macronutrients and what works for you, flexible dieting or IIFYM (if it fits your macros) can be more readily incorporated. It might not always be the best option, depending on your specific goals. That’s what hiring a coach is great for! When my coach prescribes pop tarts in my plan, you won’t hear complaining from me. 🙂 Because at the end of the day, a carb is a carb.

Coincidentally, John Meadows recently created this video that explains how even when trying to grow and increase size and strength, you must figure out your threshold for carb intake.

So for three more weeks, I’m going to make my carbs work for me. How about you?

Please comment or reach out with any questions! I’d be happy to help. I also offer coaching or can recommend great resources for you.

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