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- Introducing the GoNutrition Academy
Carbs are Not the Enemy… Right?
Blaming carbohydrates and sugar for weight gain and obesity has been suggested for a few years now. Many diet gurus have suggested cutting carbohydrate and not eating them is the secret diet formula you have been waiting for. However, it is a lot lot more simple than that.
Take in more calories than you expend, and you’ll gain weight. Burn more than you eat, and you’ll lose weight. This is known as calorie balance, and is the fundamentals of thermodynamics.
I am not saying that eating huge amounts of processed carbs and sugar is okay but they are fine within moderation, as long as you stay within a healthy weight range. As we know micronutrients, vitamins and minerals are all important as well for optimal health and long life. So keeping a balance of all of these things will mean you can treat yourself every-so-often.
Many individuals still do not believe the concept of energy balance and blame carbohydrates for their weight gain/ weight loss troubles. Using diets such as paleo, atkins and low carbohydrate diets as an example for showing carbohydrates are to blame for weight gain.
What does this mean for carbs?
What you need to address when looking at these diets is that they suggest carbohydrates cause weight gain… What is cutting carbs actually doing?
A lot of these diets make people eat more nutrient dense low calorie foods. That is the key point… They lower calories!!
Switching to one of these diets from the standard western diet almost inevitably increases protein intake and lowers calories.
(To read more about the benefits of protein click here)
It also starts to educate people on calories and lower calories options as well as making people avoid sugary processed high calories foods.
There Is No Magic Shortcut
Controlling calories and conducting some sort of fitness training works but learning what you enjoy and what you can stick is most important. This is because one type of diet or training routine for one individual may not work for another. If eating low carbohydrates gets you to eat and sleep better and move more, then great. But do not blame the carbohydrate for causing weight gain.
There are many research papers out there comparing high vs low carbohydrate diets all coming to the same conclusion – neither a low or high carbohydrate diet was more favourable to weight loss. (3-8)
And it is important to remember carbohydrate is essential for optimising high intensity exercise and improving performance. (1-2)
Always ask yourself:
– Does this type of eating control calorie balance the way I want?
– Can I follow this diet in the long run and be happy?
Losing weight isn’t about controlling specific hormones, detoxing, or buying loads and loads of supplements. The real winner is educating yourself with the basic principles of nutrition and customising your diet to suit your requirements.