Diets are the new big thing at the moment and with the Banting diet and Tim Noaks’ Real Meal Revolution hitting the spot light we have a shift towards high fat and protein intakes with less carbs. At least that’s what they’re trying to teach.
Unfortunately the word carb (short for carbohydrate) has got quite a bad rep over the last little while. People are being told that “You need to stay away from carbs!” and that “Carbs turn straight to sugar!” which has led to the misconception that all carbs are evil.
Let me get this straight. You need carbs. Carbohydrates present a very broad spectrum of foods, some good and some bad. Let’s start with the bad.
The first really bad carb is sugar. Sugar is a big no no and not Xylitol isn’t a healthy replacement but you can get away with a little honey. Sugar plays havoc with your blood glucose level and is probably right up there with the number cause for heart disease. The next worst carb is starch. Let me say that again. Starch. This where I think people get really caught up and blame carbs because of the wrong doing of starch. Starch consists of things like rice, potato, and those lovely baked goodies like cakes and that delicious freshly baked bread from Fournos – pretty much the main picture of this post. Starch breaks down into glycogen pretty quickly and doesn’t have too much nutritional value.
However, here is the real reason why starch is so bad. Sadly, wheat grown organically isn’t actually that bad for you although it can never be great for you. These days wheat is a hugely demanded commodity (like sugar… funny that) and so farmers are forced to cycle their field very quickly. This only means that there is no natural organic breakdown happening in the soil and thus hardly any good nutrients getting pumped into the wheat. So whilst eating potatoes may not be the best solution, I’d rather eat a potato rather than eating a piece of bread. Having said that, let’s look at the good carbs.
So here are a few foods that are actually packed with low-glycemic carbs: butternut, spinach, sweet potato, almonds and cauliflower. You really can’t go wrong with these and you can eat them and still lose weight! Which brings me to my closing point.
I’ll write a post about high-fat diets which also includes good fats and bad ones but for now I want to just add that balance, consistency and regularity is here. Balance is important because you shouldn’t really pack your diet with protein and eat nothing else because you’re hitting the gym and need to clap weights to get big. Consistency is right up there with balance because dieting is a waste of time, eating healthy as a lifestyle is what will get you through a good life. Then the big one is eating regularly. Ladies, please please please do not starve yourselves to lose weight. This will get you absolutely nowhere and it destroys your body. Eat more often (maybe not huge portions) and you’ll watch your metabolism go through the roof and that coupled with consistent training will get you shedding those ponds.
Find out what works for you. Find out what you enjoy. Then you’ll love eating healthy food and will never need to diet again.