You might be wondering why we have talked about proteins and fats but not about carbohydrates. Carbohydrates could be one of the most controversial of the macronutrients. There are all kinds of diets out there that claim that low-carb diets are the best way to lose weight. A diet that is high in processed carbohydrates is certainly not the way to lose weight yet, we also have to recognize the need for carbohydrates to be able to lose weight effectively and safely.
Similar to fats, there are carbohydrates that better for you than others. Generally speaking, the more processed the carbohydrate, the worse it is for you. We’ve already talked about white food (like white bread), which are highly processed carbohydrates that have very little nutritional value for your body. We want to try to avoid foods like this and replace them with carbohydrates that are good for our body. Things like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are carbohydrates that are better for the body. Be careful with things that say “whole grain” though. When manufacturers know what buzz words people are looking for on packaging, they try to trick the consumer into making that purchase. Whole grains are foods like, rice, quinoa, and barley.
It is absolutely essential that you have some carbohydrate in your diet, otherwise your brain will not function optimally. You might feel very tired and you certainly won't get as much out of your workouts as you would like.
Additionally, you want to remember that your body will convert carbohydrates into sugar and think about how that will affect your body. We already talked about high glycemic foods. Fruits are going to produce a higher sugar effect on the body than a vegetable would. Similarly, brown rice will not be absorbed into the body as quickly as a fruit might. It's important that you eat the majority of your grains and fruits surrounding your exercise sessions whenever possible. That doesn’t mean that you can never have fruit or grain if it’s not combined with exercise - it just means that the body will be better at using those in a positive manner when it’s closer to an exercise session. We should strive to eat at least three times as many vegetables than fruits.
Today, look at your food logs and see if you can make better carbohydrate choices. Also, notice if you have been avoiding carbohydrates altogether because of something you've heard in the past. If this is the case, try adding in some healthy carbohydrates today and see how much more energized you feel!