WHY are carbohydrates such a struggle?
What are good carbs?
What's best when consumed sparingly?
I will also share with you my story about what happened when I had too few carbs.
I asked Instagram what they think when they see or hear the word "carb" or "carbohydrate"...
Here's a little refresher from last week's post. Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches and fibers found in food. When you consume carbohydrates, your body converts them to glucose, which it uses for energy. Your pancreas releases insulin to help absorb glucose and lower glucose levels. You body uses insulin for other metabolic functions.
So, if we need carbohydrates to be healthy and for energy, why are the low carb diets so popular? Why do we think carbs are bad? Why do we crave them?
Let's talk about simple carbohydrates for a little bit. Simple carbs are those types of food and beverages made of simple sugars (such as sucrose, fructose, and maltose), which your body digests quickly. These types of foods include donuts, muffins, cake, ice cream, candy, soda, beer, and white breads. My cousin Jamie calls them, "calorie bombs." You eat them, they are tons of calories, and 1/2 hour or less after you eat them, you are hungry for more. For me, eating this type of food early in the day makes me hungry all day long. I can't seem to get enough, and it's sweet, sugary foods I crave most. Thus the term, "Calorie Bomb." When you are trying to lose weight, you want to avoid this kind of food as much as possible. You don't want to eat calorie dense foods that will leave you hungry and craving more all day. It's okay to have them once in a while, sparingly. For example, if you have a party to attend on the weekend or you are itching for some Fig Newtons, just be sure to include them in your nutrition, whether you are tracking points or macros. Be aware of how you respond to this kind of food. Does it make you even hungrier after? Can you stop with one serving? Do you feel satisfied or wanting more? Depending on how you respond, and at what time of day, makes a difference as to how often you want to "splurge" on that kind of treat.
|Except for the turkey burger and cheese buried under those mushrooms, this plate is a carb feast. Probably not what you would think of when you think, "carbs," but vegetables are carbohydrates!|
Here's my story...
|A 41 mile ride shouldn't have beat me down as much as it did. I thought I was eating enough, but I was not. Proper nutrition and plenty of carbs literally fueled my training. I needed carbohydrates.|
|I started eating a PB&J sandwich on white bread before a ride. I learned that half a sandwich was best because I got stomach cramps with a whole one. But it was the perfect combination of simple carbs my body needed to get me through a ride.|
Here are links to other posts where I discuss nutrition. They are worth a second (or first) view if you are serious about flexible dieting as an option.
Carbs: The first post about carbohydrates. Make sure you read this!!!
Successful Secrets: Two simple strategies I practice every day which helped me to lose weight and to now keep it off.
Successful Secrets: Part Two: How planning my week's meals helps me to stay on track. Menu and recipe ideas.
Nutrition 101, I talk about meal prep and provided you with several recipes and meal suggestions to get you started. Check it out!
Flexible Dieting Basics: A basic explanation of flexible dieting...how tracking calories and macronutrients has been the most successful way for me to lose weight and keep it off.
Tracking Calories with MFP: Some features of MyFitnessPal (MFP) explained. This post has some tricks of the trade.
Foods to Try: These are foods I try to always keep on hand and a couple recipes too.
Cravings: Some tips on how to stave off and handle cravings when they hit.
Wonder Woman: I explain how I got the nickname "Wonder Woman" by tracking all my calories and macronutrients. I give a brief explanation of macros here.
A Calorie is Not a Calorie: This post talks about the different effect foods have on you.
Questions for you:
(Answer in the comment section below.)
What did you do this weekend? What's your biggest food weakness?
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