In a one word answer, no. Carbs are one of the three main food groups, the other two being Proteins and Fats. Ring any bells from your school days? Who would have thought that the basics would come back into play now eh?
Obviously a one word answer isn’t going to satisfy you so read on to find out why Carbs are so important in reaching your fitness and physique goals, and then the rest is up-to you!
Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred source of energy – it’s instant lift gives your body the boost it needs almost straight away this is because Carbohydrates are made up of sugars, and this is why your body craves sugary, bread style things when you need a lift. But isn’t sugar the enemy I hear you ask? Yes and No. You do need some levels of sugar to maintain your insulin levels but to much sugar has the opposite effect and sends them spiralling out of control meaning the storage of tummy fat increases massively.
So lets make it easy: There are different types of Carbs and in some ways you can categorise these into ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’. Try to ensure you choose wisely and that the majority of your carbs (ideally all!) come from the ‘good’ list.
- Sweet Potato
- White potato
- Wholemeal pasta
- Rice – white and brown
- Rice Cakes (un-flavored)
- Fruit – in moderation
- Vegetables (what? veggies are a carb?!) YES!
- Sweets and Chocolate
- ‘Low fat’ yogurts
- ‘Low fat’ cereal bars
- Bread, white pasta, sausage rolls, pastries, pizza
- Energy Drinks
If you are training to maintain a lean figure or to add muscle and size to your figure then carbs are important in both aspects, however the consumption of carbs just needs to be tweaked.
If you are trying to lean out, avoid carbs after 6pm this is because unless you have a busy evening of rushing around after your last meal, your body does not require the ‘energy’ (Glucose) that carbs provide and this will often store as tummy fat, even if your calories aren’t that high. However, do eat carbs throughout the day as part of your other meals to provide constant energy and ‘food’ for your muscles.
If you are looking to make gains, again avoid carbs after 6pm UNLESS you’re training, and then carbs MUST be consumed after your workout WITH protein. Protein and carbs combined together is the perfect weapon in making gains, the carbs help to shuttle all those Aminos from the protein into your muscles, aiding in recovery and gains 🙂
In a Nutshell
Start your Carb consumption in the morning, petering out towards the end of day.
Always consume carbs with protein, never on their own (this slows the glucose into the body preventing a spike).
Limit fruit intake to twice per day, ideally berries (lower sugar) and ALWAYS have with fats or protein.
Consume a small amount of carbs before and after training.
AVOID at all costs low fat/diet yogurts, cereal bars etc as these are loaded with sugar and to be honest, you may as well have a good ol’ Mars bar.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and gaining more of an insight into your bodies preferred energy source! We’re sure you may have questions, so feel free to email us and ask about our nutrition plans where you will learn even more. Understanding the basics of your body and its needs is the first step to getting the results you want.
Go for it!
Love, The West Twins xx