Why Carbs Aren’t Your Enemy

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The popular diet of the decade is low-carb and high-protein. It’s been talked about by celebrities. It’s been proclaimed as the easy route to weight loss. And carbs have been made the enemy.

But let’s take a step behind enemy lines for a quick second.

Not all carbs are bad.

Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients your body needs. Macronutrients are the big nutrients that provide energy to the body. Yet, your body prefers to use carbohydrates for energy. Protein is preferred as the building blocks of the body. And fat is used for energy storage, insulation, and vitamin absorption.

And yes, if you aren’t using carbohydrates for energy, you’re body will resort to fat or protein.

But it’s not exactly efficient. A healthy body runs off of carbohydrates, stores little fat, and uses protein to build muscle and repair tissue.

Eliminating carbs forces your body to dig into your fat stores and protein stores. This means you could potentially be losing vital muscle by not eating carbs. And you want to maintain that muscle. More muscle increases the metabolism and provides support and strength to your joints.

So, what’s the deal? How much of anything should you be eating?

Macronutrient Percentages Explained

Your macronutrient ratio (the percentage of fat, proteins, or carbohydrates that come from your daily caloric intake) depends on your body composition, body type, and your goals.

Generally, the average person should consume about 10-35% protein, 20-35% fat, and 45-65% carbohydrates. These percentages range based on the above criteria impacting what ratio you should aim for. But nowhere do experts or scientists say 0% carbs is best. Unless you’re on the keto diet for a health reason, you probably should consuming 45-65% of your daily caloric intake from carbohydrates. Remember, it’s your energy.

Basically, carbohydrates aren’t the problem when it comes to weight gain. Most people are actually just overeating. They’re ordering huge portion sizes and eating far too many daily calories.

So now you’re probably wondering... What kind of diet is best? If a low-carb and high-protein diet isn’t entirely right, what is?

Use the 80-20 Rule

Put the brakes on the fad diets. Instead, use the 80-20 rule to guide your eating behaviours and habits. And if your goal is to lose weight or gain muscle, tracking your macronutrient amounts and daily caloric amounts can help.

But first, let’s dive into what the 80-20 principle means. Essentially, it means that about 80% of the time you should stick to a fairly healthy and nutritious diet. But 20% of the time, you can cut yourself some slack. This means having that piece of cake at the party on the weekend. Or ordering a glass of wine during that dinner out with friends.

Enjoy Your Life!

Diets aren’t fun. Make healthy a lifestyle - and a healthy lifestyle involves carbs. Go for healthy carbohydrates, such as veggies, whole fruits, and whole grains. Limit processed, high fat, and pre-packaged foods. These often don’t contain a lot of nutrients, minerals, or vitamins. Treat your body right!