Carbs . . . friend or foe

Carbs, friend or foe

Just eat the baguette. The thought of letting a morsel of bread past my lips brought a shudder to my innermost being. What? Eat a piece of bread without having to pay penance for that ungodly indiscretion? Never!

All joking aside, for many years that’s exactly what the world preached, that’s what we all believed, and according to plethora of misleading information out there, carbs were surely the reason we were all fat.

But, I’m here to share the best news of all – eat that baguette and enjoy every last bite of it.

Carbohydrates, as hard as it is to believe, are not the enemy. Carbs alone will not make you fat. In fact, we need carbohydrates to function properly. Let me explain why.

Carbohydrates are actually our main source of energy. They are the macronutrients that give us that get up and go that we so desperately need to fuel workouts, playing with the kids, taking long walks with the dog, the list goes on. Without this energy source, we will likely only hurt our workouts, forcing us to run into that ever-despised ‘wall’. 

If you are worried about gaining weight, or keeping the weight off, or even avoiding that dreaded marathon weight gain, don’t ditch the carbohydrates. What we want is sustainable weight management and a lifestyle that will stay with us for many years. Sure, it would be simple to hop on the latest diet craze, to limit your intake of breads and pastas, or to even kick them to the curb altogether, but where is the joy in that? Can you really live the rest of your entire life without enjoying a delicious slice of bread? Realistically, the answer is most likely a resounding no.

So, where’s the balance? How can you really eat carbohydrates without the fear of packing on the pounds? It’s simple. It all comes down to moderation and balance. Eat one slice of bread instead of two. If you enjoyed a nice stir-dry dinner with a cup of white sticky rice, pass on the dessert. There does not have to be an all-or-nothing way of eating. There can be an amazing life of perfect harmony between finding your best athletic self and enjoying the daily slice of toast. 

The reality is, no one macronutrient will make you gain weight. Carbohydrates are our friends, and delicious friends I might add. We need them to function at our optimal best! If you are concerned about weight loss, or avoiding weight gain, turn your focus on the portions going onto your plate and into your mouth. Weight management is a simple balance between energy in versus energy out. 

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