Personally, I LOVE carbs…all kinds of ‘em. If I could have a diet solely consisting of different kinds of Mac n’ Cheese, I would be one happy camper. And although that’s the dream, I need to stay realistic about the kinds of foods I put in my body.
Carbs are important, in fact they are a necessary nutrient that we need in order to have energy throughout the day. And when it comes to exercise, they are even more essential. Sure, an excess amount of carbs can lead to weight gain, but an excess amount of any nutrient can do the same.
Weight loss and weight management is not about restricting your nutrient intake but having a balanced diet. So, the recommended carbohydrate intake of your overall daily nutrients is anywhere between 45% and 65%.
If weight loss is your goal, then instead of limiting your carbohydrate intake, eat foods that are moderate- to low-glycemic foods and high in fiber. Some examples are:
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Brown Rice
Remember, whole grain means high fiber. Try to stay away from bleached flower products. Also, all raw fruits and vegetables are high in fiber (this is a plus for me because I LOVE strawberries)!
Does Eating at Night Make Me Fat?
This is a question I get asked a lot, and I also struggled with the internal battle of whether or not to have that piece of cake past midnight.
Before I became informed on proper diet, I used to think that if you ate anything past 7PM, it would all go to your thighs and you would be fatter the next morning. I’ve found that many women have the same idea.
However, this crazy diet rule is so restrictive that it takes the fun out of eating, in my opinion.
So, here’s the truth: Weight gain happens when you consume more calories then you are burning each day. What time of day you eat has no effect on how many calories you burn. Your body does not store fat in more abundance at night!
So no, eating that cold left over pizza at 11PM will not make you gain weigh JUST because you ate it at night, BUT make sure to watch caloric intake (and more importantly, your macronutrients). Our bodies don’t have an internal clock that starts storing fat after a specific time. Each person has a certain amount of calories that you can eat before we will gain weight and as long as you don’t eat more than that, you WON’T gain weight. How freeing is that?!?! So go ahead ladies, eat at all hours of the night if your little heart desires.
Can I Eat Whatever I Want as Long as I Work Out?
A lot of people seem to think that if you’re exercising regularly, you can eat whatever you want. Seems to make sense right? This method, however, will fail you in the end. Being aware of what kinds of food you put into your body is key.
If your goal is weight loss, there needs to be a calorie deficit of about 500 to 1,000 calories a day. What this means is that you need to be consuming at least 500 less calories a day than your body burns. So if you burned 600 calories on the StairMaster, but then ate some brownies (around 600 calories) then you put yourself right back where you started.
Also, the kinds of food we put in our bodies has a huge influence on our overall health. So if you’re eating deep fried foods and fast food for every meal, your body won’t have the energy and nutrients it needs in order to function throughout the day. This is true especially if you’re regularly working out!
This is why it is important to maintain a healthy diet with recommended amounts of all three macronutrients. Keeping a balanced diet ensures energy during the day, as well as providing a foundation for healthy weight loss and weight maintenance.