“No carbs before Marbs” may have become a joke rather than a mantra (it’s from an episode of TOWIE, in case you didn’t know), but many people still believe that cutting carbs from their diet is a fast track to weight loss.
Especially during the summer, when there’s a holiday – and the prospect of stripping down in a bathing suit – on the horizon (whether the destination is Marbella or not).
Really, no one should feel pressured to achieve a certain body shape at any time of the year – and you certainly don’t need to lose weight before you’re “cleared” to enjoy your summer vacation. .
But what is really the problem with carbohydrates? And why do nutrition experts want you to think twice about trying to cut carbs from your diet?
What exactly are carbohydrates?
One of the three macronutrients (along with protein and fat), carbohydrates fall into two different categories: simple (or refined) and complex.
“Refined carbs, like bread and pasta, are digested incredibly quickly, which spikes our blood sugar,” says Melissa Snover, Registered Nutritionist and CEO and Founder and CEO of Nourished (to-feed.com).
“While complex carbohydrates are high in fiber, such as vegetables, fruits, wholemeal bread and wholemeal pasta.”
Why do we need carbohydrates in our diet?
With so many misleading messages about carbs, it can be easy to see them in a negative light. But carbohydrates actually play an important role in a balanced diet.
“Carbohydrates of any unprocessed variety are our body’s favorite source of energy and our brain’s main source of energy,” says nutritionist Alona Pulde of the Lifesum app (lifesum.com).
“The fiber in carbs stabilizes blood sugar, while also binding and helping flush out excess hormones, cholesterol, and extra toxins from our bodies.”
The fiber content “also provides bulk, helps us feel full longer, satisfies our hunger and promotes regular bowel habits,” Pulde adds.
Simple carbs, on the other hand, typically offer far fewer nutritional benefits, Pulde notes. In other words, not all carbs are created equal. “Processed and junk carbs such as cookies, pastries, candy bars, candy bars, and sodas are devoid of fiber and instead contain calories, fat, and sugar,” says Pulde.
Why should you avoid cutting carbs?
“Avoiding carbs may actually hinder rather than help weight management, as it’s important for those looking to lose weight to maintain a balanced diet,” Snover says.
Instead, she suggests it’s best to increase your intake of fiber-rich complex carbs: “Because these specific types of carbs help us feel full longer, we should in theory be able to eat less in the morning. ‘together, which can help promote weight management’. .”
Pulde adds, “When we restrict carbs, we deprive our bodies of the fuel they need to thrive and may experience side effects such as headaches, muscle cramps, fatigue, and constipation, among others.”
Complex carbohydrates provide a constant release of energy. This can be useful when considering our diet as a whole. “By stabilizing blood sugar and maintaining satiety, we feel full longer and are less likely to snack or choose unhealthy foods, or give in to temptations and cravings,” says Pulde.
If you’re curious about your diet, you might want to look at the types of carbs you eat most often. No food is inherently ‘bad’ and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a little of what you crave – but it can be beneficial to maintain a balance of refined and processed carbohydrate intake .
“Essentially, these are junk foods that are man-made to make us want more and eat regularly,” Pulde says. “Instead, eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, starches, whole grains and legumes.
“These are low-calorie, low-fat, high-fiber, nutrient-dense foods that will satisfy your stomach and taste buds, cut your hunger cues appropriately to prevent overeating, and keep you full longer.”