In my last post “Code Red: the Worst of the Worst” I discussed high calories liquids as the number one thing I would change to reduce body fat. So what would be next? Well if replacing high calories liquids with water would have the biggest effect on fat loss, then replacing calorie dense carbohydrates with more vegetables and good fats would be second on the list!
What am I referring to: I’m referring to Carbohyrdates sources that load our bodies with a huge amounts of energy / calories in the form of carbohydrates and provide little by way of nutritional value. These include:
- Grains, including bread of all types.
Why are these a problem:
Our bodies will either burn fat or carbohydrates for energy. When you give your body a constant supply of lots of carbohydrates from carb rich sources such as those above you:
1) Burn more carbohydrates and less fat. This occurs because these carbohydrates cause a big insulin spike. This stimulates the cells of the body to absorb glucose out of the blood stream and into the cells to use it for energy. This can then reduce the levels of blood glucose in the blood which stimulate hunger and cravings for something sweet. What you eat in response to that can repeat the cycle.
2) Excess carbohydrate is converted into fat in the liver. Our bodies can only store so much carbohydrate in the cells and the liver. If we bombard our body with foods that have a large volume of carbohydrate, the excess will be converted into fat in the liver and distributed to the fat cells of the body for storage.
Will I have enough energy?
A common question I hear is. If I reduce or eliminate these foods will I have enough energy? As mentioned our bodies can either burn carbohydrates or fat for energy. We recommend you eat a small ammount of good fats and a good source of carbohyrates (I.e. from vegetables, fruit or berries) with every meal and snack. If you are doing this you are at no risk of ketoacidosis (a problematic state that can occur when blood glucose is too low) and you will have enough energy to get you through the day and your workouts. Endurance athletes completing very high volumes of exercise and people trying to gain muscle may find some of these foods (ideally sweet potato) can be useful in achieving these goals.
What can I eat instead? Initially when you first reducing these foods, it will often leave a hole on your plate. So why not try the following. An omlette with a side of berries for breakfast instead of toast, muesli or porridge. A salad with a nice Olive oil based dressing instead of a sandwhich for lunch. After eliminating the ‘white’ carbs from your evening meal enjoy a more generous serve of vegetables with dinner! Try Cauliflower mash instead of potato or a nice stir fry instead of a pasta dish.
Eating whole, unprocessed foods doesn’t have to be bland! The nutrion page of our website has a tonne of tasty recipes that Kat has compiled over the years that really bring these recommendations to life