Storm Fitness PT
After years of dismissing carbs as the work of the devil and only getting any carbs at all from vegetable sources, over the last few months I’ve started letting myself “indulge”. I’ve mentioned in previous blogs my years of an essentially paleo diet and how I kept waiting and waiting for the body composition changes I craved. They never came, I was eating high protein and fats, training regularly but getting nowhere. I looked tired and I was tired, plus I didn’t look the way I wanted to. Yet I still bought into the idea that I needed to limit my carbs and utilise my fat stores for fuel. While that can work for people in the short term, I think a person who is regularly exercising can not keep this up long term.
By indulge I don’t however mean cakes and sweets, most of the carbs I have come from sweet potatoes, rice and grains (don’t worry I’m fine with gluten)!!! My carb intake over the last 2 weeks has been about 350g, that’s a lot of carbs. My training had been particularly intense in nature as I was training for tough mudder (see previous blog) and involved lots of prowler pushes, 9 mile runs, heavy compound lifts with little rest. I was doing some kind of physical activity 6 days per week, sometimes twice per day. So I needed the fuel. My body wanted the calories required to do this kind of work.
The point I’m trying to make is try not to become too obsessed with the low carb idea, it is the ratio and amount of all 3 macros which is important not just the carbohydrate amount. Yes most people who are inactive will need to reduce their carb intake and when I first look at food diaries, I often encourage clients to have a period of time when starting a new eating regime to cut right back on the amount of carbs they eat for roughly 1-2 weeks. But if you’re someone who exercises regularly, some carbs are going to be important long term.
If you’ve been low carb for a long time, I would recommend slowly working them back into your diet, do this gradually, monitor your weight and waist/hip measurements or even better get regular body fat measurements taken. That way you can see how your body is changing, if your body fat stays the same then maybe try adding a few more carbs into your diet, then see what happens to the stats. If the body fat starts creeping up then maybe reduce a little for the time being. Also try and keep most of the carbs around your training, I personally try to have some quick release carbs just before and after training, to help not only fuel my workout but aid my recovery.
If you still shy away from carbs generally try ensure you’re getting plenty of fats into your diet, chances are the calories you’re consuming will be very low so eating extra fat will help to boost your calorie intake.
I think you’ll notice that your energy levels will raise, PB’s will go up and you’ll be able to maintain a higher level of intensity, which will obviously help your body composition.
If you’d like any help with your nutrition or exercise goals, contact me, David, on 07919353614, @ballavont or firstname.lastname@example.org.