Everyone in the fitness industry may tell you that carbs are bad for you and should be avoided if you want to lose weight, however, this is not completely true.
Carbs are your biggest source of energy, and a great source of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that your body needs to survive, so we won’t give up on them during our plan.
If you’ve ever done a very low carb diet, you probably know all too well how miserable it makes you and that’s why our meal plan has the right amount of carbohydrates.
Another reason why carbs are important is the fact that they regulate a very important hormone: Leptin.
Leptin is produced by your body’s fat cells and helps the body monitor total fat stores as well as total calorie and carbohydrate intake. When you eat fewer calories or less carbohydrates, less leptin is going to be produced.
When this happens, the body then knows that it needs to do whatever it can to get you to eat and gain weight. Basically when Leptin levels fall too low, your life will be miserable until you eat, but since we are keeping more carbohydrates in your diet, Leptin levels won’t drop too low, in fact they will be higher than normal, making fat loss so much easier.
There are 2 types of carbohydrates, simple and complex.
Simple carbohydrates, are the carbohydrates that will tend to spike blood glucose levels, causing that high dose of insulin to be released into the blood stream and leading you to gain body fat.
So these simple carbs should be avoided and if you can’t stop yourself from eating them, better have them in the morning and early afternoon.
Simple carbs includes foods like:
White bread, Crackers, Chocolate bars, Candy, Soda, Energy bars, Cereal bars, Sugary cereals, Muffins, Cake, Cookies, Other baked goods, White pasta, even cereals, except oats.
Now there is a segment I want to talk to you about, and this is fruit. Even though fruits contain lots of simple carbs in form of fructose, which is a form of sugar, because they also contain lots of vitamins, nutrients and fiber, they should be a part of your diet.
You should eat a maximum 100-200 grams of fruits per day, and choose fruits with lower glycemic index, like raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and grapefruit.
In contrast to simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates are those that are going to break down much slower in the body, releasing their glucose over a long period of time.
This is referred to as having a low GI value – GI being glycemic index.
The glycemic index is a ranking of all types of carbohydrates based on how fast 100 grams of them digests in the human body. The slower the carbohydrate digests, the lower the
ranking will be.
The sugary, processed foods I mentioned before, all have rankings into the 70-100 range, while many of the complex carbohydrates come in closer to the 20-60 range.
Complex carbohydrates also have a much higher amount of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fibers, which are essential for weight loss
The best sources of complex carbohydrate are:
Brown rice, Quinoa, Steel cut oats, Barley, Beans, Lentils, Sweet potatoes, Yams, Squash
The last type of carbohydrates I want to talk to you about are vegetables, which are a big part of our plan because:
- they are very low in calories,
- are filled with vitamins, nutrients and fibers, and
- except corn and potatoes, you can eat as much as you want of them, and still lose weight.
For example, 1 pound of steamed broccoli has only 99 calories and 14 grams of protein and only 9 grams of carbs, so you can eat as much as you want to.
Some of the top vegetables to include in your diet are:
Spinach, Lettuce, Kale, Collard greens, Broccoli, Cabbage, Peppers, Mushrooms, Onions, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Celery, Cucumber, Asparagus, Artichokes, Tomatoes.