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Jen’s Nutrition Tips: Carbs are NOT the Enemy!

Carbs aren’t the enemy!
In my previous newsletter article, I spoke a little about weight loss in terms of caloric deficit. At the end of the day, that is the foundation for weight loss or weight gain or weight maintenance, for that matter. But let’s stick with weight loss for now since that is usually the one people are interested in hearing about if they are reading about these kinds of things at all.
How you arrive at your caloric deficit is not as cut and dry as the deficit itself.
There are all kinds of diets and lifestyles out there right now, and choosing the “best” one can be confusing. But the thing is, there is no best one. Anyone who is willing to argue on behalf of one is most likely trying to
1. Sell you something or
2. Get you on board with what they are doing because, well; misery loves company.

But I am today just going to stand up for carbs, because they often get removed from the equation first. And if you asked any Tom, Dick or Harry on the street which macronutrient they think is the “worst,” they would probably say carbs.
First, a little surface scratch on the biochemistry of carbohydrates. All carbs- yes ALL- fruits, veggies, candies, potatoes, Fruity Pebbles, etc. etc. etc. ALL break down into glucose, and they all have the same final destination- the bloodstream. (Hence, “blood sugar.”)
But some of the stuff in that list isn’t healthy!” Yeah yeah yeah….

Here is what is different between the carbs I listed, or any carbs for that matter.

1. What other good nutrition (micronutrients, minerals, etc.) do they bring along with them?
Obviously, fruit brings with it fiber, vitamins and minerals, whereas a sour patch kid just brings chemicals. LOL. BUT- macronutrient wise, a carb is a carb, baby.

2. How quickly do they get into your bloodstream?
(this is what the glycemic index speaks about) Oatmeal takes half of an eternity to break down mechanically and then chemically before it becomes glucose whereas Sour Patch Kids hit the bloodstream almost immediately. This is why I like oatmeal for breakfast (with protein and fat) because it keeps me full for a long time and is slow release of sugar into my bloodstream, whereas at a powerlifting meet I eat Sour Patch Kids all day to keep my bloodstream sparkling with glucose to keep me fired up and energetic the whole time.

Obviously carbs like oats, rice, fruits and veggies are the better choice because of all the other good stuff they bring along with them. But it drives me crazy when people look at me like I have two heads when I tell them I eat a lot of bread, because it’s “bad.”
I love bread.
I love bread more than apples.
So I eat bread instead of apples.
Carbs are not bad. Carbs aren’t the enemy. They are very useful if you are working them into your diet appropriately.

So what is an appropriate number of carbs? That depends on your weight, activity level, age,
and goals. It could be anything between 150 and 350 grams a day- but again, that depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

Well how come when I cut carbs I lose weight?

1. Carbs hold water.
For every 1 gram of carb you eat you hold about 3-4 grams of water or something like that. So when someone cuts carbs and loses like 10 lbs. in a week (a miracle!) it’s just water weight. Sorry to bust anyone’s bubble.

2. If you continue to lose weight as time goes on, congratulations! You are probably in a caloric deficit achieved in part by cutting carbs, but cutting fat would have the same effect.

It is possible that carbs are a trigger for you. Like if you have them it makes you want or crave other foods. That is a real thing the brain can do. Some people do function better on a low carb and higher fat diet. Like, I said before; there isn’t one way to lose weight. But if you are someone who loves their fruit or a little pasta here and there, you can totally still have it! Carbs are not the enemy.

If you want to chat more about how carbs can fit into your diet, come see me during office hours! July hours: Tuesday, July 13th from 4-6 pm, Thursday July 22nd from 4-6 pm, Tuesday July 27th from 5-6pm.


Jen Hazzard

Jen Hazzard is a Alpin Haus Fitness’ Nutritionist, a Precision Nutrition Certified Nutrition Coach, NCCPT certified Personal Trainer, holds a bachelor‘s degree in Biochemistry with a minor in Nutrition and a master’s degree in Chemistry Education.
She is also a record holding powerlifter and former marathon runner.





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