Carbohydrates are sugars, starches and fiber. They are separated into two different kind, Simple Carbs and Complex carbs . Simple carbs are essentially sugar but can be found in fruit, and milk but they are primarily ingested as sugar in most foods. When ingested as sugar instead of with fruit, you are eating empty calories that you don’t need in your body and are just going to prevent you from your athletic gains. Simple carbs are usually quickly digested, used quickly and if they aren’t used they store as fat.

Complex carbs are better because they are slowly digested keeping your metabolism working for longer, and preventing a quick release of sugar into your bloodstream and preventing the ‘crash’ effect. Carbohydrates have been shown to reduce, prevent or help cure: obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high LDL cholesterol, high blood pressure and hypoglycemia
When people eat carbohydrates, the body releases insulin into the blood. Insulin is the hormone that enables the absorption of sugar by the cells. Its role is to burn down the sugar molecules that circulate in the blood and to diminish the harmful effects that high levels of sugar have on the body. By the activity of insulin, carbohydrates are converted into fat. In the process, insulin prevents the fat cells from releasing fat into the blood and burning it. Thus, the body begins to deposit fat as a side effect of insulin. Another side effect of insulin is the stimulation of hunger signals to the brain. When the carbohydrate intake is restricted, the insulin level goes down and the level of glucagon increases. Glucagon is a hormone that stimulates the burning of body fat and the removal of cholesterol from the arteries.

Low Carb Foods:  Meats & Seafood, Eggs, Oils, Unsweetened Drinks, Cheese, Lettuce, Alfalfa Sprouts, Parsley, Olives, Cucumber, Pickles, Oregano, Radishes, Celery Asparagus, Broccoli, Endive, Cabbage, Onions, Spinach, Mushrooms, Sweet Peppers, Seaweed, Strawberries, Blackberries, Lemons, Limes, Raspberries, Cranberries, Mustard, Mayonnaise, Tartar Sauce, Blue Cheese, French Salad Dressing, Italian Salad Dressing, Sour Cream, Vinegar, Barbecue Sauce, Soy Sauce, 1000 Island

Do not completely cut out carbs from your diet but try to limit them to complex carbohydrates such as whole-wheat pastas, breads and cereals, fruits and oatmeal. If you completely abandon carbs your body will begin to use fat AND protein for energy. That protein is coming from your muscles! You don’t want to lose the muscle you worked so hard to gain. Make sure to get enough fibre in your diet as well. Stay away from foods that are enriched or have high sugar content. 

On off days it’s more important to try to keep your carbohydrates lower than training days because that’s when your body is recovering and burning fat. During training days you’re going to need more energy and carbs are a good source of energy for your workouts. Carbs offer 4kcal of energy per gram but are quickly absorbed into the blood stream for use after it’s digested. Again be thoughtful of the type of carbs you’re eating and when you’re eating them!

Rich Hill

CSEP – Certified Personal Trainer

RK Athletics – https://linktr.ee/RK_Athletics