Congrats to all of you that got my Mean Girls quote. And to be clear: butter is a fat, but that’s not what this blog is about…
There is unlimited hype about this diet and that diet, juice cleanses and skinny teas. One of those hypes is that carbohydrates (sugars) are bad for you and will make you fat. Well let me start by saying that that is so NOT true. Most people don’t know that our brains will ONLY use sugar to function. So without sugars your brain will literally stop working. Now your body can accommodate for sugar starvation by turning other molecules in your body to sugar for your brain to use. But this puts major stress on your liver and literally every cell of your body.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I try my absolute best to stay away from refined sugars (candy, chocolate, etc). However, eating carbs is not what will make you fat, eating too many at once will. So the key is to eat just enough of them, sparingly, and divided up throughout the day! Below is the list of carbs I eat while still staying lean.
1) The beloved dessert vegetable: The Sweet Potato/Yam
For anyone who has ever been on a diet, you know that these are gold. Yams have so many benefits, most notably your intestinal/digestive health. They’re not as starchy as white potatoes and somehow they’re sweeter, so it’s a win win!
2) Actually, any vegetable
A lot of people (including me just a few years ago), don’t realize that vegetables are actually complex carbs. Because they are complex it’s harder for your body to break down, so it’s not exactly useful for your brain right away. But your body can still extract some glucose from it, which makes it very useful in the long term!
3) The Forbidden Fruits
They are good carbs BUT be careful! Fruits contain simple sugars, which is pretty much what you get in a spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. Apples, pears and grapes are your best bet when it comes to fruit. Timing is also key. Middle of the day is perfect (if too early you could spike insulin levels and store fat all day long, and if too late you won’t have time to burn it off). Some people (like me) eat fruit before the gym so they have energy during their workout. Others eat fruit with their protein shake, after a workout, because sugars help you digest proteins, which in turn helps build muscle! It all depends on what your goals are, so personalize the timing to you!
4) Brown Rice
The more raw, fat free, version of white rice. It’s a whole grain – which makes it a great substitute for bread. It’s also less starchy than white rice and isn’t stored as easily. So for those of you looking for something to put in your stir-fry, here’s your answer!
Anyone who’s gone Paleo knows that oats are the miracle carb. The most perfect breakfast on the planet. Now if you’re like me and the mushy texture really gets to you, don’t fret! I mix raw oats into my egg white in the morning with some cinnamon, and it turns into a pancake-like-product. Starting your day off with a carb like this is a sure way to get your brain going without storing fat.
NOTE: don’t buy oatmeal with added sugars. Go with raw oats and add the sugars yourself if you want. You can top it with blueberries and non-fat greek yogurt!
At the end of the day, what you eat is your personal choice. However, I hope after reading this, you can see that cutting carbs is not the answer to achieving whatever goal you’ve placed for yourself! If losing weight is you goal, count calories, not carbs. But whatever your goals are, getting there the healthy way is always the better, and more long-term choice.
Stay safe and healthy!
Smiles and Love,