Carbohydrates – Your Brain Fuel
by Adele Johnston
“Hi Adele can I really eat pizza and lose weight”
Yes, yes you can.
It seems we go on the spinning wheel of the next ‘best diet’ and claims of ‘getting you super lean’.
But why is it the new fad always means something’s got to go – foods, enjoyment, life, happiness…
Dieting to lose weight isn’t some kind of magic that only a few people in the world know how to do. It’s, in it’s basic form, eating below your maintenance calorie range which results in body fat loss.
So why do so many fall into the joining weighing clubs and being told you can and can’t have on certain programmes. I mean who in their right mind ever made up that cabbage soup diet, please tell me nobody here ever tried that rubbish.
Carbs may not be essential for human survival but without them in your diet, you’re ultimately cutting your brain and your central nervous system (CNS) primary fuel source, not very optimal in the long term for your health – trust me
Here’s some benefits for your body of maintaining a solid carb intake in your diet. I mean who doesn’t instantly get excited but the Mickey Mouse shaped pretzel
So what do carbs do for me?
Well first off It’s this fuel that has a crucial role in influencing memory formation, decision-making, mood, alertness and brain functioning.
Carbohydrates digested by the body produce glucose – there’s the brains primary fuel right there – through sugars, starches, fibre found in various foods such as fruit, legumes, vegetables, grains and dairy products.
Your body uses this energy brought into your body through foods like these to function – to pump your heart, digest your food, regulate your breathing and your body temperature and also manage your hormones at an optimal level.
What if I don’t eat enough?
Ultimately you won’t have enough glycogen stored and the body will look to another fuel source e.g. protein, which is not optimal for health in the long term.
Well the body uses protein for cell growth and tissue repair. If this is the main source of fuel for the body due to carbs being cut/low, then your body has not other option but to use that and it’s forced to use protein for energy rather than new cell growth and tissue repair.
This might mean wounds or injuries take longer to heal (one example). You might face constant muscle fatigue as another.
Some of the feelings you might experience as part of not enough carbs in your diet are:
- Hunger to extreme levels at times
- Difficulty concentrating
So why cut them out?
3 Top Tips for Weight Loss
- Calculate your daily calorie requirements to make sure you’re in a calorie deficit and stick to it– not sure how, get in touch with me and I’ll show you.
- Be prepared. Plan ahead as much as possible e.g. if you know you’ve a busy week ahead then doing a 30 – 45 minute stint in the kitchen once a week will greatly support you staying on track. How many times have you set yourself up and come Tuesday you’re drained with work and life and end up unintentionally over consuming calories = no weight loss. My personal favourite is my slow cooker aka personal chef, he works hard every weekend to cook up one pot stews, spag bol, chilli con carne, curry, lamb biryani – you name it and he can do it, all I have to do it chuck the ingredients in and he takes over.
- LISS not HIIT. Low Intensity Steady State cardio (LISS) can be walking, cycling(indoor/outdoor) jogging, bodyweight movements e.g. squats so long as you’re maintaining a steady state the whole way through. Think same pace throughout.
And remember, there’s absolutely no scientific evidence -based reason that you need to cut carbs from your diet (unless medically advised to e.g. Celiac).
You can absolutely still lose body fat whilst eating carbs – it’s your calorie range that will determine your body fat loss.
Vary your diet and don’t go cutting food types from your options, there’s really no need.
*please note this information is shared with you as a guide to pass on my knowledge with the aim to help you in your journey to optimal health. Let’s just be clear here that eating a balanced varied diet is what’s strived for, this means fruits, vegetable’s, starchy carbs, dietary fibre; not solely opting for refined carb options – and you all know how much I love a donut so I’m not saying these are excluded, nothing is. Just eat to your calorie range and it will fall into place.
If you’re looking to work with a coach who has health at the forefront of your body goals, I’m available to talk to see whether you’d be a good fit for my coaching. I have a couple of one-to-one client spaces available to get started this month.
Message me to talk or click here to arrange your free 30 minute consultation.