Carbs Are Friends

3Q7A9395copyWhen I tell people how much I eat they are always shocked. Well, let me explain…

I am 5’4″, 115lbs, I eat approximately 2,200-2,400 calories a day, and I am extremely active. It’s what works for me. I am healthy, in the best shape of my life, and I am always satisfied/full after my meals. Majority of my calories come from healthy carbs, roughly 60%. (see my macros here)

It’s frustrating that carbs carry a negative connotation when in fact it’s the complete opposite. Carbs are the body’s preferred source of energy and are the easiest macronutrient to breakdown into energy that fuels our entire body. Glucose, a simple sugar (aka monosaccharide), is the primary source for muscle contraction, red blood cells, and the brain.

What next:

Eat More Healthy Carbs

Veggies, beans, lentils, oatmeal, whole wheat products, sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice & fruit

Speak with a dietitian

Too many people are giving nutrition advice without the proper education. My best advice is to seek guidance from someone who is educated and has the most recognized credentials, a REGISTERED DIETITIAN!! They will be able to provide you with a plan that works for YOU, meets your goals, and is realistic.

Listen to your body

My meal plan works for me, that doesn’t mean it will work for you. It’s not a one-size-fits-all type of thing, it completely different for everyone. You must listen to your body and allow it to guide you.

I practice this by eating slowly and mindfully because my body will tell me when it’s full. It takes about 15-20 mins for my stomach to tell my brain it’s full, but I have to give it that chance and listen. Another way I listen to my body is to just eat when I’m hungry. Sounds simple enough, right? Well it’s not so simple to all, we get too wrapped up in the 3 or 5 meals a day. Instead, we must focus on healthy choices and eat when we are hungry. There is a clear distinction between true hunger and being bored, stressed, or emotional when it comes to eating. Slow down, ask yourself why you are eating, and address those issues if it doesn’t have to do with true hunger.

Make a change

Think long term or lifestyle change instead of a diet. You only have one body to live in, you have to treat it with TLC. This means less crap and more real food! By all means enjoy a cupcake here and there, but within moderation. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to completely restrict yourself. I live by the 80/20 rule, 80% healthy whole foods and 20% on treats.

Small Steps

Focus on small steps towards eating healthier and exercising, don’t try to tackle it all at once. This could lead to feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. And believe me I understand, just scroll back 119 weeks on my Instagram and see how far I have come. I started slowly by focusing on things like portions and eating at home more.

You got this!!!!

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9 Comments

Kate @ SoCal Runner Gal

This post is so timely because I think I want to do a blog post chronicling every single thing I ate for a day because I think most people would be surprised by A.) How much I eat and B.) How many carbs I eat. I don’t normally share my meals on the blog but lately I feel like carbs are getting crucified and it drives me a little nuts. I am not skinny by any means but I feel healthy and fit AND I eat lots of carbs. I also have absolutely NO digestive issues or other problems often associated with grains – and grains are becoming such a fear food for so many people. When I write my post on how I eat, I will most definitely link to this post. I am not an RD (obviously) and would never give advice on how to eat, but I just want to share what works for me and show people it is possible to get a majority of your calories from carbohydrates and still feel fantastic and perform really well.

Amen to everything in this post!

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fitandyy@gmail.com

I’m so happy this post came at the perfect timing. Yes, definitely show people what you eat because that’s my approach. I enjoy showing people what I do in hopes that it will give them inspiration to seek help from a RD or just to listen to their body. It’s drive me nuts that carbs are crucified too!! Kate, we are living proof that you can eat HEALTHY carbs and still feel great! I look forward to your post 🙂

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Christy

Unfortunately, most carbs are not my friends.
I agree totally that we have to listen to our body, and that a one size fits all approach to nutrition isn’t appropriate. Some of us, especially those of us who were obese, are very sensitive to carbs/insulin. I find it difficult to maintain my weight while eating what the ADA would suggest is a very healthy diet (even at 1400 kcals). Others may not have this problem, so I’m not advocating that people eat a low carb diet, or disputing that lots of people live a normal, healthy life while eating the beautiful foods that you mentioned. I’m just saying that some carbs are my friends, but they are a special, healthy few. I know I’m not alone in this experience. Hope you don’t mind another perspective, Andy 🙂

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fitandyy@gmail.com

Christy, thanks for your input! You have definitely shed light on those that may have difficulty consuming carbs, and I’m sure people who are diabetic or gluten intolerant feel the same way. I just want people to be aware that healthy carbs aren’t the enemy (especially for athletes who need all the energy they can get), seek nutrition advice from those that are properly educated, and simply listen to our body. I’m happy to hear you have found what works for you though!! xoxo

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Annie

I loved this post, because it is crazy how much carbs have been demonized by the diet industry, yet their provide us with so much energy! I also think you’ve officially convinced me to seek out a dietician. I’m basically the same size as you (5’4, 115), but eat close to 1400 cals a day, despite an intense workout regimen. I know I could (and should) be upping my cals, but need some professional guidance to know the best way to approach it. Love your awesome and positive approach!

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fitandyy@gmail.com

Annie, thanks so much! I am so happy to hear that you are going to seek out a RD, they will definitely be able to help. You will be in good hands 😉

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mhoney

It’s all about making smart choices. What seems to work for me is low-carbing with intermittent periods of high or moderate carbohydrate intake. This enables you to better utilize fat for burning as fuel, as opposed to burning carbs and muscle tissue for fuel (more about carb cycling: http://everydayhealthhero.com/can-carb-cycling-help-you-lose-weight/ ). Since late January when I started I’m consistently losing 1lb/week and I am NEVER hungry and that’s the part that makes it successful to me. My body tells me to stop before I even have to tell it to stop. How do you maintain the weight that you lose when your diet requires you to just be hungry?

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fitandyy@gmail.com

Vanessa, thanks for your input. Glad you have found something that works for you. Although I respect your opinion, there are some things I don’t agree with and I suggest seeking a Registered Dietitian to understand more about nutrition. As for myself, I strive to never exclude any food group and practice moderation. I wish you the best of luck on your health journey!

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