I see a lot of people around me who refuse to eat carbohydrates in ANY form they are. Complex, simple, it doesn’t matter, they just don’t make a difference and they just put them in the same bucket as being something bad.They end up binging into some sweets full of sugar or some junky fats without being able to control their cravings. The number one mistake that brings them to this point of binging and of gaining weight or not being able to add muscle is this: they don’t eat enough good carbs! Of course you can gain weight if you eat too many carbs, but that is something normal if you don’t count the size of your plate no matter what food you have there.
First of all, let’s explain how carbohydrates are used by our body: they are the first source of energy for our muscles and they protect our muscles from being eaten by our bodies! If you don’t have enough carbs in your system, your body will start decomposing your own muscles for fuel and when your target is to build some more…definitely eliminating carbs from your diet is not the solution! Plus, it will also bring a messed up body with abnormal spikes of insulin when you least expect it.
Second of all insulin signals our body to store fat, the higher it is in our blood, the more fat it will come down on our waist line. When we are talking about carbs, we don’t mean sugar or white flour which are refined carbohydrates that spike insulin level a lot. We are talking about complex carbs (or slow releasing carbs) which maintain a constant insulin level in our blood and lets our body use them properly for energy and recovery. Let’s say you are a male trying to add some muscles but also trying to lose some body fat. If you cut your calories so much and eat only veggies and meat, your can barely reach a total of calories of 1000 calories per day which is way below what a gainer should eat, it is even way below your maintaining level for your body to function properly! So, what does your body do instead? Burn muscles and add some more fat just in case you want to starve it again next time! There you go! Now you know why you can’t lose that belly fat!
If you eat complex carbs around your workouts or intense physical effort, your body will use those carbs for fuel, not to store fat, so the target is to keep it constant and to take in between 30 and 60 carbs per meal during the day. Women can have a constant carb intake of 30 grams per meal, while men can add up to 60 if they have a lot of muscles.
If you want to eat some carbs before workout, let’s say 30 to 60 minutes before, choose a fruit together with some oatmeal and almonds. Too much fat would slow your digestion and your body will not be able to finish it decomposing until you start your workout.
So no matter if you want to lose weight or not, try to include some complex carbs in your diet too, they are extremely important both for losing extra fat and for building your muscles.