No Carbs Before Marbs

No carbs before Marbs. Yes, it’s that time of year again, the time when everyone wants to be “beach body ready,” when the crazy diets start to appear, and the carb zealots come crawling out of their caves, after their winter hibernation. Unfortunately, it’s also the time when sensible personal trainers and nutritionists, who rely on facts and scientific data, are drowned out by the morons looking to take advantage of desperate people, as they seek to lose a tonne of weight before their holiday in two weeks time.

“No carbs, no carbs,” they cry. But what are carbs, or carbohydrates? Well, they’re one of the three macronutrients your body gets energy or calories from, and they’re your body’s main source of energy. Yes, they are. Carbs encourage fat metabolisation, and will generally be used for energy before protein, which is good, because hopefully your protein will be used elsewhere instead, like your muscles. And each gram of carbohydrate is equal to about 4 calories, and they’re broken down into sugars and starches for that energy, and fiber for your digestion. So, from a scientific point of view, carbs are pretty useful.

“Ugh, but Dan, stop boring us with the science, what are carbs?” Well, carbs are found in fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy products. So, when you say no carbs, good luck with that. That wouldn’t be a healthy diet. What you really mean is, “No to certain carbs before Marbs,” but that doesn’t roll of the tongue as well. So, the classic no carb choices are; breads, pastries, pastas. Which is fine if that’s what works for you, but don’t demonise them, as if cutting them out is the only reason behind your weight loss. It’s not.

“But my weight went down when I cut those carbs out of my diet. What other possible explanation could there be?” It’s really rather simple. Cutting them out obviously helped you to achieve a calorie deficit, and that is what you need to lose weight. How ever you come by it, it’s the calorie deficit. What’s probably happening is that you’re eating the same things as before, just slightly less or none of the “certain carbs,” which means your calories in has gone down. It’s not the carbs, it’s the amount you’re eating.

To be honest, most of us could probably do with eating fewer sugary carbs (sweets, chocolates, soft drinks), as these are generally much less healthy, more calorific, and nutrient rich than high fibre starchy carbs (wholegrains, wholewheats, vegetables, fruit). There are great minerals, Vitamins, nutrients in those “certain carbs,” and you’re at risk of missing out on all that if you blame them for your weight. And you’re at risk of getting headaches, fatigue, and other symptoms that can result from low carb diets. They are not the problem, the amount you’re eating is. Stay healthy, stay safe, and I’ll see you again next week.

Dan Miller

Body Fuel Personal Fitness Trainer