Carbs. Your 6-pack unlocker.
Carbs. The 6-pack unlocker.
One useless nutrient that got promoted.
Carbohydrates… There is so much I can say about them.
They are famous folks.
Heavily promoted by food industry — they know what keeps you addicted, always craving more, buying more. The more refined — the more addictive.
Nutrition guidelines suggest we consume 50–60 % of our energy (calories) from them.
People into weight loss know how “evil” they are — they are responsible for all the fat on our body!
Lean people declared war against them long time ago.
Nutrition science goes back and forth between demonizing and idealizing them — good, bad, good, bad … — depending on a researcher, sponsors, latest book and fashion.
Our cells seem to love carbohydrates. It’s an easy accessible source of energy available when our body is supplied with some kind of sugars — white sugar, fruits and vegetables, grains and beans, nuts and seeds — most of the plant foods and anything made of them have some kind of carbohydrate or sugar.
No doubt it’s the easiest — to get energy from carbs, the more processed the easier.
But is the easy way always the best?
Eat processed sugar for a few days and you’ll see.
Besides, just because there are more carbohydrates on the planet — plants, doesn’t mean carbohydrates are the best richest energy source.
Fats have 9 calories per 1 gram, whereas carbs have only 4!
Fat is not that easy to come by though. It wasn’t in the past. Fat is expensive to produce in nature.
But look at our body! It definitely prefers to use fat — why else would it store so much more of it? Much more than glucose (carbs)!
Plus there are vital nutrients that are fat-soluble only (A, D, E and K) and NON that are carb-soluble.
Plus most structures of our cells made with some type of fat, the most important one, cell membrane, that keeps our cells together, couldn’t exist without cholesterol!
We can easily survive without carbohydrates in our diet. Not so easily without fats.
Carbohydrate, in spite of being promoted so heavily, is the most useless nutrient in your diet. The one that you eat the most, probably.
How weird is that?
Plus carbohydrate is one nutrient that makes you the fattest and doesn’t let you see your 6-pack.
Want to get leaner? Throw away carbs from your diet! Leave some for fiber and nutrients — vegetables have plenty! That’s it.
In the gym yesterday, a guy asked me,
“But where do you get your carbohydrates and energy, if you don’t eat any?”,
By carbs he meant grains like rice or quinoa, or beans, or anything, that in his mind was a source of carbs.
“What about vegetables? Or nuts and seeds? There are plenty of carbohydrates and fiber there!”
Why on Earth would anyone ever NEED to eat rice, any kind of bread or sugar?
For pleasure. Yes.
But nutrition and energy? Inefficient, nutrient poor (compared to other natural foods), fat-storage promoting.
As I’m often asked how I keep myself so lean all year round, I decided to share very simple guide to my carbohydrate consumption. I use it, it keeps me lean effortlessly — I don’t count calories, portions, I eat when I feel hungry, as much as I want.
No refined carbs — sugar, sweeteners, pasta or bread etc.
No added sugars. Anywhere.
No natural sweeteners — honey, agave, molasses, coconut nectar etc.
Little low carb fruits — berries are my favorites, plus they are nutrition champions.
Lots of non-starchy vegetables (the list is not full but gives you an idea):
Amaranth or Chinese spinach
Beans (green, wax, Italian)
Cabbage (green, bok choy, Chinese)
Coleslaw (packaged, no dressing)
Greens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip)
Hearts of palm
Salad greens (chicory, endive, escarole, lettuce, romaine, spinach, arugula, radicchio, watercress)
Squash (cushaw, summer, crookneck, spaghetti, zucchini)
Sugar snap peas
VS Starchy (that I don’t eat):
No grains of any kind, gluten free or not
Nuts and seeds
On top of this list I add fish and eggs sometimes, VERY rarely meat or poultry.
And that’s it. That’s my food list 99% of the time these days.
Whatever I prepare from this rich list of ingredients, plus herbs and spices, oils, chocolate — I will gladly eat it.
Most of the days I’m very simple — vegetables and fish, nuts and seeds, 100% cacao good chocolate, coffee and green tea — and I’m done. Some whole food based supplements here and there. Multivitamin.
If you adapt this simple way of eating, you will lose all the weight you want, get abundant energy, you will stay lean all year round very easily. With no 6-meal a day plans, no counting of anything, not worrying about every piece of food you put in your mouth. Plus your brain will work much better and you will look and feel younger. And get sick much less, if ever.
If you can’t see your life without all that bread and pasta, sugar every day, well, it’s your choice too — useless yummy carbs and more fat on your body instead of delicious low carb lean living.
Some people can’t imagine life without cigarettes. Who am I to judge what’s more important?
You don’t get healthy and stay healthy.
HEALTH is a DAILY PRACTICE. One bite at a time.
Daily Bite of Health