Vacation's around the corner, and you're still working to get swimsuit ready. "Eliminate all carbohydrates!" is what goes through most of our minds, but this is not the solution.
YOU ARE HANGRY! This is not a good look on anybody. Your body first feeds off of carbs for energy. They're so important for energy, in fact, that 90 percent of your brain's fuel comes from carbs. So when you cut them out, it affects your mood. Making you super hungry and angry (“hangry”) which prompts you to lose self-control around food and eat everything in sight. A balanced diet in whole grains combined with lean protein and healthy fats will help stabilize your mood and ward off hunger.
YOU EAT TOO MUCH PROTEIN AND FAT Getting enough protein in your diet can help you lose weight, and it's an important macronutrient that will help you build lean, fat-burning muscle mass and keep you full. But when people cut out carbs, that leaves only two macronutrients: Protein and fat. And as good as protein is for you, it's not a free-for-all. Healthy fats such as omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and help you feel satiated, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing also.
YOU HAVE NO ENERGY Exercise is important for heart health, longevity, and can help accelerate your weight-loss efforts. The problem when you give up carbs, however, is that you have no energy to hit the gym. Because carbs are your body's preferred source of energy, when they're gone, so are your energy levels.
IT'S NOT SUSTAINABLE Individuals who cut out carbs completely feel miserable most of the time. The moodiness and lack of energy that comes from eliminating this important macronutrient group, is no way to live.
The reason why giving up carbs can be so effective for weight loss is because people tend to eat the wrong types of carbs to begin with. Foods like refined carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, white pasta, sugar, etc.) spike your blood sugar more than the healthier complex carbs that come from whole grains and fruit. Sticking to portioned servings of those healthy complex carbohydrates is key; depending on your level of activity, your diet should be anywhere from 40 percent to 65 percent carbohydrates.
Sure, cutting carbs can help you drop pounds in the short term. But overall, it's not a healthy or sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off.
Suck it up, eat right, and get yourself to the gym!