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  • Iron Journey Fitness

SHOULD I AVOID CARBS?

Many people will tell you that in order to lose weight you need to cut back on carbs. However, most people do well eating a moderate amount of QUALITY carbohydrates: whole grains, fruit, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, and legumes. ⠀

For men this usually means 1-2 cupped handfuls per meal. ⠀

For women this means 1 cupped handful per meal. ⠀

The needs of each individual will differ based on their size, activity level, goals, and genetics. ⠀

As a weight loss strategy cutting carbs can work pretty well, however it comes at a cost. Most of us need some level of carbohydrates to function at our best long term. Cutting back on carbohydrates temporarily to lose weight quickly is alright, but keeping them at extremely low amounts long term can have big consequences. ⠀

If you don’t exercise often you can get away with fewer carbs in your diet. If you’re physically active cutting back on carbohydrates too drastically can lead to:⠀


•decreases thyroid output⠀

•increases cortisol output

•decreases testosterone

•impaired mood and cognitive function ⠀

•muscle breakdown ⠀

•suppressed immune function ⠀

Therefore, your metabolism might slow down, your stress hormones will increase, and your muscle building hormones will go down. You’ll feel sluggish, you won’t be able to think as clearly, the quality of your workouts and your ability to recover from them will suffer. ⠀

Many people who try low carb diets are initially pleased by an immediate weight loss, which eventually slows down and a plateau is reached. This is because the initial weight loss is coming from mostly water and stored glycogen. So in the short term it may seem like low carb diets are superior, however in the long term research shows that any differences between low carb and other diets evens out. Bottom line: carbs are not inherently fattening, especially when they’re coming from whole food sources. Most of us will look and feel better when we eat a balanced meal of protein, quality carbs, and healthy fat.

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