Let’s talk about carbs, baby…

carbs1(*cue Salt-n-Pepa)

Let’s talk about Carbs, Baby.

Let’s talk about how we feed.

Let’s talk about all the good things, and the bad things that we eat.

Let’s talk ahhhbout Carbs.

Let’s talk about Carbs, Baby.

Before I begin this post let me preface everything by saying the following: I am not a dietitian nor do I claim to be one. This post is my own shit. Not a doctor’s shit (though I think lots of times doctors don’t know enough about nutrition to even shake a damn stick at) and definitely not someone who actually went to school and knows their food shit cause they’ll tell you pretty much the same thing I’m going to tell you but I’m giving it to you for free because I don’t have to pay an exorbitant amount towards a tuition payment.

Okay so let’s begin…

When I sit down for break(s) at work I get a lot of questions about my food. My lunch box is a super sized black and decker lunch bag big enough to hold two full meals plus two sets of snacks, a huge jar of veggies and another jar (or two) of fruits. It’s big enough that most times I have to sling it over my shoulder to carry it because it is that heavy.

The other day someone commented that it must take a long time to prep something that extensive everyday. It does. I consider my food prep/intake a part time job. I spend many of my days off prepping food for the coming work days and I keep track of everything that goes into the bag (and into my mouth) via MyFitnessPal. I put a lot of time into my food because I want to be one of those people that can say they’ve maintained their weight loss for the long haul and by long haul I mean for a life time.

*side note* I am officially 4 years in maintenance as of this month. Every year that goes by my chances of being a successful weight loss person gets smaller and smaller and I’m not going down without a fight.

One of the main questions I get asked is about my *diet* specifically and what I eat on a daily basis. I usually give them a spiel about eating a mostly Paleo diet and that my intake of grains and sugars are very limited.

“You don’t eat pasta?”

no.

“You don’t eat cereals?”

no.

“You don’t eat breads?”

Rarely.

“How do you do it?”

The better question to ask is “Why do you do it?”

The conversation usually ends with the inevitable “I couldn’t give up my breads or pastas” to which I always say “Yes you can” and when you go for long periods of time without them and then eat them you’ll understand why they’re not good for  you on a daily basis.

The other day someone commented that they’ve lost 100 pounds eating a low carb diet and it forced me to stop what I was doing and take a deep breath. I’m really excited to hear this person say they lost a shit ton of weight but that term “low carb” always erks me. And when you don’t know that I too have lost a shit ton of weight and take my food very seriously talking to me about “low” anything isn’t going to win you any brownie points (no matter how tasty you might think it is)…

People wonder how to lose weight. People wonder how to keep it off. They say they work out all the time but the weight doesn’t budge or they plateau. No matter how hard you try you can’t out exercise your food intake. It’s not even a diet…It’s how you understand the food you eat, the relationship you build with said food and how it becomes a life long endeavor.

So I turn to this person and say “Low carb?…what kind of carbs are you eating?

They go on to explain to me that they’ve stopped eating pastas, and breads. They’re intake of carbs include sweet potatoes and green leafy goodness. They’re intake of sugar is way down. And they only eat a certain amount of carbs in a day…

*light bulb above my the head*

ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

I say to this person “You’re not on a low carb diet” (and you can see the instant look of WTF coming across their face).

“You’re on a RIGHT carb diet”

Low carb diets are bullshit. Yes I said it. BULLSHIT. Again let me remind you I’m not a dietitian. Here’s how I look at food in it’s basic form: “Good” Carbs for your brain. Protein for your muscles. “Good” Fats for your cells. We can talk about it more in depth with macro/micro nutrients but I think as long as you have that understanding of why we eat foods (to fuel and not use as a crutch for emotions – even good emotions), then you’re about 75% of the way there to being successful at weight loss.

When I first started to really looking at my food I fell into that low carb, low fat mentality. The lower the carb amount = good. The lower the fat amount = good. The lower the both of them was in a particular food = fanfuckingtastic and GetInMyMouthRightNowCauseImGonnaLoseThisWeightMotherFucker. But it meant I was still opening boxes and putting things in the microwave that came frozen for my local food store. I still didn’t understand what I was doing. All I knew was that if it was low in something that must be a good thing right?

Nope!

Taking the time to understand the difference between low carb and right carb is what really solidified my success. The same goes with eating Fat (YOU EAT FAT?!?…you bet your sweet ass I do)…Understanding when to eat a carb, how much of a carb to eat and what kind of carb to eat means that you’re filling that life long tool box of weight loss / maintenance with knowledge and we all know that the more you know…well the more you know.

I’m not here to preach that because the foods you eat are not the same as mine you’ll never lose the weight. I know why I don’t eat certain food. I know how my body systematically reacts to what I put into it. What I want you to take away from this post is if you’re serious about weight loss then you need to be serious about food. Take a few minutes (or hours or days or a lifetime) and learn about Carbohydrates (do you know the difference between simple carb vs. complex carb). Do you know the function of a carb and the Glycemic Index of certain carbs? Can you name a source of carb that doesn’t include your favorite pasta dish? Do you know how a carb  breaks down into glucose and what the hell is glucose? Do you know that your brain mainly functions because of the carbs you eat and if you’ve been feeling light headed or “out of sorts” lately it’s probably due to the type of carbs or lack of carbs (i.e. low carb dieting) that happening.

My food is a part time job because my life is a full time job.

My body. My mental health. My ability to lift heavy shit or run multiple miles. All of these things come down to being sustainable and 100% of that depends on the food I eat.

Pretty much everything we do comes down to the food we eat. It will either help us or hinder us. I of course prefer the helping ability that food offers and for that it means I have to get in my kitchen and learn some shit. Teach myself some things. Understand a lot of things, even if just the simplest of basic knowledge…

Low carb = no

RIGHT carb = YES!

 

3 comments to Let’s talk about carbs, baby…

  • This –> “when you go for long periods of time without them and then eat them you’ll understand why they’re not good for you on a daily basis.”

    I’m right there with you

  • Cathy H-S

    I am struggling with adjusting my eating to my diabetes, and this was just what I needed this week. Thank you!

  • DeDe

    Love this post!!! Thank you.
    I was just telling my husband that we need to remind my mother in law (who will be visiting for a month) that “low fat” and “sugar free” are not necessarily good substitutions. We are slowly transitioning to clean eating and cutting out processed foods. Hopefully we can get her on board too while she’s visiting for the holidays.

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