It’s 2013.. and January and it’s time for resolutions. One of them should be health. Not just getting thin or losing weight– but getting HEALTHY!! It’s the most important factor to living today– get rid of the stress, eat in a healthy manner and MOVE and you will feel better and you will live longer!
Courtesy of the Dunwoody Patch, fitness pro and good friend of mine, Sally Hughes has written about a topic she has been drilling into me for all of 2012!! (And it’s worked for the most part — except like now!)
“Fat burns in the flame of carbohydrates” is a well-known quote that seems to have gone out of fashion ever since ultra high-protein/low carb diets became trendy. Yet, while trends come and go, the one truism you can ALWAYS count on is that complex carbs are your body’s best friend!
Since all carbs aren’t created equal, it’s important to note the differences between complex carbs and simple ones.
Complex carbohydrates come from the starch and fiber in whole grains, legumes, potatoes and root vegetables. Simple carbs include the simple sugars found in most fruits, milk, honey, sugar, beer, etc. Since fiber-rich complex carbs take longer to digest while simple carbs are quickly digested, they help you feel full longer and are therefore vital for weight loss. In addition, complex carbs help stabilize your blood sugar and play a key role in preventing ‘the afternoon crash’ so many people experience daily.
As a fitness trainer and nutritionist, I’ve heard many a new client lament about ‘the evils of carbs’ and the endless reasons why they shun them. What these new clients tend to have in common is they’re perpetually overweight, lethargic and constantly hungry. Consequently, it’s my job to relay this message: Complex carbs are your body’s best friend because fat really does burn in the flame of carbohydrates!
Since most of these new clients have tried countless fad diets yet remain as heavy if not heavier than ever, they must 1st accept the fact that the percentage of people who regain the weight they’ve lost on low carb/high protein diets is astounding due to 3 key factors:
1. You’ve lost fat-burning muscle and lowered your metabolism.
2. You’ve re-gained the healthy fluid lost via glycogen depletion.
3. All deprivation diets are impossible to maintain long-term and set you up for the yo-yo diet syndrome, more body fat, et al.
If they’re still not convinced that complex carbs are a staple of all healthy nutritional programs, I bid them the following:
◦ They provide fuel for all daily activity including basics like shopping/working plus aerobics, weight training, etc.
◦ They’re the primary fuel for the central nervous system which can not fully function without them.
◦ Carbohydrates are metabolic primers that are absolutely necessary to completely burn fat!
◦ When insulin levels are chronically too low as with very low carb diets, muscle protein breakdown increases and protein synthesis stops.
◦ Your metabolism adapts to prolonged low carb/high fat/high protein diets and significantly decreases over time.
◦ Unlike high glycemic index simple carbs that set you up to crash and constantly crave them, complex carbs are rich in fiber, low on the GI and vital to your overall health.
At this point, most of my former anti-carb clients are not only sold on trying my ‘Complex Carb Challenge” for 1 month, they’re begging me to tell them the best way to get them. And this is what I tell ‘em:
1. Uncle Sam Cereal is a MUST (wheat allergies aside, of course). Loaded with fiber, protein, omegas and more, it’s something I’ve eaten daily for a decade and also highly recommend to clients, family and friends.
2. Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli, Asparagus, Mushrooms, Beets and Cauliflower are other good sources of complex carbohydrates.
3. Legumes (aka Beans) double as a complex carb plus an excellent source of lean low-fat protein.
4. Barley, Quinoa, Bulgur, Brown Rice, and Oats contain healthy fiber, fats, minerals, vitamins, enzymes and photo-chemicals.
5. Citrus Fruits are complex carbohydrates that provide a myriad of benefits including cancer and heart disease prevention.
So what are YOU waiting for?
Start the New Year right by embracing complex carbs because they really are your body’s best friend!
About the author: Founder Planet Shark Fitness … As a certified fitness trainer, nutritionist, and health and wellness consultant, Ms. Hughes provides personal fitness training, weight loss programs, nutrition consultations, private chef services, and healthy one-on-one grocery shopping for men and women of all ages.
Thanks to Sally Hughes and the Dunwoody Patch for this amazing article. I am so glad she ran this because it fits perfectly for the New Year, New You, New Perspective theme for 2013. There will be a LOT more from Sally/PlanetSharkFitness in the future. So stay tuned!
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