There are certain things in life that get a bad reputation and when it comes to fitness, carbohydrates wear the proverbial black cowboy hat. This doesn’t come without validation, mind you, but it is more involved than just saying that all carbs are bad for you as a blanket statement.
Actually, your body needs them for everything from using them as an energy source to a good recovery food for muscle growth.
But when people take a drastic left turn and go from eating garbage to a strict Atkins-style diet, they gauge the front-end loss of a decent amount of pounds as the secret to good health.
That couldn’t be further from the truth, as the high fat content in the foods being eaten is hardly a trade-off for holding the bun. Sure, you will drop a nice amount of pounds by eliminating the carbs but you will feel like a bag of shit melting in the hot sun. Your energy level will plummet and what you are doing to your heart and cholesterol level will make your doctor wince at your next check-up.
Besides, it is extremely difficult to stick to this type of diet for an extended period of time and many people crash and put the weight that they lost back on – and then some. So it makes much more sense to eliminate certain – and not all – carbs from your diet and avoid the drowsiness and long-term health issues that the Atkins crowd endures.
The first thing you need to do is introduce complex (or good) carbs into your diet and say goodbye to the simple (or bad) ones. Once that is done, eating them in a limited capacity and doing so at specific times – mainly right before and after your workout and none after dinner – will make them an integral part of your diet as opposed to a detrimental one.
Here are seven examples of the types of carbs you should enjoy:
Buy one of those big cans of plain oatmeal and add a handful of raisins and a scoop of your favorite protein powder in a bowl of it. That will make it flavored and extra sweet. This should be your go-to breakfast.
2. BROWN RICE
A cup or two a day with a few grilled chicken breasts or a nice juicy steak (you have to eat protein, too, so make it a good variety) will make you feel fuller and is a great side dish.
3. SWEET POTATO
Switch up between sweet potatoes and brown rice but forget about the butter. Eat it plain and all of it, as the skin includes a bunch of good stuff, too.
4. WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
If you must eat a sandwich, choose 100% whole wheat bread over white. It’s not easy to say no to bread all of the time and if you do eat a few slices of whole wheat, it makes it easier to leave that freshly baked bread in the basket on the restaurant table.
5. WHOLE WHEAT PASTA
Strong will power is needed to keep skipping a plate of macaroni so give yourself a little treat as a reward once in a while with the whole wheat variety. Most restaurants have caught on to the popularity of whole wheat pasta and charge an extra two or three bucks for it.
Yeah, this delicious snack is whole grain and much better for you than potato chips. Buy the low or no salt type and leave off the butter.
Not thought of as a carb, per say, but veggies are just that. Besides, these are great for your overall health and make a nice side dish.