Carbs Are Third on the List
As I’ve written in several of my previous macronutrient spotlight articles, all macronutrients are essential, though when ranking in order of importance, some rank higher than others.
Carbohydrates are considered an abundant cheap and quick energy source. They have also become the center of the battle over the cause in the rise of obesity. Just like with proteins and fats we need to not only consider quantity but also quality and timing when eating carb forward foods.
I believe that carbohydrates should be treated as your rocket fuel to give you that boost when you need it- I’m specifically referring to exercise.
Imagine if you could go through your day maintaining, if not building, your muscle mass while being fueled by your body fat/ketones. Your blood glucose would be stable, which could eliminate a lot of cravings and fatigue, and you would lower your glycogen (stored glucose) in your muscles and liver. When you did eat carbs you would eat them at the appropriate activity times and your body would be able to utilize them effectively.
The other time to eat carbs would be at night when your body should be insulin sensitive due to our low blood sugars and your activity levels and therefore primed to put the glucose back into glycogen storage and out of the blood stream.
My Three Simple Rules
I am going to talk more about the timing and amount of carbs in an upcoming article, but in the meantime here are 3 RULES I would like you to follow concerning carbs.
- Never eat too much fat (or too much of anything) with a higher carb meal as that can stimulate insulin to store excess calories in body fat.
- Eat your fat and proteins before you eat your carbs as that improves your hormonal response (great summary here).
- Earn your carbs – you never need carbs first thing in the day.
If you begin by following these 3 simple rules, you can train your body to respond to carbs the way it is meant to, rather than by responding and creating fat stores that we do not need or use.
The Big Picture
Carbs are great tools…when used at the correct times. They are not the enemy, but you must understand how they work within your body and how to utilize them for max benefit and limited consequence.
Stay tuned for more regarding carbs, how they are processed in the body, and how to best use them to your advantage with exercise and timing.
Remember, you are in control of your macronutrients and your body function. Understanding is the first step to utilizing your food as a tool for success.
-Dr. Jerome Craig