The Now What Fitness Series lays out the foundation of fitness in a concise and simplified manner, making for a collection of books that help the reader truly comprehend how to improve one's health and well-being from A to Z. I've broken fitness down into comprehensive concepts, giving anybody who truly wants to change their health and their lives in profound ways, the step-by-step tools and knowledge to do so.
Great question, right? How many carbs should we eat daily?
Carbs are the most important nutrient for exercising muscles. Not only are adequate amounts of carbs important for muscular performance but for the brain and central nervous system.
Carbohydrates serve as primary energy source for working muscles and help the body use fat more efficiently. Stored carbs in the form of glycogen are the primary fuel for exercise.
So, to be very, very clear please repeat after me: CARBS ARE GOOD. CARBS ARE OUR FRIENDS. WE SHOULD DEFINITELY HUG AND SQUEEZE AND CALL CARBS GEORGE.
These are prime examples of the type of carbs you should be sinking your teeth into often. You simply cannot overeat this stuff! Just be sure and keep your salad dressing in check; making your own is always best, using 2-3 tablespoons per serving at the most. Combining olive oil and red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar are great salad dressing choices!
Get creative with your salads. The one on the left has cherry tomatoes and low-fat feta cheese...mmmmmm. It was yummy! And the one on the right featured lots of fresh mushrooms and sliced grapes. OMG, to die for baby!!
ACE, ACSM, and MyPlate recommendations of how many carbs are as follows:
CARB SOURCE: Most of your carbs should come from complex carbs such as starches, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and breads, cereals and pasta as opposed to sugary foods and processed foods such as juices, desserts, and sweets.
TIP: Try to cut back on white carbs like white potatoes (eat sweet potatoes instead), white rice, white bread, etc. Eat whole grain or wheat products and brown carbs instead of white whenever possible.
Consider Me Your Guinea Pig!
I have experimented with different nutrition plans across the years. I now land more on the side of eating way fewer grains than most commercially known sources recommend on a daily basis. I realize this flies in the face of the government recommendations as well as many of the organizations who endorse those rules such as ACE (American Council on Exercise), ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), and AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America).
Call me a rebel, but after using my self as a test subject, the proof is in the proverbial pudding, so to speak. I know how my body feels and reacts after abstaining from grains, sugar, alcohol, processed food, dairy, and legumes for an entire month. I used the Whole30 plan. It is like the Paleo diet turbo powered. I like both plans.
I lost 10 pounds and felt better than I ever have, which is why I choose to live and eat this way 80 percent of the time. The other 20 percent of the time allows for those times when you just want to let your hair down and partake of things that might not be perfect but are damned yummy! Or maybe being so healthy is just not a viable choice under certain circumstances such as traveling, visiting relatives, vacationing, etc.
In summary: The bottom line of how many carbs we need and what they consist of leaves us with a variety of choices. Choose the healthy ones!
Limit or leave out dairy, grains, sugar, and processed foods.
Choose organically grown fruits and veggies whenever possible! If you choose to eat dairy and grains, make them whole grain and be very careful about your sugar intake. Eat low-fat dairy, and very little alcohol.
I promise you will feel much better for making these sacrifices and ultimately much healthier choices! Good luck!