WIAW: Why Carbs are not the Enemy

Happy Wednesday!  I was taking pictures of everything I ate on Monday so that I could create this post and by the end of the day, I was kind of sick of taking pictures of my food.  You know why?  I eat a lot.  I eat at least 5-6 times per day.  I eat my meals in separate parts (ie several plates because I eat a lot of volume) and I consume A LOT of calories, a lot of carbs, a lot of protein, and a lot of healthy fats.  I am very confident in my food choices and have allowed for more and more flexibility as time has gone on.  I also feel great consuming whole foods, but no longer consider myself a “clean eater” as I hate putting labels on nutrition habits.  Finally,  I have learned that carbs are no longer the devil like I thought they once were.  I honestly used to be scared of rice and pasta and cereal and waffles because I didn’t understand how to fit them into my diet in a moderate way.  I thought cutting out foods was the answer to long-term health when in reality, that was only creating an unhealthy relationship with food.  How did I realize carbs are not the enemy?  Well I have a couple tips on how I overcame my “carb fear”:

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breakfast//1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup pumpkin, 1/4 banana, 2 Tbsp Naturally More flaxseed peanut butter, almonds, cinnamon, and vanilla vegan protein powder (ProZero organic vegan protein) mixed in!

1. The more you cut back on calories and carbs in your diet, the more your body starts to adjust to a lower number of calories and carbs needed to sustain itself.  This has been deemed “starvation mode” by many as our body’s main goal is to survive, and thus our metabolism slows to the amount we are eating.  If we aren’t eating enough carbs, our body has no energy to pull from, and may pull from muscle as well.  Metabolic adaptation can be fixed, but it is a very slow and steady process. Email me if you have more questions (dietitiandeanna@gmail.com).

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lunch//3 oz baked mahi-mahi with Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, 1 Tbsp Annie’s organic BBQ sauce, roasted asparagus, 1 HB egg white (from Easter-almost on it’s last leg!!), grapes, and vanilla almonds

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preworkout snack//protein poptart made with a Joseph’s lavash wrap. The filling is 1/2 scoop AboutTime cinnamon swirl whey, 1 Tbsp pumpkin, 1/2 T coconut flour, and water.  You mix the filling together and spread onto the wrap, wrap it up, and grill in a saute pan until warm! Topped with mini chocolate chips and WF caramel sauce.  Plus a handful of almonds on the side!

2. More carbs equals more energy for your workouts.  So the more carbs you consume, the harder you can workout, and thus have an overall higher calorie burn and even more EPOC-google it!  This does not mean you should cut back on carbs on rest days as your body is in recovery mode!

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postworkout dinner//A banana went un-pictured while making dinner!!  Also consumed tons of veggies-shaved brussels sprouts and broccoli slaw steamed, 1 egg and 4-5 egg white with organic kale scrambled, topped with almond cheddar cheese and then a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and red pepper flakes, 2 servings Arctic Zero ice cream in both Buttery Pecan and Mint Chip flavors.  BOTH these flavors are AMAZING!!! I found them at Sprouts.

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nighttime snack//Quaker Oatmeal squares and peanut butter (x 2), Peanut butter cheerios, lavash bread with PB2 and low-sugar jelly, plus a chocolate rice cake topped with more peanut butter and a Ghiradelli dark chocolate square

3. Eating too little carbohydrates and labeling them off-limits puts them on a pedestal.  The second you crave and eat chocolate or cereal or chips or bread, you may just end up overeating it as you don’t normally “allow” these foods and know you have to get back on your diet after you consume these off-limit foods. Also, when you tell yourself you “can’t” have something, the more you usually want it!

4. Carbs have shaped my body.  Without a consistent intake of carbs, our bodies can hold onto fat (this was my experience) and I just couldn’t cut back any farther on my carbs and calories.  Now, with more carbs, I have seen lean tissue growth in all the right places (leaner arms, toned back, fit legs, smaller waist with definition).  Without carbs, I would have never been able to shape my body, workout hard, and create moderation in my diet that makes it realistic to maintain.

You can see my most recent progress below. I like to post these to keep myself accountable as well :)

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What are your thoughts on carbs?