Carb Free Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Calorie Free

Carb Free Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Calorie Free

IMG_0019The other day two of my personal training clients came in for their weekly weigh in.  The clients had been supposedly following a nutrition plan and exercise regiment I had outlined for them.  However, they were both shocked and surprised to see  the scale showed them each gaining 3 pounds from their last weigh in a week ago.  When I asked them what they had been eating, they each said they had been following their diets very closely.  Upon further questioning, I  came to find out they had been snacking on onion skins and nuts.  When I asked them why, they responded “onion skins and nuts don’t have any carbs Korbie, so we thought they were ok to snack on.”  They made the assumption so many dieters make, that carbohydrates are inherently fattening and if a food doesn’t contain carbs it’s ok to eat.

The low carb fad is everywhere you look nowadays.  It has become common place in our grocery stores in the labeling of several different products.  With claims such as “low-carb, “reduced carb”, and “carb-smart,” these products promise to help diet devotees stay true to their diet while satisfying your carb craving.  In restaurants people are now ordering  hamburgers minus the bun, sending the bread basket back to the kitchen, or skipping the baked potato because they have it engraved in their brain that carbs spike your blood sugar and insulin which then slathers on body fat. Or how about the new Paleo diet that claims carbs cause inflammation and carbs are not an essential part of a healthy diet like fats and protein.
What most people fail to realize is foods that say “low-carb, “reduced carb”, and “carb-smart,” are usually higher in fat. As individuals make the assumption that they can consume these “carb-aware” and “carb-smart” foods and not gain weight, they fail to see that nowhere on the packaging do they see calorie free. It is a huge misconception that calories in these low carb foods do not count. Quite contrary excess calories from any source whether it be, carbohydrates, protein, or healthy fats, can be stored as body fat and result in rising numbers on the scale.
Cutting carbs from your diet may also impede your progress and performance in the gym. Most of us require some level of carbohydrates to function at our fullest potential. This is especially true for those of us who work out. Restricting your carb consumption may lead to decreased thyroid output, increased cortisol output, muscle catabolism and suppressed immune function.

So whether your goal is to lose a few pounds or just live a healthy life-style it shouldn’t be about replacing one source of calories with another lower-carbohydrate version. Instead it’s about eating a well balanced diet of protein, healthy fats, fiber, and yes, even carbohydrates.
For more information on nutrition, health and fitness, weight training, or if you’re frustrated with your current level of fitness and have been thinking about hiring a personal trainer, contact us.

Training Innovations
2420 Midtown Pl NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107
(505) 261-1253