Carbs (carbohydrates) are the macronutrient that always cause the most controversy. Some people swear by them, some people vilify them.
They’ve been blamed for a whole number of problems but also regarded as indispensable for a whole range of achievements!
Like so many topics in the health and fitness world, the real answer about whether you need to eat them or not inevitably lies somewhere in the middle!
Carbs can be a brilliant source of energy and can totally work within a balanced, healthy diet.
Where people tend to go wrong with cutting carbs (because the media said they had to!) is that they drop them in the hope of creating a calorie deficit (which you need to lose weight), but inadvertently replace them with extra protein and fat because they are eating less fibre, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
To actually lose weight you must be in a calorie deficit for at least some amount of time, and if you don’t then you’ll not lose body fat regardless of if you’re eating carbs or not!
If you don’t know how many calories you need to eat to maintain your current bodyweight and activity level, then it’s virtually impossible to know how to create a deficit and your results will be harder to come by.
So what can you do about it?
It’s hard to argue against eating “clean” whole foods, but that doesn’t mean that all carb sources are off limits – starchy plants such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and squashes are both whole food and carb heavy, but rice, oats and quinoa are all brilliant sources of energy and can be eaten as part of a diet that is built around fat loss.
If you love bread, pasta and biscuits there’s no reason that you can’t work them into a fat loss diet if it makes the whole thing sustainable for you, because if your diet isn’t one that you can work with in the longer term then you’ll probably fall into the same cycle of binge and restrict over and over again.