The truth about low-carb & low-fat

Hi guys,

In recent years there’s been loads of talk about  “low-carb” and “low-fat” options and how important they are to weight loss. But let’s be clear about something. Your body MUST have carbohydrate and it MUST have fat. The real question is where should you get them from?

The myth about “low-carb” and “low-fat” diets

The problem with most fad diets is that they claim that one single thing is responsible for people being overweight. Normally it’s either fat or carbohydrate. Depending on which diet you subscribe to, banishing these “evils” from your diet will result in you miraculously shedding all your excess pounds in a matter of weeks.

Rubbish.

For years, “low-fat” diets were portrayed by the media as the solution for anyone looking to lose weight. Advertisers went mad for it and soon our supermarket shelves were stuffed with “ZERO FAT” options. People were filling their trolleys with these so-called “healthy” options, hoping that this might be the path to weight loss.

More rubbish.

What nobody told them, least of all the manufacturers, was that these “healthy” options were stuffed with sugars, sweeteners and preservatives that made them anything but healthy. In fact, they were absolutely useless for anyone who was serious about wanting to lose weight.

Then the Atkins diet burst onto the scene. At the time it’s premise could not have been more enticing: ditch pasta, bread and potatoes, then eat as much fat as you like, and you’ll strip away body fat.

Even more rubbish.

In the short-term, some people began complaining of side-effects such as nausea, dizziness, extreme fatigue and bad breath. In the longer-term, people found that they simply couldn’t maintain the weight loss and ballooned back to their original levels. Even now, scientists can’t agree whether the diet is actually harmful to your health and have refused to rule out links to heart disease.

Make the right choices

So here’s the truth. You MUST eat fat and you MUST eat carbohydrate. Fat helps your body absorb vitamins and minerals vital to your overall health. Carbohydrates provide the basic energy you need to move around. Without either of these your health would suffer drastically. The key is to choose the right source.

Most people are starting to understand that with regards to fat, it’s the saturated kind that’s most dangerous. But in terms of carbohydrate, there’s still a lot to learn. For example, I wish I had a penny for every time I heard someone say “I’m going to be good today and have a baked potato”.

I shared a brilliant article on our facebook page www.facebook.com/AbsolutePT this week from the Harvard School of Public Health talking about the best sources of good carbohydrates.

It recommended the following:

  • Start the day with whole grains. If you like hot cereal, try old-fashioned oats. For cold cereal, look for something with whole wheat, whole oats or some other whole grain on the ingredients.
  • Use whole grain breads for lunch or snacks. Check the label to ensure that whole wheat or another whole grain is the first ingredient listed.
  • Bag the potatoes. Try brown rice or newer grains like bulgur, wheat berries, barley instead.
  • Pick up some whole wheat pasta. If the whole grain products are too chewy, look for those that are made with half whole-wheat flour and half white flour instead.
  • Bring on the beans. They’re an excellent source of slowly digested carbohydrate and also a great source of protein.

Hopefully that’s cleared up a few things. I’ll talk more about carbs next week.

In the meantime, feel free to pass on to anyone who you think would find this useful. And don’t forget to like our facebook page www.facebook.com/AbsolutePT for loads of free hints, tips and recipes to help you get in shape.

Take it easy,

Tony
Founder, Absolute PT
tony.stacey@absolutept.co.uk

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