I get asked whether I eat carbs so much, almost as much as "do you still eat chocolate". When people see that you've lost weight one of the first things they want to know is how you've done it, which food group have you cut out or which celeb diet have you followed. Those of you who have been following me for a while will know that I eat a healthy balanced diet. I regularly eat foods that a lot of people think of as banned, such as bread, pasta and potatoes and I do it without gaining weight.
Why are carbs "bad"?
The reason a lot of people think that they should cut out carbs is because it works. They try it for a bit and get good results. However, what they're really doing most of the time is cutting out junk food. A lot of bread based foods are tied in with food on the go and can be pretty calorific with additional spreads and lots of additives in the bread. Similarly, if you're used to using half a jar of fancy Italian sauce on top of your pasta and a big lump of grated cheese then cutting out carbs in this instance takes away more than just the pasta. Although, a number of tomato sauces are branded as healthy and plastered with the names of celebrity chefs when you look at the packet they are often full of sugar and it the sugar which is also detrimental to successful weight loss. Or if you've given up carbs you won't be ordering pizza on a Friday night or working your way through half a packet of biscuits on an evening when you get home from work. You don't have to cut out the whole food group to lose weight, you just need to look for the healthy options. When in doubt follow my simple rule: if you can't pronounce the words in the ingredients list on the back of the packet then don't eat it (unless it's quinoa - pronounced "keen-wah")
What works for me
I tend to eat carbs in connection with my workouts. So, if I'm training I will have a piece of toast with my eggs in a morning or if I know I'm going for a long run the next day I will have pasta or basmati rice the night before. To be able to run/go to the gym/live a fun-filled action packed life you have to fuel your body with the right things. I choose good quality wholegrain bread or rye bread for toast. It's much better for you to have a slice of toast and a banana on the way out of the door to work than to stress about not managing to get your smoothie or eggs ready, or worse still going without breakfast.
I hope you find this helpful and that it stops you worrying about grabbing a slice of toast for breakfast. However, please remember that I am a lawyer and not a qualified health professional and the ideas I share are simply that, my ideas and my opinions or experience on how things have worked for me. If you need help with your diet then you should consult a doctor or trained health professional such as a dietician. One of my favourite blogs and social media accounts to follow is Nic's Nutrition. Nic is a UK Registered Dietician, is super friendly (she's Northern too) and most importantly she knows her stuff (this isn't me just saying it because she's my friend, she's often invited to speak on BBC Breakfast to give her professional opinion on health and diet related news). Check out her post which deals with carbohydrates here. I also really like this one about reading food labels. Go and say hi!