Carbohydrates appear to have a foul repute, particularly amongst insulin-dependent diabetics. As quickly as we’re recognized, we study that carbohydrates are the important thing (or the downfall) to good glycemic management.
We rely them, we dose our insulin for them, and if we get it flawed, we wrestle with excessive or low blood sugars for hours.
Many people additionally expertise weight achieve after we begin utilizing insulin, so it’s pure to really feel that simply eliminating all carbohydrates, and never having to make use of a lot insulin, is the perfect resolution to weight administration.
Generally, I feel low carbohydrate diets have their place and time, however I wish to make the case that carbohydrates, on the proper time and amount, can truly be useful and provide help to attain your objectives, particularly for those who stay an energetic health life-style with diabetes.
Why are some carbohydrates higher than others?
If you happen to eat giant quantities of excessive glycemic carbohydrates, your blood sugars will shortly undergo the roof (diabetic or not) and your physique will want giant quantities of insulin to get your blood sugars all the way down to a wholesome vary. That’s the proper components for immediate fats storage.
If you happen to eat reasonable quantities of low glycemic carbohydrates as a substitute, you gained’t see that blood sugar spike. You’ll nonetheless want insulin after all, however fairly than selling immediate fats storage, the insulin will assist convert the carbohydrates into the vitality your physique wants in an effort to preserve your mind exercise, gasoline your muscle groups, and maintain your metabolism working.
If you’re a health nut like me, carbohydrates are a invaluable software that shouldn’t simply be lower out of your weight-reduction plan fully. Nonetheless, the quantity and sort of carbohydrates you devour ought to match what your health objectives are. I’ve had very completely different health objectives at completely different occasions, and I wish to take you thru how I managed my carbohydrate consumption by way of every of these phases.
It’s essential to needless to say after I speak about carbohydrates under, I solely embrace “laborious” carbohydrates like rice, pasta, quinoa, potato, and so on. I additionally eat plenty of low-carb greens like broccoli, asparagus, and cauliflower that comprise carbohydrates, however I don’t measure them as a result of they’ve so few energy and a minimal affect on my blood sugar.
They’re primarily “free meals”. I in all probability get one other 30-50 grams of carbs or extra per day from greens.
Carbohydrates for constructing muscle
Anybody following Diabetes Sturdy in all probability is aware of that I’m all about lean muscle groups. I don’t need massive cumbersome muscle groups, however I really like that I carry sufficient muscle to be a powerful fat-burning machine. Not solely do I feel it seems good, it additionally helps me handle my blood sugar and weight.
I spent a part of 2014 constructing lean muscle with out including vital physique fats. For that to work, roughly 40% of my energy got here from carbohydrates. I ate 140-160 grams of carbohydrates/day, and my blood sugar was superbly secure.
How? Effectively, as a result of I ate wholesome low glycemic carbohydrates comparable to brown rice, candy potato or oats with all my meals, and bananas post-workout (I’ve written a put up about My Favourite Wholesome Carbohydrates).
If you wish to learn extra about how carbs assist me handle my blood sugars throughout my exercises, try my put up about Meals and Insulin Round Exercises.
Carbohydrates for fats loss
After my muscle constructing part, I spent the remainder of the 12 months reducing fats, whereas doing my finest to not lose any of my hard-earned muscle. It was laborious. My physique needed to shred the muscle and maintain on tight to the fats.
One technique might have been to considerably cut back my energy and cease consuming carbohydrates. Though this might need labored to start with, my physique would have misplaced plenty of muscle groups first and shortly tailored to the brand new regime, and the burden loss would have stalled. As a substitute, I used one other methodology that I additionally use with most of my diabetic purchasers. What I did was carb biking.
Carb biking is a method the place you turn between decrease and better carbohydrate days. That approach, your physique nonetheless will get the vitality it wants from carbohydrates, your metabolism doesn’t get broken, you gained’t be burning muscle mass and, imagine me, you’ll drop fats.
It’s a bit of trickier to handle your blood sugars whereas carb biking for the reason that every day carbohydrate quantity will fluctuate, however with a bit of further blood sugar testing, it’s doable.
I might eat about 60 grams of low-glycemic carbs on my excessive days (three days/week) and 20 grams on the low days (three days/week). On the final day, I might enable myself a deal with meal, so I might in all probability eat round 100 grams of carbs (solely after my health competitors in October. Till then, there was no room for treats).
Carbohydrates for upkeep
Proper now, I’m just about the place I wish to be from a fats proportion perspective and I’m simply trying to preserve. This isn’t a foul place to be, and carbohydrates undoubtedly have a spot in my weight-reduction plan.
I’m nonetheless lifting weights, however since I don’t wish to actually achieve muscle groups, I am going a bit of lighter on the carbohydrates than in my constructing part. I solely embrace carbohydrates in my most important meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and post-workout) and proceed to stay to low-glycemic carbohydrates. Proper now, I eat about 80 grams of carbs/day.
I discover it essential to get my upkeep macros proper. By discovering my calorie upkeep equilibrium, it turns into simpler to dial my weight-reduction plan up or down when my objectives change. It additionally turns into simpler to handle my diabetes, since I get a very good base understanding of how carbohydrates affect my blood sugar.
I hope that this put up has given you a bit of perception into how I take advantage of carbohydrates to succeed in my health objectives, and why I imagine carbohydrates don’t actually deserve the unhealthy rep they generally get.
We’re after all all completely different and have completely different wants and objectives, so my method is probably not best for you, however I hope it has not less than given you some inspiration to experiment together with your weight-reduction plan and discover what works for you.