To Carb or not to Carb?

There are endless opinions on carbohydrate intake and weight. In many studies, people who eat less carbs have lost weight. Of course, if we look at many of the participants in these studies one or two years later, the weight is back on (and then some).

So what can we reasonably conclude? Pretty much nothing. The studies have little meaning because participants rarely keep eating the same way. No system or diet is useful if it doesn’t help you maintain habits that make you feel better and have more energy.

So when I’m asked the carb question I usually ask my clients a few things:

What kind of carbs are we talking about?
White flour versus whole wheat flour?
White or brown rice?
French fries?

Which of these foods leave you feeling clear-headed and energized when you eat them?
Which leave you dull and lethargic?

When do you eat these foods and what effect does timing have on their effects?

Can you experiment and come up with a way to eat certain carbohydrate-heavy foods that works really well for you?

For many people, eating less carbs than they are currently eating does help lift energy levels. Sometimes this takes the form of eating more whole carbohydrates (brown rice, whole wheat). Sometimes it eating smaller portions helps. Other times we discover certain foods just don’t work (bread and potatoes are common culprits). And sometimes it’s just timing (too many carbs for breakfast)

So ignore the press, begin listening to what your body is telling you, and the correct answers will come. Find a practice that relieves stress and builds body awareness to help you with this. And, as always, be gentle with yourself

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