by Adrian Harper, ProFitness
Carbs – when, where and how we should eat them part 1. You are all aware that carbs are the buzz word in the health industry for the past few years. Still there is massive confusion as there are so many different takes on carbs and on this side of the world the staple of most peoples diet is yes CARBS. Today I hope to address a few points on this and give you my take on it and what has helped my clients get lean quickly and stay lean. A lean, strong physique is best achieved by eating the right carbs at the ideal times. Carbs are not the enemy but we need to be smart about the ones we choose.
During my time as a professional footballer the level of knowledge I received on nutrition was extremely limited, its hard to believe after spending 5 years at a top English football team and I still had no clue as to how much protein, carbs or fats I should eat daily and I left thinking eating fat made me fat. To cut a long story short I have spent the last 7-8 years studying nutrition in depth (sports science degrees, Biosignature, Precision Nutrition Course, Phil Richards Internship) and would like to think I can provide a few answers to help clients seeking to get in shape. A big problem we are facing today is deciding what to put on our plates!
99.9% of the clients we train want to simply “look better and feel better”. During their consultation with us before they start the 6 week body transformation, we provide them with a detailed health questionnaire which is followed by a 3 day food diary. On completition what we observe is that most if not all have limited protein and healthy fat intake and most are extremely high on carbs. We then advise most of our clients to follow an elimination type 14 day eating plan. When they look at it first most say “no carbs ? I need my carbs!!” This is where educating clients on Carbs (most dont know but Veg and Fruit is Carbs) and also reafirming the point to them that they have been eating excessive bad carbs for x amount of years and 14 days without bad carbs is going to be very beneficial to helping them get in shape. You will be eating REAL foods and no fake artificial shite is a line often heard from us.
Common problems people encounter during the first few days from the 14 days are sugar caravings, headaches and tiredness. This can be very off putting for some but getting through this initial period is key to short and long term success and if you want to look better and feel better like you said in the consultation then you need to make some changes from what you are currently doing. So the first 14 days should be a high protein & healthy fat, low carb, high fibre way of eating. NO SUGAR at all is allowed during this period and no cheat meals are on the agenda during this 14 days.
The Main Source of Carbs Should be Fibrous.
Fibrous carbs, including many green vegetables, typically have low carbohydrate content. This high fibre content makes them an ideal fat loss food. Dark green vegetables usually have a large antioxidant content as well .The best sources of fibrous carbs include:
● All Forms of Peppers
We also allow a fruit source as a snack which has to be thin skinned – Dark red, blue, and purple fruits are great anti-inflammatory foods because the extra antioxidants help get rid of free radicals that cause aging and inflammation. Eating enough protein and healthy fats is key during this period to avoid any hunger problems and if hunger is a problem there is a simple solution – have an extra meal!!
During this two weeks I will ask clients “how are you getting on with the foods?” sometimes the reply is “ah yeah grand” – this is exactly what I DONT want to hear and leads me to think you are not following what I told you to 100% – this should be F*****G hard!!- two weeks without sugar or sugar substitutes to an Irish person should be tough! If they found the 14 days extremely hard then I trust they have followed the plan I set out and award them with a CHEAT meal and we talk about introducing smart carbs back into their diet.
Thats all for part 1 and in my next article I will continue where I left off, the nice part – (the cheat meal) and talk about reintroducing smart carbs into your eating plan,
^^^^^ James Murphy above followed the food plan to a tee ^^^^
Thanks for reading
Adrian Harper, ProFitness