In a world where most people decide to hire coach Internet to answer their questions regarding health and fitness, it’s easy and understandable to find oneself lost and even more confused than before searching for your original answer. Constantly there’s new articles weekly from several sources trying to pinpoint which one is the enemy; and this one is yet another one you’ll read regarding the subject, but in hopes that it helps you guide yourself to a better answer. So who’s the enemy in weight loss and body fat reduction? Is it carbs or is it fats? The answer is neither. Here’s why.
Fats are needed to support more than hormone, heart and overall health. They can supply your body with energy is needed (on a very low carb diet like Keto). Carbs on the other hand are your most favorable energy source your body prefers using. With so many books against carbs it’s easy to fall victim of believing that they are the #1 enemy towards weight loss. The true factor though you should be looking at isn’t carbs or fats, it’s your overall caloric consumption. Are you eating more than what you are burning in a day’s basis? If you are, I don’t care what macro you eliminate, you’ll still not lose weight. A lot of my clients come to me during a consultation telling me they’ve been on a ketogenic diet for months and haven’t lost a lbs. Worst, they are going crazy craving foods they used to eat on a general basis like fruits. Nothing against a Ketogenic diet, but if you are still over consuming more calories than you are burning than I don’t care what crazy diet you decide to do, it will not work. In my opinion you should look to have a balance between all the macros where a deficit is created, you have a balance between all three macros and you time your foods around your workout times. These three factors will have the most impact on your overall goals than anything else. Trying to get away with as many carbs as possible while losing weight is really the key. One thing I do for all my clients that decide to work with me is explain to them that consuming 30% of their total carb intake before and after a workout will optimize their energy, recovery and abstain from them feeling weak and tired all day. The other 40% of carbs can be spread in their meals with preferably smart choices. Could you lose weight on ice cream and pizza? Of course, but those types of foods don’t contains the most amount of nutrients your body needs to feel and optimize itself. What about fats then? A lot has changed in the world and how fats reputation has too. Back in the day they used to say all fats were bad, that you should never eat the yolk of an egg. Well guess what? A low fat diet will affect your hormones (really bad thing!), make your joints achy and decrease your overall wellbeing. Again, it goes back to a balance of all macros while maintaining a caloric deficit. It’s easy to point a finger and say that one macros is bad, after all that’s what the media has been doing for years. As a former competitor I remember the days of low carb dieting. It was awful. For months and months I would keep myself below 80g of carbs a day because it was “traditional” within the competing world to eat so little. But funny enough during my last few shows I decided to saw screw it and try to increase my carbs to at least 200g daily to see what would happen. Well, I had more energy to push heavier which also meant more energy burnt. Don’t fall victim of what is “traditional” if you can create a sustainable way of living for your body.
Caloric deficit, timing your food and making smart choices. Those are the three key elements you should consider when designing a weight loss plan. One that is sustainable and won’t make you miserable. Don’t blame one macro over the other for being responsible over your current condition. Start tracking what you eat and calculate how many carbs, fats and proteins you are consuming daily. You’ll be surprised how much we can overeat without being aware of it.