Carbohydrates – How much, how often?

Carbohydrates – How much, how often?

Carbohydrates – How much, how often? 960 640 Oden Strength

I had a question from my Facebook page:

“Regarding carbs. I hate those nasty buggers and they LOVE me. They just stick like glue. I know foods can turn into carbs to aye. I just wanna know the good ones to eat, how much is enough carbs and the ones that wont hang around on my hips and butt and thighs”.

My take on this question is that carbohydrate should not be the focus for a person engaging in regular resistance training. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to assume that the person is active in a gym (and they should be)

My answer is simply that your body is a closed energy circuit and if you consume more energy than you burn, you’ll gain fat.  If you burn less than you consume you will lose fat.  It’s just how it works.  It’s thermodynamic law.

Carbs by themselves don’t make you fat.

I am almost certain that the fixation on carbohydrate is a hangover from the Atkins Diet which came around in the 1960s.  Ever since then, recurring trends in the nutrition industry have led to carbohydrates being singled out as a driver of fat gain. A surplus of energy (calories) is the cause of fat gain and storage.

The trends appear to be cyclical.  For a time fat had been singled out as well. I’m sure it will be again.

The component that most people lack is protein.  Out of the 3 macros, carbohydrate, fat and protein, it is the least commonly occurring in food.

Therefore to simplify things, your only two concerns should be:

– overall caloric intake (above your Base Metabolic Rate (BMR) but below  your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) for fat loss.

– your protein intake

At the moment I’m looking to lose a little fat. So I am consuming 2570 calories per day.  This is above my base needs of 1900 but below my total daily expenditure of around 3100 calories.

I’m also consuming about 1.5 times my body-weight (in kilos) in grams of protein. Women actually need a little less than this.

My current body-weight is 82 kilos. Therefore I am taking in about 120-140 grams of protein and it does the trick or me. I train quite a bit so my caloric needs are a little higher than most.

So to answer the question: it doesn’t bear thinking about because you will merely over-complicate things that do not need to be made complicated.

Rule 1 – keep it simple

Rule 2 – if in doubt read rule 1 again

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment!

Coach Grant