“Carbs make you fat.”
“Carbs spike your insulin.”
“Carbs aren’t necessary for survival.”
Those are all claims I’m sure you’ve read on this here internet a million times over when searching for fat loss and health information.
But just like everything else, the truth is often in the middle of extremes.
So for every 10 people shouting from the Twitter rooftops exclaim they’ve lost tons of weight and kept it off, there are likely hundreds more who couldn’t make the diet work for them.
This is also known as the Survivorship Bias:
Survivorship bias or survival bias is the logical error of concentrating on the people or things that made it past some selection process and overlooking those that did not, typically because of their lack of visibility. This can lead to false conclusions in several different ways. It is a form of selection bias.
The same is true for anyone claiming their diet or training program is superior — especially when their approach is very extreme (ie: strict Keto, Vegan, raw food, meat-only diets).
Here’s why carbohydrates matter:
1. Carbs are important for training intensity
When training with weights (which you should be doing if you want to maintain/gain muscle and lose fat easily, you need energy to actually lift the weights and maintain intensity and strength.
Carbohydrates are stored in your muscles and they provide energy when you’re operating at a high level of intensity that is required for weight training.
One of the main complaints of people going on low- to no-carb diets is their performance in the gym suffers. And it’s simply because they cut out the carbs, which the muscles need for strong contractions.
2. Carbs contain lots of nutrients
When/if you cut out all carbs from your diet, you will lose a great source of vitamins and minerals.
For example, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, squashes, and tomatoes are good sources of potassium. So are melons (cantaloupe, honeydew).
Kiwis and oranges contain the valuable antioxidant Vitamin C.
Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals, and they shouldn’t be avoided for this reason alone.
3. Carbs are good for thyroid health
In short, your thyroid is the master hormone that ensures good health for your entire body. You may have heard people say “I have a slow metabolism” or “my thyroid is underactive” before.
Metabolism can vary based on the person and their individual activity levels, but for the most part, if the thyroid is functioning optimally, you’re bound to feel the effects, which can manifest as:
- Lethargy (tired a lot)
- Easy weight gain (hard time losing it too)
- Brittle hair and nails
- Itchy, dry skin
- Feeling down or low
- Feeling cold frequently in temperate environments
In short, carbohydrate intake actually supports healthy thyroid function. And in fact, when eating in a caloric deficit for fat loss and lowering carbs, you can see a reduction in T3 (which is the active hormone in your thyroid). Source
So reducing carbs to very little or none in your diet can be detrimental to your fat loss efforts and overall health.
Overall, your diet should focus on a caloric deficit + my BBED principles in order to lose fat steadily and easily.
Need help with your diet and training? Then join the private JCD FIT community on Facebook using the button below: