Why You Should Have Some Carbs
I've been bashing carbohydrates for a while now (for good reason) and figured that today would be a good day to give you the reason I still choose to have some carbohydrates in our meal plans. Now don't take this as a free pass to eating junk food, over consumption of carbohydrates are still the number one reason people are overweight and when I talk "carbs" in this post I'm talking about low glycemic carbohydrates not the tasty sugary junk food that you wish I was talking about.
The big "up side" to carbohydrates and the reason they are part of our meal plans at Free Form is that they are protein sparing, meaning they help you maintain your muscle mass which in turn will keep your metabolism going strong and keep you from gaining fat in the long term. The reason carbohydrates are protein sparing is simply because they are used as an energy source first thus leaving protein alone to do it's number one job (repair).
The lower your carbohydrates the more weight you will lose but also the more muscle you will spare and this is where you need to have good judgement of how low you should go. The trick to getting ripped and maintaining muscle mass is to basically keep your carbohydrates to a level where your body can still lose weight (1lbs a week) yet you are not sparing too much muscle in the process. Some people handle carbohydrates very well while others can't. I can put one person's carb count at 250g a day and someone else's at 30g a day. That's a big difference.
If your someone that puts on weight very easily (endomorph) then you should keep carbohydrates low because you are naturally prone to storing body fat and will naturally spare a lot of muscle. If you don't put on weight very easily (ectomorph) then you should probably bring your carbs up to a point where you're not sparing any hard earned muscle. If you're in the middle (mesomorph) I would keep the carbs in the middle say around 100g a day.
I have also found that regardless of your genetics or body type, if carbohydrates are kept too low for too long the body falls into survival mode and will stall fat loss so another startegy could be to have refill days like in my book Abs On The Go.
So there you have it, there is a good side to having carbs apart from it's yummy taste in the mount and the satisfying feeling in the belly. Now make sure to count them so you don't get carried away.