Fat was the enemy in the 1980’s. If you ate fat, you would get fat. The food industry responded and removed the fat. Unfortunately, the cardboard wafers tasted like cardboard wafers and they replaced the fat with the favorite seductress of the American diet: sugar. Of course, they marketed the poo out of it being fat free. Overweight, middle aged women gorged themselves on Snackwell’s devil’s food cookies and uttered phrases like,”I don’t understand why I can’t lose weight.”
Then South Beach and Atkins came around and declared war on all carbs. Some people were even dubbed “Real Men of Genius” for their over the top carb counting ways.
People scrambled to find ways to have a BBQ without potato salad.
Mashed potatoes? What are you trying to do, kill me?
Yeah, um, I’ll have screwdriver, but without the orange juice. [pats belly]. Don’t need those carbs.
Again, the food industry responded. Low carb was in. Sure there was enough aspartame to kill a horse, but NO CARBS BABY!
Sure people were passing out from ketosis at the cyclic rate, but hey, we’re thin. Right?
What Atkins and South Beach capitalized on was that the American diet was composed of simple sugars and over processed “food like product”. If these diets stopped at that, then all would be good. But again, an overreaction caused them to throw the baby out with the bath water and denounce all carbs as the preferred macronutrient of satan.
Your body needs carbs. In addition to many other functions, carbs are stored in your liver and muscles as glycogen. When exercise begins, that stored glycogen converts to glucose and serves as the energy to power through your workout.
For the meatheads in the group (I know who you are. We can smell our own), it’s highly unlikely we will ever deplete those glycogen stores just through resistance training. Does this mean we swear off carbs and eat another pound of bacon? Of course not. We still eat the pound of bacon because it’s delicious, but we eat a slice of toast with it. If your training for hypertrophy (muscle building), those carbs will assist in turning those lifeless appendages hanging from your shoulders into arms Hercules would envy. If you’re training for power, you’ll have the energy to train longer than that one rep max on the bench.
For you endurance athletes: HAHAHAHAHA! YEAH RIGHT, LIKE I CARE!
Just kidding, you need love too. Carb love, because the chances of you depleting your glycogen levels are very real. Cutting out carbs is a terrible idea. Michael Scott knows what’s up. Carbs should be the focal point of your diet, especially pre 5k or marathon or triathlon or whatever you weirdos enjoy doing.
For you dieters without exercise, go ahead and reduce your carb intake. Not completely, but if you are an anti-exercise, reducing your carb intake isn’t going to adversely affect you. You will also never reach your goals just by dieting. Hey, don’t get mad at me. I speaks da troof. If you heed this advice, I just saved you a few years of ridiculous failure. YOU’RE WELCOME!
So to recap, carbs are not the devil. They are, in fact, an integral part of athletic performance. Depending on your method of exercise, you may need more or less, but you definitely need some. Now get out there and bury your face in a plate full of brownies!