Manic Monday ~ Carbs, proteins, fats...oh my!
I remember those good old days when I was quick to follow the latest diet trends. Just last week I recalled a memory to my husband regarding a diet I tried in college. Do you remember the "fat-free" diet? That diet was GREAT! I ate EVERYTHING that had no fat! I inhaled licorice, star bursts, fat-free ice cream, most pastas and bread. I even remember going through McDonald's drive through, ordering a hamburger, and throwing out the MEAT so I would just eat the bun! I can't imagine how many calories I really consumed that did me more harm than eating fat-free foods. This leads me to the time it takes to digest carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Many people eat a lot of carbohydrates because it takes more carbs to feel satisfied. A complex carbohydrate (pasta, rice, whole wheat bread, etc.) can take 30-60 minutes to digest. A simple carbohydrate (like table sugar, baked goods, or candy) can take very little time to digest and may take as little as 30 minutes. Now, a protein or fat (go for the healthy mono-unsaturated fats) takes half the time to feel satisfied when eating because it takes twice as long to digest which can be anywhere from an hour up to a couple of hours. Essentially your metabolism stays elevated when you are digesting. Digesting a protein or healthy fat will take a much longer time than a carbohydrate, therefore allowing a longer period of an increased metabolism. Is it better to eat just proteins and fats then? No, not totally. Your body needs nutrients and fiber. Carbohydrates, CLEAN carbohydrates, supply those nutrients and fiber. But if we eat too much of any carbohydrate and our body doesn't burn off the calories from that carbohydrate, then those calories go into "storage." And storage is where we gain the unwanted weight. Overall, there has to be a balance. And that balance will depend on your goals. If you are an athlete who participates in endurance training, you are going to need to consume more carbohydrates than the individual who is trying to lose weight. Because the endurance athlete will tap into those store houses of calories to help sustain the long duration of activity they are performing. If you are an individual who is trying to lose weight, carbohydrates should be consumed in moderation and proteins and healthy fats should have a good presence in your diet. All in all, it is wise to have an ideal diet plan that works with your goals. Don't go with the fads. Well, let me rephrase that. If you can't sustain a diet fad for life (and get healthy), chances are it's not an option. Make an investment that is worth it's weight in gold: a personalized diet program that is made specifically for you by a licensed dietitian. Otherwise, do your research. Eating plans are not a one-size-fits all! Eating plans are personal! Have a GREAT week and enjoy your blessings! Rachel Zimmerman, Certified Personal Trainer and Life Coach ACE/NSCA Wife, Mother, and Friend