Can you eat carbs on a fat loss diet? Yes, you most definitely can…
Carbohydrates are essential for the healthy functioning of your body, but not all carbs are created equal and people’s preference for highly processed, refined sources; such as cakes, breads and sugary cereals; has helped fuel global obesity. This has spawned an array of carb-free diets, leading many to believe that carbs are the enemy and can’t be consumed as part of a fat-loss diet.
We’re here to tell you that you can, and should, be eating carbs – even if you’re trying to drop weight; but the types of carbs you consume is important, as is portion size!
When it comes to losing weight, calories are king! You could eliminate all processed, high-carb foods from your diet and live on nothing but lean meats, fruit and veg; but if calories consumed exceed calories burned, you will still put on weight! Conversely, exist purely on pizza and chocolate, but at less calories than you’re using and you will lose weight; although just a little common sense will tell you, that’s not going to be the best thing for your general health!
If you want to reduce body fat your biggest priority should be reducing your calorie intake to be lower than your total daily energy expenditure (there are many calculators online to give you a rough idea of this). Your next step is to focus on getting enough protein to help support growth (of muscle, blood, hormones, the list goes on) and to reduce hunger. The general recommendation is 0.75-1x your body weight in pounds.
After this, for most people, whether your remaining calories come from carbs or fats really doesn’t matter, but you should aim for a balance of both for optimum health.
Getting most of your carbs from whole sources, such as veg, oats, rice and potato, will ensure you get a range of important micronutrients, and won’t rack up the calories like heavily processed carbs. That being said, life is pretty dull (and a diet is unsustainable) without the odd tasty treat, so allow yourself a bit of what you love and, so long as it doesn’t tip the scales on your average daily calories across the week, you will still be on track to lose weight!