Fit Club Nutrition: All About Carbs + Exercise Pyramid Workout

Hey, guys! Sorry we’ve been a little MIA with our Fit Club Posts!  Things have been crazy around here prepping for the launch of our new book!  But we’re back today, and Trainer Jani is here with a simple workout challenge, plus a really great post about something that has become kind of a dirty word in the weight-loss world–carbs–and why they’re nothing to be afraid of! 

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Trainer Jani One of the most controversial topics when it comes to weight loss is whether or not you should include carbohydrates into your diet.  Carbs have kind of gotten a bad rap over the last several years and have caused many people to become “carbophobic.”  There are many low carb diets that have become very popular.  One reason that they are so popular is because people generally do lose weight, but only initially.  If you think about it, when you eliminate carbs from your diet, you are eliminating both good AND bad carbs which means you are eating LESS CALORIES.  Of course you are going to lose weight.  But ever noticed you suddenly have no energy to exercise?  And once you add the carbs back into your diet, the pounds WILL come back as your body replenishes its carbohydrate stores.  And then many will get caught in a vicious diet cycle that causes more harm than good.

Why are carbohydrates important?

Carbohydrates are our bodies’ main source of fuel.  Think of carbohydrates as the gas needed to fuel a car. Without gas, a car won’t run. Likewise, without carbohydrates, your body will not have the fuel it requires to support your daily mental and physical activities.  In addition to providing our bodies with energy that we need to live, carbs also improve digestion, promote heart health, and lower our risk for certain cancers.  There are, however, certain types of carbs that can make us gain weight and raise our risk for diabetes and heart disease.

Know the difference between good and bad carbs

Many Americans consume the majority of their carbohydrate calories in the form of foods high in refined carbohydrates and added sugars such as white rice, potatoes, white bread, sweets, soda, and fruit juice.  These “bad carbs” are generally high in calories and offer little nutritional value.  They are rapidly digested, which makes your blood sugar go up and down quickly. This leaves you feeling hungry and low on energy soon after a meal.

“Good carbs” are high in fiber, which slows digestion. This helps you feel full longer, keeps your blood sugar stable, and gives you energy for a longer amount of time. Plant-based foods are full of good carbs and fiber.  These foods are generally lower in calories, saturated fat, and added sugars yet provide many nutrients our bodies need.   Look for good carbs in fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Whole grain foods include brown and wild rice, oatmeal, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, rolled oats, whole grain barley, quinoa, whole rye, and whole wheat.  Be sure to look at the list of ingredients in the grains that you buy.  A food that is truly whole grain lists the word “whole” before the name of the grain and is the first or second ingredient. Refined grains are disguised by the names “enriched flour,” “wheat flour,” “stoned wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “100% wheat,” and “multi-grain.”

How many grams of carbs should I eat per day?

Unfortunately, even if you choose to only eat good carbs, if you are consuming too many, you will gain weight.  Carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of your daily calories (even if you are trying to lose weight).  Check out this handy online carbohydrate calculator here which takes into consideration your height, weight, frame size, and activity level to give you an ideal daily intake of carbohydrates in grams.

Remember, your body needs the nutrients found in healthy carbs to perform better physically and mentally.  Be cautious of any diet that eliminates food groups.  If you eliminate carbs, you will only last so long and then what happens?  You end up at the Krispy Kreme drive thru buying a dozen of those devilish little circles, and inhale the whole box before you even get home!  Okay, maybe not that bad, but let’s be honest, who can eat just one Krispy Kreme?  Bottom line:  Healthy carbohydrates should be a part of a healthy daily diet.

Weekly Workout

 

 

For a quick, yet very intense workout this week, try this workout challenge.  You can use it as your workout alone, or top off your regular workout with this exercise pyramid.  No equipment needed!

10 Burpees
20 Push-ups
30 Squats
40 Mountain Climbers
50 Jumping Jacks
60 Second plank
50 Jumping jacks
40 Mountain Climbers
30 Squats
20 Push-ups
10 Burpees

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17 comments

  1. Just finished this! So glad you are back, these have been awesome. And even though I haven’t lost any weight…actually gained some…..I know my body is changing. Those stubborn love handles are almost gone. I’m trying to keep positive and happy and recognize the positive changes I’ve seen! Thanks again! 🙂

  2. so glad you guys are back! I admit, I haven’t been keeping up with healthy eating and working out very well in these past few weeks. but I’m feeling pretty gross and ready to get back on board! I’m wondering if you’d consider doing a post or sharing some tips on how to stay healthy while you’re traveling. my husband travels all over Alberta for work and I’m lucky enough to get to go with him… but eating healthy on the road is HARD dangit. I’d love some advice on how to make it work!

    1. That is a good topic! Definitely something we all struggle with for sure! I will keep that in mind for a future post for sure! For now, I know it helps me to stock my purse with healthy snacks for on the go, little packs of almonds, apples, oranges, a protein bar, string cheese (in the winter, so I know it won’t go bad in my purse) etc.

  3. Thanks for this article. My body needs carbs. I get so tired when I don’t eat enough, and it’s good to know that I’m not crazy.

  4. This is awesome! I feel so lost when it comes to nutrition, other than eat your fruits and veggies so thank you for the explaining it well!

  5. Will there be a printable for this workout? What about the Cardio/Strength Circuit (posted 3.7) and the Partner Workout (posted 2.13)?

    1. I’m not sure about the printables for those workouts. I will as Sara or Kate and see if that is something they are still planning on doing. I know they have both been super busy with the release of their new cookbook, so probably just haven’t had the time to get them made up.

  6. Thanks for the great information on carbs! I was just reading yesterday about a diet a coworker is on that gets rid of carbs and the foods they were substituting carbs with just didn’t seem healthy!

  7. Thanks for the great workouts and the nutrition info. I am loving them. I’m getting a little discouraged though. I’m on my 12th week of working out and eating better. I have cut out sugars, refined foods, white pasta and potatoes and I keep gaining weight, or drop a pound and then up 2 the next week.. Agh so frustrating. Any tips on how to reset my metabolisim?

    1. Amy – what worked for me was counting calories and keeping them at 1500-1800 a day consistently, plus strength training with a personal trainer.

  8. I know you are both very busy with your book signings, but when you are back to the Fit Club, I would LOVE a post on maintaining weight loss once you’ve achieved it. Via Google, I have found a lot of advice that has basically amounted to “changing the habits that got you so fat in the first place.” For me, I’m not sure how this applies, because the ONLY way I EVER once have gained weight is via pregnancy. I have always maintained weight like a pro, no matter what weight I’m at, with zero effort and eating anything I want.

    Following you guys and working with a personal trainer this winter (per Sara’s advice in those first posts), I’ve lost 15 pounds “baby weight” and have 5 to go. Once I am back at my pre-babies weight…. thoughts on how to maintain? Again, I have never worried before about gaining through “bad habits” because it’s never happened before. Will it be an issue now? (Someone has a crystal ball, right?) I know how HARD it is to lose weight, and honestly I have never done it without a personal trainer, but we are moving so I will lose him and I’m not quite sure how to maintain that weight loss on my own – or if I’ll need to do anything at all!

    1. From what you just said, it seems like you won’t have any issues maintaining at your new weight!

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