Eat less, move more. That is the weight loss mantra, the key to success, the secret to the obesity riddle that has left too many people unhealthy and uncomfortable for far too long. The problem is that diet and exercise aren’t that simple to figure out individually; and they tend to become really complicated when you attempt to put them together.
The problem with diet and exercise can be broken down into one pretty basic concept: energy. Your daily diet is measured in calories, which are a unit of energy that correlates directly to what you eat and how much activity you participate in daily. To lose weight, your diet plan will encourage you to cut calories. When you cut calories, you cut energy potential. When you work out you burn calories, using up leftover energy that your body doesn’t need before it can become added weight. Cutting calories from your diet at the same time you start to burn calories via exercise is going to leave you totally depleted of energy. And without energy, how are you going to accomplish anything else on your to-do list?
Carbs: The Energy Source
This is why carbs are such an important component in any healthy diet plan, especially when you are trying to sustain an active lifestyle. Carbohydrates have a really bad reputation across the weight loss community, but the reality is that all carbs are not equal, and including some carbs in your diet can be helpful as you work to sustain your energy level as you work out and lose weight.
There are two primary types of carbohydrates:
- Simple carbohydrates: These are the sugary and sweet carbs that you’ll find in common favorite foods, like white bread and baked goods.
- Complex carbohydrates: These carbohydrates take longer to break down in the body, which means they can help you stay full, focused, and most importantly energized for longer between meals. These can be found in whole wheat and multigrain products.
When you are trying to eat healthy carbs to support your active lifestyle, do your best to avoid the simple carbohydrates which comes in the form of many sugary products and opt instead for the complex carbs that you can find in foods like whole wheat breads or multigrain cereals.
Sustain Energy with Complex Carbohydrates
Complex carbohydrates are the answer to finding a way to sustain energy throughout the day. When you eat too many simple carbohydrates you are likely to experience a sugar rush, which is often accompanied by an energy crash. Complex carbohydrates help you to maintain a more constant level of energy. Instead of a lot of ups and downs, you will find regularity and an ability to focus on the tasks at hand.
Carbohydrates provide the body with the fuel it needs to be active. Athletes, runners, and anyone who manages to sustain a healthy and active lifestyle use carbohydrates strategically in their diet to ensure that they have enough energy to keep up with their plans.
Many health and nutrition experts recommend that between 40 and 60 percent of your daily diet ought to come from complex carbohydrates for this reason.
The reason so many dieters shy away from carbs is because carbohydrates are a form of sugar that are calorie laden. If you aren’t active every day, then those calories from carbohydrates are going to contribute to weight gain. However, picking your carbs carefully and eating them strategically will give you the energy you need to power through a successful workout and maintain your active lifestyle.