One of my favorite episodes of Arrested Development is when the entire Bluth family decides to go on the Atkins diet and after a hugely stressful event (I won’t spoil it for you, but it involves Overly Literal Doctor) they all binge on breadsticks and pasta and more bread. It’s hilarious because I’m pretty sure that episode came out in 2003 or 2004, right when low-carb everything was all the rage. It’s really funny. You should watch it.
I’ve gone through various incarnations of “carbs are evil” but at the end of the day…carbs are good. They taste good and they should ideally make you feel good to eat. I used to struggle with hypoglycemic episodes and having too many carbs would make me feel sick…headach-y, nauseated, crash-y. Some would say that it’s because carbs are bad for you, but I think (and I think there is science to back this up) that carbs + inactivity are what is bad for you, i.e. what causes metabolic dysfunction (which is what is causing the headaches, etc). You can lose weight and address some metabolic issues by simply removing carbs from your diet, but wouldn’t it be more fun to move your body and be active and then eat carbs to fuel your activity rather than not move and also not eat carbs?
Since I have started lifting I have noticed a few things: 1. Carbs don’t make me feel sick anymore. 2. I can go longer period of times without having what I feel like is a hangry blood-sugar-related meltdown. People. I used to be FAMOUS for my hangry meltdowns, especially while pregnant. I attribute both of these things to better metabolic function caused by heavy lifting. With my LBEB programming I am eating more carbs than I ever have before but I feel amazing. I go to the gym and I lift heavier than I ever have before. I sleep well. My brain works and I don’t feel so “foggy.” If I DON’T eat enough carbs my lifts suffer and my energy suffers. Carbs are good. Eat them.
Another thing I think is interesting a month into my programming is that I am eating SO MUCH FOOD and I might go to bed feeling bloated and huge but by morning I look and feel lean and tight (mostly…time-of-the-month issues sometimes cause bloating/water retention, as all of us ladies know). I have also discovered that gluten and dairy really aren’t my friends. I don’t feel good after I eat them, typically. In small amounts I can have Greek yogurt or kefir but everything else dairy-related just doesn’t make me feel that great. Same with gluten. Most of my carbs come from rice or potatoes and of course, veggies. My beloved oatmeal doesn’t make me feel good. Bread doesn’t make me feel good. Rice and potatoes (even, *gasp* white rice and white potatoes!!) make me feel good. REALLY good. I have energy for days and I just feel good. But I think if I wasn’t lifting and had an inactive lifestyle, they wouldn’t make me feel good. None of this is scientific, just my personal observations as I have changed some of my eating habits. I am learning to eat like an athlete. Eat to perform. Sure, I still love adult beverages and pizza and I am not perfect in my diet by any means but I am learning and making little changes in order to be more awesome.