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Just like fats, carbs are a thing that many people think they need to avoid when burning fat. But it's not actually true ...

Carbohydrates are another thing that many people fear and tend to avoid when trying to burn fat. There is much confusion about good carbs and bad carbs, and when we can and can’t eat them, so I’m going to keep it simple and clear it up for you.

The fact is carbs don’t make you gain fat, and the silly myth that eating carbs after 6pm will make you fat is also nonsense, so if you train at 8pm and don’t eat until 10pm, that’s no problem at all. The body needs to be refuelled after you train, regardless of the time, so use this meal to enjoy the carbs you love – you’ve earned them.

Why do we need carbohydrates?

• Carbs are the body’s main source of energy for the muscles during intense exercise – this is why we refuel post-workout

• Carbohydrates contain fibre, which is important for good intestinal health and digestion

• They are also essential for brain function

This Mexican rice with peri peri chicken is the perfect post workout refuel meal

What carbs should I be eating?

Carbohydrates are broken down by the digestive system into simple sugars. These sugars are carried in the bloodstream and delivered to cells in your body with the help of a hormone called insulin. In the cells, these sugars provide energy to your body.

There are 2 forms of carbohydrates: simple and complex.

Sources of complex carbohydrates, such as oats, rice, quinoa and noodles, will feature throughout the recipes. Simple carbohydrates are sugars like honey, table sugar and, of course, more nutrient-rich fruit. These do not need to be broken down further, so the body can use them for quick boosts of energy.


‘. . . the body can use them for quick boosts of energy.’ Now, when is that? When exercising, of course – but when isn’t it? Well, that’s when sitting on the sofa watching TV or working at your desk.

Inside your muscles carbohydrates are stored as glycogen, and this is what gets used to provide energy during intense cardio and resistance training. When it becomes depleted after the session, your body is exhausted, and at this point it is screaming out for sugar, as this is the quickest way of replenishing your muscles’ carbohydrate stores.

This process spikes your insulin levels and also drives protein to your muscle cells. So sugar at this time is vital – it will NOT make you fat, as it gets digested and, quick as a bullet, is used for refuelling. However, when you eat simple carbohydrates while you’re at complete rest, they get turned into triglycerides, which are stored in your fat cells for use as energy later. Too much of them and you may release too much insulin into your bloodstream.

This tricks your brain into thinking you need more sugar, which can trigger sugar cravings. I am sure many of you have experienced this, and it can lead to overproduction of insulin, the potential for your pancreas to become insulin resistant, and eventually Type 2 diabetes.

So, to conclude on simple carbohydrates. They really have an important use, and should not be seen as the bad guys, as lots of diets out there do, calling them ‘sins’ or whatever. Their effect is totally dependent on our activity levels: as an example, if you’re trying to lose fat, eating two bananas while lying in bed would be silly, but eating the same two bananas immediately after a heavy weight-lifting session – superb!

Unfortunately, people following plans are often told these foods are BAD, BAD, BAD and so won’t eat them when they are supposed to, but may well have them as a TREAT on a Saturday evening, which is totally counterproductive.



For healthy meals, tailored to your own personal energy demands that will put you body in fat burning mode, please visit www.thebodycoach.com/90dayplan



You can also follow me on social media at any of the links below:

Facebook: The Body Coach

Instagram: @thebodycoach

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YouTube: TheBodyCoachTV


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Joe Wicks

About Joe Wicks

Joe Wicks is the online nutrition coach inspiring people all over the world to cook with his #Leanin15 video meals on Instagram. He is also transforming the lives of thousands of people with his tailored online nutrition plan, The 90 Day Shift, Shape & Sustain plan.

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