Ask a Health Coach: More of Your Carb Questions Answered

man choosing from a bakery caseHi folks, in today’s Ask a Health Coach, Erin will be responding to a couple of more of your carb-related concerns, from understanding which ones to consist of in your overall macro consumption  to methods for handling the after-effects of a carbohydrate binge. We like getting your concerns, so make certain to publish them in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group or in the remarks listed below.

Stephanie asked:
When counting carbohydrates, which carbohydrates are counted? Does this consist of vegetables and fruits too? I recognize that all grains and starches should be counted, however does this likewise consist of “moderated” foods such as bananas and sweet potatoes? Any guidance is valued!

As a culture, we’re consumed with carbohydrates. We’re so absolutely in love with demonizing, inspecting, anddissecting the subtleties of carbs. The overall carbohydrates, deducting sugar alcohols and fiber, staking a claim on which carbohydrates are excellent and which are bad. The entire thing’s gotten actually out of hand and method too picky if you ask me.

I work with a great deal of customers who show signs of being carbophobic, swearing that low-carb is the response to all their battles. Even if you’ve effectively gotten rid of the word “diet” from your vocabulary (congratulations, by the method), I discover that individuals definitely like to have guidelines around what they need to and shouldn’t be consuming.


Why Are We So Obsessed with Carbohydrates?

Ever become aware of choice tiredness? It’s based upon the concept that when making a plethora of choices (particularly in quick succession), our capability to make extra choices becomes worse. And because we make more than 200 food options each day, it’s simple to see why having guidelines alleviates.

Kinds of food choices you might acknowledge:

  • Should I consume breakfast or quickly?
  • Just how much creamer takes me out of ketosis?
  • Should I even have coffee?
  • What about lunch?
  • The number of carbohydrates does this have?
  • Is white wine all right?

Which doesn’t even consist of the choices make when eating in restaurants, presuming we get to do that more routinely moving on. The discussions we have in our heads are frustrating to state the least.

Why? Since our minds choose things that don’t need a great deal of idea. And choosing what we need to consume — or the number of carbohydrates we need to have — is simply another thing to tack onto our order of business. Martin Binks, PhD and Director of the Nutrition Metabolic Health Effort at Texas Tech states, “It’s easier to make a yes or no choice. It’s simpler and less stressful to make binary decisions rather than get into nuanced ones,” including that “food rules can simplify things.” The more variables there are, the more difficult it is for our brains to decide, which a minimum of partly discusses our fixation with food guidelines.

Sure, some structure and assistance is handy — like understanding which foods concur with your body and which ones make you feel foggy and tired. However it’s important to find out how to be versatile and consume mindfully to keep your psychological and physical health on track. The bottom line is, if you just eat real food and don’t waste time overthinking it, you’d likely be in a much better place. When you start loving and appreciating your body for being the magnificent organism it is and stop fussing over counting, weighing and tracking, life gets pretty awesome.

Margaret asked:

I lost a ton of weight before and have gained some back after letting carbs creep into my diet again and being sedentary for a period of time. But I’m so stuck on bread, etc. I know once I’m off of it for a while I can resist and not even consider it, but gosh it’s hard to get to that point! How do I get off bread for good? Thankfully, it sounds like don’t need a lesson in why grains can be toxic to your body. But figuring out how to ditch them for good is something a lot of people struggle with, including my own health coaching clients.

Why Grains Are So Hard to Avoid

Breads, cereals, crackers, and cookies. They’re intricately woven into nearly every aspect of our society. And unless you were brought up on an ancestral kind of diet, your preferences for starchy foods were probably dictated from an early age. In fact, most infants prefer sweet tastes over bitter and sour ones, which may reflect a biological instinct to choose those foods. It’s not just our preferences for starchier foods that keep us stuck on the bread basked rollercoaster though. Research shows that eating the same food as others makes us feel more connected to them. So, if you’re dining with your spouse and they grab a few slices of garlic bread while you whirl around your forkful of zoodles, you may feel like you’re lacking a sense of connection with them. Same thing goes if a friend orders dessert and you abstain.

As humans, we want to feel connected — especially since the past year has made us feel less connected than ever. But food isn’t the only way to get that need met (being of service is actually one of the best ways to feel connected to others).

4 Strategies for Ditching Grains

Ditching grains, especially when you know you feel better without them, is absolutely doable with the right strategies. Here are the tips I regularly share with my clients:

  1. Know Your Why. Get clear on your deep-down reasons for not eating bread and other grains. This is a game changer when it comes to navigating the ups and downs of the process, which there will always be.
  2. Make Protein and Fat Your Friend. Keeping your blood sugar stable is key to avoiding cravings for quick-burning carbs. I like to start my day with an epic protein forward meal of eggs and bacon.
  3. Be Aware of Your Triggers. If bread so tempting that you literally can’t resist it, don’t have it in the house. People who have their favorite foods around “just in case” are asking for an excuse to indulge.
  4. Get Support. Being part of a like-minded community, like the one here at Mark’s Daily Apple can be a really valuable resource. For more hands-on guidance, you might also consider hiring a professional health coach.

Dale asked:

I typically keep my carbs under 30 grams and include one cheat meal a week, but last weekend, my one night of pizza and beer turned into a weeklong binge. I’ve also gained about 5 pounds back that I worked so hard to lose. I was so motivated before and now I’m feeling stuck. Why is so hard to get back to my regular routine this time?

Certain foods are designed to be hyper-palatable. Think pizza, chips, fast food. Anytime fat, salt, and highly processed carbs are together in one food, it triggers the reward centers of the brain and can lead to a binge. Food scientists know exactly what they’re doing when they create these foods too. They want you to continue craving, buying, and consuming these foods. Honestly though, a week of overdoing it won’t derail your progress in the long-term. It actually might help you. Here’s why. While I’m not a fan of “cheat days” in general, consuming extra calories might be exactly what your body needs, especially since you’ve been so restrictive with your diet.

How to Move Forward After a Binge

You might expect a health coach to say things like “clear out all the junk food” or “start eating clean again at your next meal.” Those are both great suggestions, but the first thing I’d recommend is to have a little compassion for yourself. My job is to help my clients have an effortless relationship with food. One that doesn’t include guilt, shame, and discouragement. That’s why self-compassion is such an crucial part of the process. Everyone gets off track now and then. They notice their nightly glass of wine has become 2 or 3 glasses. Or their daily walk has turned in to a weekend-only activity. But having self-compassion means that you’re accepting the fact that you’re human and make mistakes now and then. It also helps you understand that your self-worth isn’t a reflection of how perfect or imperfect you happen to perceive yourself as right now — or what the scale says. If I were you, I’d ditch the scale and start working on acceptance.

Thoughts on carbs? Got more questions? Let’s hear it.


About the Author

Erin Power is the Coaching and Curriculum Director for Primal Health Coach Institute. She also helps her clients regain a loving and trusting relationship with their bodies—while restoring their metabolic health, so they can lose fat and gain energy—via her own private health coaching practice, consume.simple.

If you have actually a passion for health and wellness and a desire to help individuals like Erin does every day for her clients, consider becoming a certified health coach yourself. Learn the 3 simple steps to building a successful health training service in 6 months or less in this unique details session hosted by PHCI co-founder Mark Sisson.

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.