It’s a saying I heard recently a few times from the one and only Charles Poliquin. He says if you’re a thin person and you’re active, you can get away with carbs as part of your daily regimen. He also says some people (I probably include myself in this group) should only get a lick of a dried prune every once in a while since their bodies don’t do well with them and stores them as extra fat.
We think for the most part we need carbs to survive, especially if we want to do endurance sports. I can tell you from my recent adventures and from my review of the literature is that it’s not quite the whole story. We can get away with doing a lot of different activities on little to no food, especially carbs.
A lot has to do with mindful eating in my experience. We give up a lot of freedom and control for something we call convenience. Do you really know what’s in that breakfast burrito you’re wolfing down and you’re racing down the road to the office?
Once I became aware of some mindless eating, it made a huge difference in my consumption of empty calories. I still do it from time to time but it’s a lot less likely to happen, and usually deliberate. I get it though, we all need some breaks from the everyday from time to time! You just need to figure out what everyday routine works best for you. It’s also very easy over consume carbs.
I used to eat carbs like they were going out of style in my Ironman days. It was the fuel I needed, or so I was tild. And I was a hamster on the chronic cardio wheel. I needed my carbs (think gels/Gatorade/Snickers/etc) to fuel my rides and I needed my rides to burn off my other meals.
Not all carbs are created equal (cauliflower vs potatoes, for example) but for the most part, I think people would be better off to eat them moderately and eat the right kinds.
So how do you earn your carbs? :)