*Disclamier: I am not a doctor, a nutritionist, a dietitian, etc… * This is solely based on my experiences with my own weight loss and witnessing first hand how other cultures eat carbs and are not obese. I think we need to talk about busting the bad carb myth.
There is such a stigma attached to bad carbs. You know the ones; processed and full of refined sugar. White bread, white rice, regular pasta, etc… For many decades we have seen new diets come and go. No carb, low carb, etc… It’s been forced on us to think that bad carbs are just that… bad! I understand that they don’t carry the same nutritional value as good carbs and we’ve been told over and over again to at least choose whole grains when eating bread, pasta and other types of those foods. But have you ever stopped to think about how so many people in the world eat white rice, white bread and regular pasta? Why are they not fat like people here in the States? Here’s the thing, I’ve had the experience of moving to another country where white rice is a staple at almost every meal. Not only is it a staple, it’s generally the largest portion of food with those meals. I also had the experience of moving to Costa Rica, while being overweight, consumed this food everyday and lost 48 pounds.
Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs
I’m not going to go into an extensive list or explanation because there is so much information out already that you can just google. Some good carbs are considered to be fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Some bad carbohydrates, the ones with refined carbs and sugar, are white breads, regular pasta, white rice and sugary fruit drinks.
Well I’m here to bust the bad carb myth.
I lived in Italy for three months and I ate pasta and pizza almost twice a day. It wasn’t whole wheat and I’m sure an old nonna would’ve have keeled over and died if she had to make it that way. In Costa Rica, they eat rice with every meal. And huge portions of it! So why when I spent my time in both of those places was I either at my skinniest or lost a huge portion of weight?
I didn’t have a car in either of those places, so I walked to get food, I walked to get wine, I walked to see friends, I walked to go to the beach, etc… You get the point. And I really didn’t walk that much. I maybe walked 20 minutes or so a day, but here’s the thing, it was a fun walk. It never felt like exercise. People there walked too. Or they rode bicycles. The point is that you can eat bad carbs all day long if you get out and move.
A different time that I visited Italy, my friends and I joked that we ate and drank our way through the country, but we never gained any weight. And let me tell you, it was a total carb fest! As soon as we got back to the States, we kept eating the same way; however, the only walking we did was from our front door to our cars, from our cars to the store, etc… You get the idea. I understand that people out there say that losing weight is 80% diet and 20% exercise.
But what if, as long as you use portion control, you could eat whatever you wanted and still lose weight?
I witnessed this interesting and crazy thing last week. My parents neighbor and my parents, drive their golf carts to each other houses. THEY ARE ABOUT 50 YARDS AWAY, IF NOT LESS, FROM EACH OTHER! I was baffled. Why not just walk?
If you read my weight loss story, you saw how I talked about the chemicals, hormones, GMOs, steroids and god knows what else into our food here. I’m not going to go into that here. This post is for me to share my own experiences on weight loss and how bad carbs factored into that. Take from it what you will. I still believe that if you are going to diet, clean eating is the best way. It’s an easy lifestyle change to make and one that most people can stick with instead of some of the more extreme diets where you lose weight just to gain it all back plus some. And don’t be afraid of bad carbs! They are not your enemy. Try to take a 21 day challenge where you think before getting in your car (or golf cart- hehe) and see if you can walk instead. You might be surprised at the results!