It is important to know that everybody has different theories in regards to diet and training. At times there is no right or wrong answer because every year theories change and nothing is black and white in terms of how you are supposed to eat because there are so many different variables that dictates people attaining their fitness goals whatever that may be. I’ve read a lot of blog posts lately on when to consume carbs and when not to and everybody has different theories as I try to respect everybody’s opinion even if I don’t agree with everything I read.
My main audience when I write is typically people that want to lose weight as opposed to people that want to improe their athletic performance. Any diet and training program I would give to someone that wants to lose weight or someone that is trying to improve their athletic performance would be two entirely different programs.
First of all I’ve been a natural athlete ever since I was 5 years old and I still train that way. I can still dunk a basketball standing underneath the basket and I can still run a 40 year dash under 4.6 without being in track shape. I’ve competed and trained with some of the best track olympian athletes in the world that were medalists in the Olympics. I had a coach in college that was a gold medalist in the 1976 Olympics. And I’ve also coached high school and college track athletes. So with that I have a lot of experience in terms of being around World Class Olympian athletes and how they ate, when they eat and how they trained. I am an athlete that just happens to have a decent physique but I’ve always been an athlete first and a physique model second.
My training has always consisted of building a functional body that will allow me to still train and move as an athlete. When I say training like in a functional way it means jumping over hurdles, sprinting, playing basketball, running stadium steps, etc which I still implement in my training today.
First of all I have never been an advocate of no carb diets as carbs are good for you and I have an article in this issue’s Inside Fitness magazine elaborating on that. Carbs are good for you and I’ve never said they weren’t it is just matter of when you should use them depending on how you are training and what your goals are. You should use carbs for what it is for which is for fuel and energy purposes.
If you are somebody that has more physical activity within the day whether it is moving around a lot at work, training in the gym or just out and about running errands then I would advise you to consume your carbs during those times that when you are active and moving around. This will allow you to use those carbs for what it is for which is to burn fuel.
If most of your inactivity is at night then I wouldn’t advise you to consume your carbs before you go to bed that is if your fitness goal is to lose weight. These late night carbs will just sit and store in your body as fat and it won’t be used for what it is for which is for fuel burning purposes. Everybody is different when it comes to consuming carbs; there are some people that are naturally lean or naturally skinny that when they consume carbs at any time of the day it won’t do nothing to their body. There are some people that are incredible sensitive to carbs and they just blow up if they consume more than 50 to 75 grams of carbs daily.
You have to figure out your body type and how your body reacts to carbs. If you are a college athlete, pro athlete, high school athlete or just someone who plays sports every day then you should consume more carbs than the average person because you will need that fuel to give you the energy to function properly throughout that sporting event.
Personally when I am doing sprints, stadium steps, plyometrics, playing basketball I will consume more carbs than the norm within that day because I am doing these activities which would require me to have the proper fuel and energy to finish this efficiently. I have consumed more than 100 grams of carbs within a day when I am doing any of these physical sporting performance exercises.
I am one of those people that can function reasonably well with low carbs but some people aren’t as I am completely aware of that. Like I said your fitness goals, your body type, your metabolism, how you train, your work schedule activity throughout the day will dictate how much you should consume carbs and at what time. I am going to give you an example: If you are somebody that does labor work late at night well you probably are someone that should consume carbs late at night because you need that fuel and energy to get you through the night shift.
If you work a normal 9 to 5 job and you go to bed at 8 or 9pm and if your fitness goal is to lose weight because you are overweight then I probably wouldn’t advise you to consume carbs at 8 or 9pm as that would be contradictory to your fitness goals. Those carbs you consume right before you go to sleep will just store in your body and it won’t be used for what it is for which is for fuel.
If you are somebody that is focused on bulking up then you would be consuming carbs all the time and be doing minimal cardio. I remember when I used to weigh 230 lbs and I was eating all the time and it consisted of me consuming a high amount of carbs because that was the only way I could pack on weight. There is no information out there that is the bible nor is this here but we all just try to learn from everybody’s theories and what works for them. I don’t know everything and I don’t pretend to but I try to be open-minded to different theories that are out there because with yearly research theories will change all the time.