If you’ve been following the health and fitness literature during the past few years, chances are you’ve heard much controversy about the role of carbohydrates in a healthy diet. Many are now pointing to carbohydrates instead of fat as the main culprit in obesity.
So what are we as muscle builders supposed to make of all this? After all, if you’re trying to gain weight, you are definitely in the minority since everyone else seems obsessed with cutting calories and losing those pounds. Still, you still have many things in common with your larger friends. Both groups would want to minimize body fat, regardless of their ultimate goals. My guess is they wouldn’t mind replacing some of those flabby pounds with some lean muscle mass, though they’re probably not as enthusiastic as you are when it comes to muscle building.
So what should your diet look like if you wish to build muscle and lose fat? Well, I don’t pretend to have all the answers when it comes to fat loss, while the subject of building muscle would require a much more thorough discussion to give it justice. I would, however, like to leave you with a few thoughts on the role of carbohydrates.
I don’t believe that the elimination of carbs could possibly be the ideal, since they serve as your body’s primary source of fuel. Protein can be used as fuel, of course, but this is inefficient. Besides, you’ll need all that protein to build your muscles, remember? You should remove bad carbohydrates but not all carbohydrates. These are high glycemic foods, which means that they turn into glucose quickly, and this in turn will lead to fat storage due to the release of the hormone insulin.
What are these bad foods? Foods made from white flour products and high fructose corn syrup are two examples of bad carbs which will inevitably lead to fat gain. These foods will do nothing to help you build muscle; instead, they’re likely to cause an increase in fat and even increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease. It seems clear as we do more research that these foods should be avoided.
Of course, there is much more to be said on the subject. Remember to follow a complete muscle building program that emphasizes both strength training and a weight gain diet.