Hey Angels and Alphas,
In theory, cutting carbs out of your diet is easy, and some might even say nutritiously beneficial. After all, grocery store shelves are now loaded with keto substitutes for pretty much every food. And hey, if you feel great skipping your morning cup of oatmeal in hopes of getting less carbs, that’s great. There is a chance, however, that you might not feel at your best if you cut out carbs.
In some situations, your body will give you cues that you need to reintroduce carbs after cutting them out. It’s important that you pay attention to these cues, especially if you’re someone trying keto for the first time or someone who doesn’t have much experience with low-carb diets.
Despite current trends of high-fat, low-carb diets, carbohydrates are a vital part of your nutrition. They provide you with fiber which is essential to satiety and beneficial to heart health. Carbs are also further stored as glycogen in the body – your body’s preferred source of energy.
Everybody is different. The diet that works for you might not work for someone else. That being said, if you suspect that you’re just not feeling like you’re thriving off a low-carb diet, here are three signs that you may need to reintroduce them to your diet so you can stay healthy, energized, and progressing toward your fitness goals.
#1 LEAVING THE TABLE FEELING UNSATISFIED
Have you ever sat down to eat a full meal, then stood in front of your fridge or pantry in hopes of finding something else? If you’re not really sure what you’re searching for, but you need something more, this might be a telltale sign that you didn’t consume enough carbs at that meal.
A meal might physically fill you up, but you also need to be satisfied by that meal, too. If you’ve eaten a rich salad with protein but no carbs (except for the veggies,) you might have experienced that feeling of leaving the table unsatisfied.
A meal can physically fill you, but you need that satisfaction piece, too. “If you’ve eaten a salad with plenty of veggies and protein, but no [main carb source], you might have experienced this.
Maybe you physically felt full, but you felt like something was missing. Instead of aimlessly munching on an additional snack after dinner, try to top that salad with beans or toss in some whole grains in your meal. Even so-called unhealthy carbs might sometimes be necessary. There’s a place in your diet for all types of carbs. While pizza might not be the best way to get fiber in your body, it is very satisfying due to the high carb content.
#2 YOU’RE MOODY AND IRRITABLE WITHOUT REALLY KNOWING WHY
Not only will your body crave the satisfaction that comes with carbs, but your brain, too! Your brain alone will require a certain amount of carbs every day to function properly.
On top of that, since carbs can provide you with that fullness factor, you might be left feeling hungry or low on energy which further contributes to crankiness. If you’re someone who is constantly thinking about your next meal or snack, and you have trouble concentrating on the task at hand, it’s likely a good time for you to introduce some carbs back into your diet.
#3 POOR WORKOUT PERFORMANCE
This one should go without saying. If you’re putting in the effort to train, but yet, here you are, pouting your way out of the gym since your workout ended early, your body is telling you that you need carbs. Carbs are stored in the body as glycogen, and without those glycogen stores, it’s difficult for your body to find the energy to exercise.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), people who are active might not be getting the fuel they need solely from fruits and veggies as sources of carbs. Instead, they require a combination of fruits, veggies, starchy foods, grains, and more carb-rich foods that enhance exercise performance and help you bounce back from a tough session.
Simply aim to consume a balanced meal (or snack) around two to three hours before you head off for your workout, and you’ll be giving your body the carbs it needs to thrive in the gym and outside of it.