Keto is ‘unnecessary’: Why ‘demonising carbs is old news’ plus the healthiest ones to eat

Losing weight doesn’t have to be a miserable experience where you cut out carbohydrates completely to reach ketosis, a state in which the body burns fat instead of carbohydrates as its main fuel source. Personal trainer and fitness expert Matt Hodges spoke privately with Express.co.uk about why carbohydrates are not the enemy.

Most of us will try to slim down this month to look and feel great in our favorite Christmas dresses.

And like the ultra-popular keto diet, which involves eating less than 50g of carbs a day, there’s a world of information online about how to do this.

But according to expert Matt, “No carbs before Marbs” is a limited idea in the weight loss school of thought.

He told Express.co.uk: “It is now widely known that demonizing carbohydrates is old news.

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“Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient and are compatible with a healthy, balanced diet alongside protein and fat.”

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Indeed, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that carbohydrates make up 45 percent to 65 percent of total daily calories.

If you’re a woman who eats about 2,000 calories a day (NHS recommendation), then 900 to 1,300 calories should be from carbohydrates — 225 to 325 grams of carbohydrates per day.

Matt continued: “Reducing the amount of carbohydrates in your meals is another way to reduce total calories, which equates to weight/fat loss.

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“Now, carbohydrates are more readily available and tastier than proteins and fats, so most people overeat them.

“So logically, you’re going to lose weight by cutting back on carbs. But I think cutting carbs to zero like the ketogenic diet does is unnecessary and unhealthy for some.”

Because the body needs to eat carbohydrates, a no-carb or low-carb diet may actually not be appropriate in the long run.

“Furthermore, this is also unsustainable and will cause other problems later on. This phrase may be catchy, but the philosophy has flaws,” said the expert.

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Of course, there are some carbohydrates that are healthier than others. Whole-grain varieties like whole wheat bread have more health benefits than refined ones like white bread.

Harvard has published a guide that recommends whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, whole fruit and beans to get enough healthy carbs.

Matt’s next tip was to pay attention not only to what you eat, but also when you eat it. Regular meals are very important for muscle gain and fat burning.

Again, this is another myth claimed in the 80s and 90s by professional bodybuilders who tend to eat every two to three hours.

“The idea that eating at these intervals will help you build more muscle and burn more fat is a misconception because you keep the engine running.

“One of those myths born out of context. Professional bodybuilders eat, sleep, train, repeat. Kevin sleeps, eats, works, works, works, eats, sleeps in accounting.”

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According to Matt, eating at standard breakfast, lunch, and dinner times will help you lose weight more easily than eating little and often throughout the day.

“Eating at such intervals would likely only lead to a much higher calorie consumption during the day (aka grazing) and, more importantly, to malnutrition.

“Imagine being unable to go to a meeting or pick up your kids from school because you have to eat half a turkey and some rice? No thanks. It’s important to understand and know how many calories you need per day. It’s all normal Joes like us have to think about.”

Fitness expert Matt Hodges is the author of Behind the Doors of the Gym, which takes a deep dive into the world of personal training and is filled with weird and wonderful anecdotes about the industry and the people in it.



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