Whoa! Hold the carbs … don’t those make me gain weight?

Nutrition Month 2017: Take the Fight out of Food!

It is almost daily that a patient explains ‘I can’t eat carbs … they make me gain weight’ or laments ‘the only time I’ve been successful in weight loss is when I’ve followed a high protein diet … when I added back the carbs, all the weight came back.’

This is a true fight with food. It’s frustrating, disheartening and defeating. More than that, it’s misinformed.

Spot the problem: Approaching our health in the context of a single nutrient or with a focus on weight loses sight of a valued life: living each day to its fullest. To attain long-term sustainability of health and weight management we must be able to maintain a consistent lifestyle each day for the rest of our life.

The facts: No single nutrient makes someone ‘gain weight.’ Each individual’s unique body weight is influenced by meal consistency, total nutrient balance, portion management, eating behaviours, medical conditions, lifestyle, medications, sleep patterns and more. Weight is more complex than the balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat in our diet. We know that some people, when following a reduced-calorie diet for an extended period of time, will experience some weight loss. The only way to sustain some of this weight loss is to consistently follow the pattern of eating and lifestyle that was followed during the active weight loss period. We also know that restricting one nutrient (including carbohydrates) places your health and body at risk. It’s really less about the carbs and more about how you nourish your body each day for your entire life.

Seek support: If you’re struggling with a concern over your dietary balance, speak to your dietitian and take time to understand how each nutrient plays a role in your body.

For more information and resources about Nutrition Month visit www.NutritionMonth2017.ca