Sunday, April 14, 2013

April Challenge Week 3!

Heyyyyyy Fitfam. So I'm pretty excited I got through the week 2 challenge. No protein shake, sandwiches, or soy milk for a week was tough, but I think we proved how tough we can be as well. Today is the last day of week 2 of the challenge, and I for one am proud of myself and all of you who did it.

Now, it's on to week 3. The focus of week 3 is really on complex carbs. I wrote a post a while ago that gives very good insight into how our bodies process carbs, and what simple vs. complex carbs are (Read Post Here). I also talked about some healthy vs. unhealthy carbs here.

There are a lot of common misconceptions about complex carbs - they are bland, they have fewer  calories, etc - but it may surprise you to know that some of the items that you already know contain complex carbs. Some examples of foods that contain complex carbs are soy, beans, potatoes, oatmeal, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, couscous, fruits, whole grain bread, popcorn, whole wheat pasta, and vegetables.

So what's the deal with complex carbs? Our bodies digest complex carbs slower than simple carbs leaving us fuller longer. Simple carbs are digested really quickly raising our blood sugar levels significantly, and then dropping it quickly as well leaving you hungry sooner than you should be. 

Some examples of simple carbs are: white rice, table sugar, products with white flour, candy, fruit juice, cake, biscuits, soda, and packaged cereals. 

So the question I have been asked a lot is if complex carbs contain less calories than their 'simple' counterparts. In some cases, yes. Oatmeal will probably contain less than cereal given the amount of both required to leave us full. However, brown rice and white rice, or whole grain bread and white bread, tend to contain very similar caloric contents. The essence is in how fast your body processes one vs. the other, and how natural the ingredients may be.

So good luck this week. This should be easier than last week, and it should help you become more inquisitive about what goes into the food you eat as you learn to make healthier choices.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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