Carbohydrates are a fitness must-have! They get the worst reputation, and women everywhere are cutting them drastically, if not completely. “Why don’t I have energy?” and “why is my body not changing when I work out everyday?” become the most annoying questions. Uh, hello, look at your diet!
No one needs to eat two bagels, an enormous sandwich and then a pizza or pasta for dinner every day, but we all need to add them into our diet in moderation. By that, we also speak for the good carbs, like whole grain oats, brown rice, fresh fruits, vegetables, cooked legumes and starchy vegetables. Then live a little and add in some of the bad ones, like pizza and an occasional cookie or hamburger bun; anything that has been heavily processed.
It’s all about finding the right nutritional balance. Madalin Frodsham from Australia actually toned and shaped her body with just a simple carbohydrate change. She maintained the same weight, lost body fat and gained muscle, but all she did was switch to a 50% carbohydrate diet. She went from 800 calories a day and was substituting zucchini noodles for pasta and lettuce wraps for taco shells.
She became bored just eating vegetables, and it’s not shocking she was stuck in a fitness plateau. Your body needs fuel to work and 800 calories is anything but sufficient. Her new diet is now at 1800 calories a day, falling within the recommended female daily intake. And look, she changed her body for the better. Food is a good thing. Madalin ingested with more carbohydrates, as well as giving herself strong legs, toned arms along with some abs and curves.
Frodsham went from counting calories to counting the three macronutrients, consisting of fat, protein and of course carbohydrates. These are the three crucial components of food to help the human body function and to operate at its optimum level.
One gram of fat = nine calories
One gram of carbohydrate = four calories
One gram of protein = four calories
The vast majority of us don’t walk around with a scale or even have one at home, but there are guidelines for portion control on food packages, and we all have a calculator on our phones. To track everything we eat that way is not realistic long term, but those three simple conversations are great to know for everyone and there are apps available to help keep track.
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Before Madalin extended a hand to carbohydrates, she was on a ketogenetic diet, which is 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs. Do the math, no wonder she wasn’t seeing results at the gym. She wasn’t fuelling herself properly. She said this low carb diet used to work, but then she was always substituting in for the carbs and she got bored. She found a trainer and a nutritionist, and they both encouraged her to add in those carbohydrates!
Her weekly workout routine involves yoga, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes, some strength-training classes, walking and one day to recover. This schedule is nothing extraordinary, and it mirrors millions of others. The difference in her life isn’t the fitness, it’s the nutrition. Madalin learned she could be much healthier and stronger eating way more than just salad and vegetables.
When Madalin first switched her diet, she had trouble eating the right amounts of food. Her body and her metabolism got used to being deficient on only 800 calories. Starving yourself is NOT the way to lose weight. Everyone loves a salad, but she has found eating banana pancakes and sweet potatoes have taken her further.
Madalin emphasizes the ticket is counting macros and not calories. She says if you have a great relationship with food, try it! However, it is perhaps not the best route for anyone with a history of eating disorders.
Her transformation has made her entire outlook on fitness and food change. It’s not about staying under a certain weight and being married to the scale. She has proven to herself she can weigh the same and have a completely different body. Eating better has also changed her mental health and of course her energy levels.