Guns Don’t Kill People, Grains Do

OK, I may have gone overboard with my headline in an attempt to get you to click. Thanks for falling for it. But let me explain.

Some people get legitimately mad when I suggest they limit their intake of grains, but try to keep an open mind here. Sure, there’s a whole lot of grey area when it comes to dieting. Everyone responds differently to the same foods.

But by cutting grains you’re eliminating a lot of processed foods by osmosis, and that’s a good thing. Too many foods come in boxes with fancy labels nowadays. That’s not the way our ancestors ate.

If you have mysterious joint pain or digestive issues, it might very well be your grain intake at the root of the problem. Rule that out by cutting out grains for at least sixty days. You might feel years younger after and have no desire to go back.

But how do you accomplish this when so much food comes laced with grains/gluten/etc. nowadays?

I like what the Paleo diet advocates. Protein sources consisting of grass fed beef, cage free eggs, wild caught salmon; healthy fats from extra virgin coconut oil, avocadoes, nuts; and limited carbohydrates consisting only of natural sources like fruit and yams.

If you aren’t active, the smaller your intake of carbohydrates should be. That’ll get those pounds you wish to shed off in no time. Today’s diet is too carbohydrate heavy considering our limited activity levels.

There’s a caveat, though.

If you train like an animal in the gym and play sports on a regular basis (golf doesn’t count), you absolutely require more carbs than the Paleo diet recommends.

I’m a big advocate of white rice post exercise. Jasmine sticky rice in particular (for taste). Unlike brown rice, it doesn’t back me up or cause inflammation. It’s a sustainable carbohydrate that fuels your muscles with glucose. And if I’m craving bread, I’ll eat a slice or two of sprouted grains toast. For more on how sprouted grains differs from conventional bread, read here

Muscles are built with glucose – so if accruing Lean Body Mass is part of your focus, don’t ignore carbs completely. However, if you’ve got 40 pounds to lose and don’t want to train like an animal to accomplish it, focus on protein and healthy fats first and carbohydrates last! It’s that simple really.

If you want to get technical and leave no stone unturned, hire a professional. But the basics can be accomplished with a few dietary tweaks. Now get after it.

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Mitch Calvert is a Winnipeg-based fitness coach for men and women like his former self. Heavyset in his 20s, he lost 60 pounds and now helps clients find their spark and lose the weight for life.