To carb or not to carb?

carbs are killing you

I’m a big advocate of the following statement:

“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.”
– Greg Glassman


Your cheat sheet:

  • Meats are foods like chicken, beef, fish, pork, eggs (preferably not lunch meat).
  • Vegetables are anything… the greener the better. Did you eat something green today?
  • Nuts and seeds are foods like almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, Macadamiea nuts, hazelnuts cashews, pumpkin seeds, natural nut butters (but watch your portion sizes).
  • Some fruit is max 1 per day. Preferably within 1 hour before or after a workout that is low glycemic (low gi fruits such as an apples, berries, oranges, plums, nectarines). But if you want faster results, it would be better to avoid fruit.
  • Little starch is rice, potatoes. Little starch… Maybe even none, especially if your bodyfat is on the high side.
  • No sugar is having a strong mindset. Because it’s killing you and any body composition goals you have.

Let’s be honest, it may not be feasible for you to eliminate carbs from your diet, but if you need to add a little carbs to your life, THE ABSOLUTE BEST TIME TO DO THIS WOULD BE WITHIN 1 HOUR AFTER A STRENGTH TRAINING WORKOUT. This is a great strategy as this is the one time, you want to spike your insulin levels to promote carbs eaten being used for muscle.

You’ll see why later in this post, why elevating your insulin levels any other time is a terrible idea if your body fat is on the higher side and you have a goal of weight loss…

Now, let’s tackle the issue:

In North America, we overeat carbohydrates. Unfortunately, the majority of individaul’s diet actually consists mostly of carbs and this is a primary driver of obesity, chronic disease, and even death.

Look, the base of the fitness pyramid is mindset.

langley bootcamp, gym, fitness, hierarchy of fitness

And your mindset sets the foundation for everything else!

And this should be first applied to your nutrition.


Lack of exercise and excessive carb consumption is causing chronic disease.

Q: You know why we offer unlimitted sessions at BEFIT?

A: Because we want you to come frequently! We don’t want you coming 1 time/week. This will not make an impact in your life.

We are here to help you make a difference in your life – whatever that difference may be.

Chronic diseases include:

  • acelerated aging
  • sarcopenia (loss of muscle)
  • insulin resistance – meaning you can’t eat carbs
  • pre diabetes – essentially insulin resistance magnified
  • type 2 diabetes – insulin resistance to the max.
  • coronary heart disease
  • stroke
  • hypertension
  • congestive heart failure
  • obesity

How much money do we spend on our healthcare to combat these things? Our society has been bred to be reactive when it should be proactive.

Fitness and good nutrition is proactive.

And the thing is, we sit with an elegant solution, because it’s marked by this amazing simplicity.

Because these are the chronic issues:

  1. inactivity (sedentarism)
  2. excessive consumption of carbs (specifically refined).

So simply,

  1. We start moving more and exercising daily
  2. We stop eating carbs or significantly reducing them.

These are willful decisions.

  • You decide how much you move.
  • You decide what you eat.

This is chronic wilful behaviour and it can become deadly.

  • 70% of the world will meet a premature death due to chronic disease. An issue of luck essentially… but we are setting ourselves up to roll that dice if we don’t adopt a consistent health and fitness lifestyle void of refined carbohydrates.

The causes are simple.

What else do you need to happen to convince you that you are putting poison in your mouth?

Here’s the science:

When we eat carbohydrates, we break them down into sugar. (All carbs are glucose repeated).


Glucose is sugar. This sugar enters the blood and as the sugar levels rise in the blood, our pancreas produces insulin (which is a hormone) that promotes your muscle and/or your fat cells to absorb this sugar in the blood for energy and for storage.

But the problem is, if your bodyfat is higher than 10% for a man or over 20% for a woman (typically bodyfat levels where you can see your abs), you are most likely insulin resistant and your muscles won’t absorb the carbs… But your fat cells will.

Here’s an example of what happens when you eat carbs if you have higher body fat:

You have 2 restaurants across the street from each other of equal quality.

  • 1 has free parking and a lot of it (symbolizing your fat cells which are insulin sensitive)
  • The other has no parking and you have to pay for it (your muscle cells which are insulin resistant)

When you eat carbs, there are no parking spots (insulin receptors) available on your muscle cells and lots of available receptors on your fat cells. So anytime you eat carbohydrates, you are adding to your fat stores.

When you reduce your bodyfat, your insulin sensitivity improves and more parking spots (receptors) open up on your muscle cells.

You can decrease bodyfat by limiting carbohydrates, eating more protein, being more consistent with exercise and nutrition, and building more muscle. When you increase your muscle mass, you increase your insulin sensitivity and get more free parking spots at the “muscle restaurant.”

To this effect, you really want to try to get as much muscle on your body as possible.  And no, not in a ridiculous steroid kind of way… That’s why we exclusively train slow tempo strength on Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday. These days are the cornerstone of your training. The conditioning is the complement.

If you are insulin sensitive (and your muscles have free parking for glucose/carbs/sugar):

  • 85% of blood born glucose goes to the muscle.
  • Then 10-15% goes to the liver (blood glucose storage site) when the muscles are full

If you eat crap, you are insulin RESISTANT (and your muscles have no parking for glucose/carbs/sugar):

  • AND 85% of the carbs you eat goes to fat
  • 10-15% goes to liver
  • 5% goes to muscle.

The above chronic issues spoken about in this post are preventable and much of them reversible as you get away from the refined carbs, and as your lifestyle includes more movement and more fitness.

So you don’t have to feel stressed about changing everything today.

It’s about building the habits, 1 habit at a time, and then building in the complexity of these habits over time as you build up your confidence and competence at being more healthy.

You have the ability to eliminate the root cause of chronic disease.

  • Your body does not need carbs. For the most part, they cause inflammation, inflammation leads to chronic inflammation, and that leads to bad stuff…
  • Protein is an essential nutrient. In greek protein means of first importance. Give you body more of what it actually needs!
  • Every cell in your body has a layer of fat surrounding it. Consuming enough fat is essential for proper cell functioning.

So here’s my action plan for you moving forward:

For the next 5 days, I want you to completely change the way you eat.

  • We’ll take away carbs, but give you mct oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter or non salted or roasted nuts (good fats).
  • We’ll take away skim milk (it’s high insulin producing causes inflammation and weight gain), but give you water or protein shakes.
  • And we’ll add more protein and more vegetables.

And for anyone wondering about being too hungry because of their lack of carbs, I leave you with this:

The first 30g of protein you consume in a day goes to the immune system. The next 30g detoxifies the liver of poisons….

If you are not eating enough protein, you will never build the amount of lean muscle your body needs for better insulin sensitity, you will not reap the benefits from your hard effort in your workouts, and you won’t even be detoxifying your liver from the poisons and inhaled pollutants we breathe in daily.

Are you really eating enough protein?

Committed to your success,
Josh Saunders, BSC, CSCS
Voted Langley’s Best Fitness and Health club 6 years in a row

p.s. If you need help with accountability and weight loss, our 12 week Biggest Winner Challenge starts October 14th. Click here for all the info!