Despite thousands of health experts touting the benefits of carbohydrates of late, they still have a bad reputation among those looking to lose weight.
And now, one ‘healthy cook’ is on a mission to change that.
Personal trainer and nutrition coach, Luke Hines, 35, from northern New South Wales wants people to know that people can still eat carbs and lose weight.
Luke said one way people can figure out how much carbohydrates their diet should include is through the ‘Smart Carb Curve’, which is something he’s created to help people navigate where they sit on the ‘carb scale’.
‘Broken down into five categories, such as Keto, Low Carb and a Sustain Paleo approach, it allows people to understand how many carbs they should be having in any one day, and therefore what types of foods and recipes they should be focusing on for the best results,’ he told FEMAIL.
Personal trainer and nutrition coach, Luke Hines, 35, from Northern NSW wants people to know that not all carbs are created equal
To find out what balance of carbs, fats and proteins works best for someone he recommends that they assess and manage their diet over a long period of time.
This means including a different amount of cabrohydrates in their diet to see the amount their body best responds to.
By starting with an average overall approach people will be able to make suitable adjustments until they find what’s right for them.
He said he doesn’t think people should count each and every meal down to its calories and macronutrients, instead focusing on making measured decisions.
Luke said one way people can figure out how much carbohydrates their diet should include is through the ‘Smart Carb Curve’
He explained that people need to listen to their body and create a baseline to measure against
The way he recommends that people find out what balance of carbs, fats and proteins works best for them is to assess it over a long period of time
Carbs people should and shouldn’t avoid
Anything highly refined or processed should be avoided, including those foods high in carbohydrates.
When it comes to choosing carbs, we want to select options that help us manage our blood sugar regulation, therefore reducing excess weight gain and reducing cravings.
So by using whole, unprocessed real food sources you are packing your body with other key nutrients that help slow down the release of these carbs into our body for energy.
‘It’s more effective to look at things over a much longer pan of time, like a few weeks, and aim for an average consumption of fantastic foods, gauge how we feel based on these levels and then adjust accordingly,’ he said.
When he says results he mean reducing excess body fat, increasing lean muscle mass and improving energy, mood and cognitive function.
He said this can all be achieved simply through eating real food, which the ‘Smart Carb Curve’ encourages.
Luke said the best way for people to find out what kind of diet works best for them is by listening to their body.
He said he doesn’t think people should count each and every meal down to its calories and macronutrients, instead focusing on making measured decisions
Luke creates his own version of Iced Vovos (left) and also whips up Chocolate Raspberry Bombs (right) to satisfy his sweet tooth
‘It’s more effective to look at things over a much longer pan of time, like a few weeks, and aim for an average consumption of fantastic foods,’ he said
The different zones
The Keto Zone
0-50 grams of carbohydrates per day
This intake allows for easy weight loss. People’s fat intake has to support it.
The Low Carb Zone
50-100 grams per day
This promotes sustainable, weight loss. It’s the sweet spot for many and allows them to enjoy a variety of food.
The Sustain Zone
100-150 grams per day
This is the perfect zone if people want to maintain their body composition.
The Carb Excess Zone
150-300 grams per day
This zone has been shown to promote steady weight gain and is a common place for those who wonder why they can’t lose weight.
The Warning Zone
300+ grams per day
Many people who lack awareness of carb levels fall into this group.
‘You may like to start with the Sustain Zone, which is likened to a Paleo approach, which is a great introduction to use eating real food,’ he said.
‘Then make your way down to the Low Carb and Keto Zones to really increase your fat burning potential, improved mental clarity and reduction in cravings.’
He explained that no matter whether you follow a low carb ketogenic diet or more of a paleo approach, people should keep their carbohydrate intake as unrefined as possible.
Luke said people need to understand their bodies individual energy needs and try to cater to it.
This means learning whether they function better as a fat burner or a carb burner.
‘If you’re a fat burner you will thrive on a lower carb approach, whereas if you are someone who functions well on carbs you will thrive celebrating a moderate intake of carbs from real food sources,’ he said.
‘Carbs come from a wide variety of food sources but the key is to celebrate those that are from more nutrient dense foods.’
Luke said the best way for people to find out what kind of diet works best for them is through the Smart Carb curve and listening to their body
Luke said it’s important that people avoid fad diets that aren’t sustainable long term.
The biggest issue he sees is people looking for a quick fix or easy solution.
‘The simple fact is it just takes a long term, realistic and sustainable approach,’ he said.
‘Keep it simple and never sacrifice flavour when looking after yourself!’
Luke said it’s important that people avoid fad diets that aren’t sustainable long term
This also means those with a sweet tooth don’t need to let go of their sweet treats.
His tip is that people make desserts with nutrient dense alternatives to sugar, such as honey, maple syrup or coconut nectar.
Other alternatives are monk fruit extract or green leaf stevia, which both have a zero glycaemic load and do not affect blood sugar levels.
For more information people should check out his new book Smart Carbs and can check out his online program.
Recipe for Luke’s Lamb Ribs
Luke said lamb ribs are a fantastic, nutritious and affordable meal for the whole family
1–1.5 kg lamb rib racks, trimmed of any excess fat
mint leaves, to serve
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated
1½ tablespoons extra-virgin
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons dried chilli flakes
½ tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground
Apple cider relish
125 ml (½ cup) apple cider
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
2 large handfuls of mint leaves, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
For the spice paste, mix together all the ingredients in a bowl.
Using your fingers, generously rub the rib racks with the spice paste and then place, skin-side up, on the prepared baking tray. Cover with foil and seal around the edges, then transfer to the oven and bake for 2 hours. Remove the foil, increase the temperature to 220°C and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the ribs are caramelised and golden brown.
While the ribs are cooking, make the apple cider relish. Add the apple cider vinegar, sugar and garlic to a saucepan over high heat, bring to a simmer and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until slightly syrupy. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly, then stir through the chopped mint.
Remove the rib racks from the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
To serve, slice up the rib racks and pile them on a serving platter. Scatter over some mint leaves and devour with the relish.