Eating well when training

Ok people that time of year is upon us when we jet off and enjoy some well-earned rest in the sunshine. For us at Swift Fitness two words repeated regularly as fitness goals from our members include beach and body.

So what’s the best way to trim and tone to look awesome and instil confidence for your trip away??

Strategic tweaks to your diet could hold the answer alongside a well put together fitness regime. Swift Fitness is here to offer you all you need to know on carbohydrates and how they affect your weight management and energy levels in this three part series over the holiday season.

Carbohydrates – the good – the bad – the ugly

The ability to differentiate between different types of carbs and getting them to work for you is crucial to trimming up for summer. Carbohydrates will provide you with the energy to perform well and train with an intensity needed to reach your fitness goals. Not all carbs are created equal so knowing which ones are there to offer you powers to train with vigour and which ones plot to stick to your waistline for the free ride is knowledge you must attain to be a step closer to toned body success.

The good (unrefined complex carbohydrates)

Your carbs should mainly be made up of unrefined complex starchy carbs (the good) and fibrous carbs (the ugly). Unrefined complex carbs should be the basis of your carb intake.

The good stuff is harder for your body to process due to it having a more complex makeup. This in turn will make it harder to overeat the good stuff as your body will send signals saying you’ve eaten enough to process and gain energy.

The good carbs consist of unrefined complex carbs. They still contain the WHOLE grain, including the bran and the germ. Thus, they are higher in fiber and will keep you feeling fuller for longer – great for weight loss. Examples include whole-grain rice, whole meal bread, porridge oats and whole-wheat pasta.

The bad (simple or refined carbohydrates)

To put simply, simple and unrefined carbs are your enemy when looking to gain your beach body.

Refined carbs are foods where machinery has been used to remove the high fibre parts (the bran and the germ) from the grain. When a complex carb is refined it loses it complex structure and thus all the properties that made it a healthy choice. Instead it takes on the properties of a simple carbohydrate and is processed by the body in the same way. White rice, white flour, white bread, sugary cereals, and pasta, noodles and pretty much anything made from white flour are all examples of refined carbohydrates. You should stay away from refined carbs, as much as you should stay away from sugar.

Limit your simple carbs as much as you can (sugar, sweets, etc.) and eliminate refined carbs completely from your diet.


The ugly (fibrous)

One advantage of fibrous carbs is their long-chain structure. Due to this they break down more slowly and are not quickly digested.

Fiber is “nature’s internal cleanser.” You might say it is the all-natural belly fat reducer. There really could not be a more perfect food for flat abs. A belly fat diet without fibrous carbs as a major component is less likely to succeed.


Here is a list of some great fibrous carbs to help you succeed in burning fat and building a lean body:
  • broccoli
  • lettuce
  • cauliflower
  • zucchini
  • tomatoes
  • asparagus
  • green beans
  • squash
  • cucumber
  • spinach

Fibrous carbs such as green vegetables don’t contain many calories. With this low calorie density we are able to eat until we are full with ingesting many fattening calories. If you’re building abs it is crucial to not go over your calorie limits. That’s when the fat is put on.


Due to their thermic effect, some fibrous carbs are actually said to have “negative calories.” As you can easily see, this is the best food for flat abs that you could possibly consume.