Bob Harper is embracing carbohydrates with open arms now and thinks you should, too. And who are we to refuse a good carb? The author of The Super Carb Diet: Shed Pounds, Build Strength, Eat Real Food told POPSUGAR that eliminating carbs almost always leads to a crash and burn diet and unnecessary weight gain. "I've seen diets crash so many times, and it makes me so sad when I see people who have worked so hard to lose weight, and they put all that weight back on."
He's putting carbs back on the menu and back on your plate, and if you're feeling at all hesitant or nervous about that, here are the three biggest myths about carbohydrates Bob wants to clear up — once and for all!
Myth 1: "Carbs Make You Fat"
"People are afraid of carbs," Bob told POPSUGAR, as we discussed the biggest misconceptions around a carb-friendly diet. "Carbs aren't going to make you fat — the wrong carbs will," he said, explaining that the "wrong" kinds of carbohydrates are the "superprocessed, sugary, starchy carbs" — those are the ones "that are going to make you gain weight."
But that only accounts for a small portion of the wide array of foods that fall under this umbrella of a macronutrient. Bob says that the carbs that are good for you and your waistline are also the ones that are going to leave you feeling more satiated. "If you're eating more fiber-rich complex carbohydrates, you're going to be satisfied much longer," he said.
Adding carbs? Look for ones dense in fiber, like whole grains, fruits, oats, and vegetables.
Myth 2: You Shouldn't Eat Too Much Fruit
Many diets now restrict the amount of whole fruits you're allowed to eat because they're high in carbohydrates and natural sugars and warn that too much fruit isn't good for the body — "It's a huge myth out there!" Bob said.
"I don't want to have some sort of diet that tells me I have to restrict my fruit — I'm a big whole fruit eater. Give me apples, give me oranges, give me foods like that that are rich in antioxidants that are going to be superhelpful to me and my diet." He shared that he is also not a fan of any diet that eliminates an entire food group.
Bob also shared that fruit is one of the healthiest, most wholesome ways to curb a sweet tooth, and you should totally reach for fruit as opposed to processed sugar. No more vilifying fruit, OK?
Myth 3: Protein > Carbs
"People are just so protein obsessed!" said Bob. "It's this whole thing of 'Eat your protein! Eat your protein!' and if you're a vegetarian, people ask 'Where's your protein?!' . . . I'm like, quit asking that! Why don't you ask, 'where's your balance?'"
Bob emphasized that protein intake is no more important than carbohydrate intake. "I turn that 'protein' word into 'balance,'" he said, explaining that each of his meals (personally, and in his Super Carb program) aim to put a solid balance of fat, protein, and carbohydrates (and heaps of vegetables!) on a plate. It's "too hard to go a lifetime without eating carbs," said Bob. "Incorporate carbs into your meal plan, and still lose weight . . . balance out the macronutrients. It really does work."