King of Carbs

Aug 1, 2004
Outside Magazine
Against the Grain

Now you know what Chris Carmichael, Lance Armstrong’s renowned coach, thinks of low-carb diets. Why not take it up a notch and get the lowdown on his famed approach to .

chris carmichael

CARBO LOAD: Carmichael in Colorado Springs

IN CHRIS CARMICHAEL'S NEW BOOK on nutrition, Food for Fitness (Penguin, $26), due out in late July, Lance Armstrong's coach puts the smack down on the high-protein, low-carb diet frenzy. According to Carmichael, the barbarian diet is disastrous for active types—much better to get back on the pasta-and-potato train. Since 1999, Carmichael and his staff of coaches at Colorado Springs–based Carmichael Training Systems have helped more than 5,000 pro and amateur athletes fine-tune their game through online coaching programs. After numerous clients came to him on low-carb diets that left them running on fumes, he decided to set the record straight.

"To think carbs make you fat is wrong. You're fat because you're not exercising. There are some nine million people in this country swimming, running, biking, regularly going to the gym, or doing whatever, and no one's been talking to them about their diet. Low-carb diets are exactly what you should not do if you're active. Carbs are the fuel that drives your life; suddenly everyone's forgotten this. If you're working out five days a week, you need a minimum 60 percent [daily caloric intake] of carbs a day. You need protein to help you recover after you work out, and you need fat to help you digest those carbs. You can't just cut carbs—or cut protein or fat, for that matter—like every trendy diet has for the last 20 years. That's dysfunctional. You need them all. To simply blame a food type for us being fat is bullshit."

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