King of Carbs

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.

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

"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."

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
From Outside Magazine, Aug 2004
Filed To: Nutrition
Lead Photo: Mark Hanauer
More Health