Carbs and Weight in Spain
As I walk down the street in Barcelona, I pass shop after shop with breads and pastries. There are people enjoying a beer and bocadillo (small sandwich) at 10 in the morning. For lunch, you’ll see paella (rice), pastas, and pan con tomate (bread with tomato). The thing I don’t see much of: overweight people.
I’ll often hear of my friends having success in their weight management by doing Keto or Atkins. Or with some similar plan that restricts carbs, sugar, or otherwise cuts out an entire food group.
But does that really help?
Disclaimer: In the end, whatever works best for you, long term, is what works. Just make sure it’s a diet and lifestyle you can live with.
So, is there a disconnect? What I see in Spain just doesn’t bear out the idea that carbs are bad for you. What’s going on?
I suspect it’s a combination of the difference in lifestyle, food, and other factors. Barcelona is a walking city. I haven’t been in a car in months. Most days I get 15,000+ steps just doing my daily routine plus a bit of exercise. Another factor is the portion sizes. Most things are pretty small by comparison to the US versions. And even when I eat the same thing, there seems to be less sugar used. Other things like fresher meats, fruits and veggies make a difference too.
So… Is it just eating less and moving more? Well, no. But that’s a part of it. It’s also what you eat, but without cutting out entire food groups or feeling deprived.
I walk. I still eat pastas, rice, breads and pastries. Even dessert. But the quantities are smaller and the qualities are better, in my opinion.
One other factor to consider: Stress. There seems to be a lot less of it in Spain. Lower crime, no shootings, a social safety net, health care, etc. All of that combined with a “No pasa nada” attitude seems to bring the general level of stress way down for daily life.
Can this be achieved in the USA? Maybe. I suspect it would be a bit more difficult. For it to really change for everyone, a lot of things would need to change too. Cars. Restaurants. Food supply. Health care. Even the government.
That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It would just take much more effort to achieve.
Whatever your path to good health, I hope you find it and are happy with your lives.
All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com