• Nate Johnson

Eating Carbs Saved My Business, My Marriage, and My Life



Several years ago I developed some issues with my Adrenal Glands and Thyroid. It wasn't serious in the sense that it was life threatening. But it was seriously impacting my quality of life.

Basically I had put my body through too much stress and never let it recover. It was brought about by a combination of things- a lot of which I did to myself.

I plan to write my whole story soon because I've heard more than 50% of Americans will experience Adrenal/Thyroid issues in their life so I think it could be valuable for you. But that's not what this is about.

This is about how Carbs saved my life. They saved my marriage, my business, and so much more.

Am I being dramatic? Definitely. ;)

But not that dramatic. My quality of life was far from 100%.

Here's A List Of My Symptoms:

  • Poor Temperature Regulation.I was always super cold or hot- rarely comfortable.

  • Low Body Temp. My temp never went above 98.0 at any point during the day. This is a really common thyroid symptom.

  • Exhausted. No matter how much I slept, getting out of bed was all but impossible. I always sleep 7.5-9 hours per night so it wasn't a lack of sleep.

  • Low/No Motivation. You could even describe this as depressed. Though I was never "down" or "sad," I was very apathetic to everything in my life.

  • Brain Fog. So hard for me to think clearly. And my brain seemed to be moving in slow motion

  • Workouts Left Me Feeling Exhausted.Even a 20 minute workout would leave me exhausted the rest of the day.

  • Craving Sugar Like Crazy. Look, I love ice cream. But I NEEDED it. And I ate a ton of it.

  • Facial Acne. I've never had a perfectly clear face, and I don't do anything special for my face. But in the last few years my acne has been much worse than normal.

  • Rarely Got Hungry. This sounds like a great problem to have, but it's not. If you never get hungry, something isn't right!

  • Hyponatremia/Frequent Urination.Essentially my electrolytes would get screwed up (releasing too much sodium) which causes a whole host of issues.

  • Anxiety and Panic Attacks.This was one of the worst symptoms. I'd never have described myself as an anxious person until all this happened.

  • Dizziness.This one sucked. I felt dizzy at many points throughout the day.

  • Low Libido.This is a huge indicator of health, especially as a man. Not to mention it's a frustrating problem to have!

These are the symptoms I can think of off the top of my head. But my goal here isn't to throw a pity party.

The goal is to show you how dang important Carbs have been in healing my body.

Recently I hired a Nutrition Coach. I also hired someone to write my training program for me. Because I got to a point where it needed to be done but I didn't want to think about it any more. I wanted to follow someone else's plan.

(Side Note: As a coach it's SO much easier to treat a client objectively than it is to treat myself objectively. Even coaches need coaches!)

My nutrition coach has me slowly upping my carb intake over time. Just yesterday I ate 425 grams of carbs. And ideally I'm getting those carbs from good sources like sweet potatoes and white rice, but I also crushed some Honey Comb cereal last night.

The results of increasing my carb intake for a little over a month?

I feel amazing.

  • My energy and libido are back

  • I pop out of bed every morning at 5:30 ready to go

  • My brain is functioning quite well again

  • I'm training with an intensity in the gym that I haven't in years. It feels good to lift some heavy weight again! 45-60 minute workouts are no problem.

  • My cravings for sugar are gone. I rarely eat ice cream these days, and if I do it's a small cup. (Before it was like half the container. Or a whole pint. I was POUNDING some ice cream.)

  • Anxiety is sooooo much better- it's rarely an issue now.

Every single one of my symptoms has improved, if not fully reversed.

I'm not back to 100% yet. It's going to take months before I get there. BUT I'm definitely on the road back to 100% and I couldn't be happier about it.

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Literally the only changes I've made were cutting out all caffeine (other than what's in Decaf coffee) and upping my carb intake.

But in regards to caffeine, I actually cut that out several months before working with my Nutrition Coach. Removing caffeine has helped a good bit but nothing has made as much of a drastic difference as upping my carb intake has.

Let me make another note. I did Whole30 a few months ago. It helped my symptoms some, but not a ton. It wasn't until I upped my carb intake that I started seeing drastic improvements in my health.

This just proves a point I often talk about. Eating "super healthy" foods is a good idea, but it's not always the golden ticket to fat loss or perfect health. 

Like I said in the headline- Carbs Saved My Life. 

I'm no doctor, nor do I claim to be, but if you're experiencing any one of the symptoms above I'd love to talk about it. I'd love to tell you more about my situation if you're interested. 

I'm an open book :)

(Honestly I'm really grateful all this happened. So many people, particularly women, are prone to developing Adrenal/Thryoid issues. Which is great, because I work with lots of women!)

Now back to my main point. Here's the takeaway:

Carbs are not the devil. In fact, for most of us, they're incredibly important!

I'm not saying Low Carb Diets or Keto don't work. They work for a lot of people. But for most people these diets aren't optimal. Most people need carbs for optimal thyroid function.Essentially eating more carbs will ensure your metabolism keeps running at a normal level. 

If the thyroid gets screwed up, you can kiss fat loss goodbye. Trust me :) 

Have any of the symptoms above? Want to hear more of my story? Have a similar story of your own?


Send me an e-mail at nate@steelstrengthtraining.com or text/call me at 205-705-9591.

P.S.- I haven't been putting out as many blogs recently for 2 reasons. First, SST has grown a ton this year so I've been focused on managing that growth. But the second reason is I've felt very unmotivated to write. Thanks to carbs I'm back to writing again, loving it again, and coming up with lots of great ideas to share with you.


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