Carbohydrates are an important food group. In fact, if you understand the standard western diet, better known as the food pyramid, you’d be excused for thinking that carbs are the MOST important food group! Experts recommend that 45%-65% of your calories come from cards, mostly grains.
And yet, if you want to lose weight, many of these experts will tell you that you need less carbs.
So what is the truth? Should you follow a high or low card diet? Carbs are low in fat so they are healthy BUT sugar is also a carb which is unhealthy. With all that to consider, it’s hard to know whether carbs are good or bad.
Good carbs vs. Bad carbs for weight loss.
Part of the reason that carbohydrates can be a confusing subject is there are “good” carbs and “bad” carbs and even the so-called bad carbs can be good in certain circumstances. Just like there are different types of fat, there are different types of carbs.
Some foods are very high in carbs and, as a result, are not very good for weight loss. On the flip side, some foods are low in carbs and are GREAT for weight loss.
So, if you are interested in weight loss, like so many of us are, cutting down on certain carbs means cutting down on calories and if you replace those carbs with lots of lower calorie “good” carbs, you can cut your calorie intake without eating a smaller volume of food.
High carb foods
So, which foods are high in carbs? That’s a good question. There are lots of high carb foods you’ll probably want to avoid if you want to lose weight but here are a few of the main ones…
- Breakfast cereals
Cutting down on these foods is an easy way to cut calories but, I know, many of you will eat a lot of these foods because they are so common and a big part of many meals that you enjoy. Don’t worry though – you don’t have to give them up completely
Low carb diets
Low carb diets are really popular at the moment and do you know why? They work VERY well!
Low carb dieting works for lots of reasons which is why many of the bestselling diets use this approach. They don’t only work by cutting calories either; low carb diets help you lose weight by stabilizing your blood glucose, lowering insulin levels, reducing cravings, and filling you up with healthy, calorie-free fiber.
But, the trick is, what do you eat instead? Just cutting out carbs can leave a big hole in your meals leading to hunger and cravings; not good!
That’s why you need to know what low carb foods you can eat instead. Low carb foods are lower in calories so you can eat plenty of them without consuming a whole lot of unwanted energy. The result? Fat loss without having to starve yourself! Talk about the perfect weight loss solution.
Simple Vs. Complex Carbs
The subject of carbohydrates is often confusing! It’s doesn’t help that some diets are very high in carbs while other diets all-but ban carbs completely. It’s no wonder many people don’t know whether they should or shouldn’t eat carbs for weight loss…
The truth is, there are several different types of carbs and to decide which ones to eat and which ones to avoid, you need to know the difference.
The main two types of carbs are simple and complex. Knowing the difference between simple and complex carbs, as well as the difference between refined and unrefined and knowing a bit about fibre too, makes choosing the right carbs to eat so much easier.
It’s not simply a matter of “all carbs are good” or “all carbs are bad”. Just as there are good fats and bad fats, there are good carbs and bad carbs too.
|“Good” simple carbs||“Bad” simple carbs|
|Bananas||Cakes and cookies|
|Milk||Juice made from concentrate|
|Freshly squeezed juice||Foods with added sugar|
Simple carbs often get a bad name but, as you can see, some of them are actually pretty good for you. Of course, if you want to lose weight and be healthy, you need to eat much less of the bad ones.
Low Carb Replacements for Common High Carb Foods
Low carb diets work, period. But, for some people, going low carb is a big transition that they simply cannot manage. Many try it and hate it or just don’t know what they should eat. Don’t worry though; I’m here to help!
Going low carb sure sounds like it should be easy but that’s before you realize how many of your favorite foods are actually very high in carbs. Bread, rice, pasta and potatoes are cornerstones of most people’s diets but are also very carb-dense.
While you COULD just give up these foods, your meals will look pretty unappealing if you do. Can you imagine your chili with no rice or your bolognaise with no spaghetti? How about steak with no potatoes? Try out these low carb alternatives. I honestly believe that, once you do, you won’t miss those high carb staples ever again!
How to Deal with Cravings When Eating Low Carbs
Carb cravings are a common problem on a low carb diet. Why? Because many of us are very reliant on carbs and have become used to eating them all of the time. It’s not really surprising that most of us are addicted to carbs when the Standard American Diet recommends 60% or more of your food intake should be made up of carbs.
However, cutting down on carbs is a great way to lose weight and then keep it off. Foods like rice, potatoes, pasta, bread, and processed foods contain a lot of unwanted calories and can also interfere with fat burning. Cutting carbs and eating more vegetables is an easy way to eat fewer calories and also prime your body for fat burning rather than fat storage.
However, cutting those carb foods we all rely on can cause carb cravings that are hard to resist!
Different Low Carb Diets
Low carb diets are very popular right now and for one main reason – they work. When you reduce your carb intake, you automatically reduce your calorie intake too. Bread, rice, pasta and potatoes as well as the carb content of refined and processed food is high in calories as well as carbs. Cutting out these foods and eating more vegetables instead means you eat fewer carbs and calories while making your diet healthier.
However, did you know that there are several different types of low carb diet? Some are super-strict while others are more relaxed. Which one is the right one for you?
We suggest that you look up this site for low carb diets.