On our last post, we spoke about how doctors sometimes save the best eating advice until after our bodies have gone downhill and medical intervention is already underway. Why don’t we hear before-the-fact that too many carbs in our diets can cause weight gain and a wide array of medical problems to boot!
The good news is that if you are reading this, you must either 1. already have a good idea of the benefits of a low carb diet or 2. are now getting word of that and want to learn how to lose weight with a low carb diet.
Whether you already eat low carb to lose weight or are just learning how to eat a low carb diet, these seven easy ways to cut your carbs will give you a good start to losing that flab you need to lose so you can get your body back into proper working order again.
Seven easy ways to cut carbs to lose weight
1. Toss most processed foods away.
Processed foods are not worth it! They may seem to make life easier at the time, but how much easier would it be having a lot less weight on your body?
Many processed foods have additional hidden wheat flour as an ingredient, and that flour can increase your hunger! (And yes, wheat can be added to the most unsuspecting of food items!) Food manufacturers may like adding wheat. You feel like eating more, and they get more sales! However, you feel like eating more, and you get fat.
Unless you need the occasional convenience of an Atkins or other low carb quickie, steer clear of processed foods as much as possible. You’ll have a lower wheat intake, lower carbohydrate intake, and thus probably lesser food intake, and that makes for better weigh-ins in the morning.
2. Keep a recipe log or notebook of low carb recipes from blogs and websites.
I am going to suggest something different here than you might expect. I am recommending that you NOT buy one particular low carb recipe book or follow one specific low carb diet. I would recommend you look at your diet as a healthy diet where you are limiting your carb intake and making good, healthy food choices.
So MANY eating plans and diets today rotate around a lower carbohydrate consumption! It will be easy to get lots of good recipes to keep and look forward to!
Look for low carb recipes for sure. However, recipes for the Paleo diet are great too since many of them are low in carb count. Find recipes that have ingredients that are low on the glycemic index. Foods low on the GI Index are pretty low in carb count and do not raise your glucose levels. Also look at All Recipes dot com and Spark People… etc… and find the reader-submitted recipes that would work well for you. Look at Southbeach diet books. The Wheat Belly book by Dr. William Davis also has some great wheat free recipes that will help you keep your body functioning well to lose those extra pounds.
Pinterest is awesome! It’s so good, I’m giving it it’s own paragraph here!
You will find that once you open up your life to a whole world of wonderful, healthy recipes, you will feel emboldened about losing weight and excited about living a healthy lifestyle!
3. Plan simple meals.
It is much easier to focus on just a couple of healthy dishes than it is to focus on a huge, complex meal!
A good trick for a nice dinner is to prepare a nice, simple meat entree, one that is not breaded on the outside and does not have flour, oatmeal, or bread pieces in the recipe, and then to add a really nice salad or a nice side dish of vegetables.
End there, or add some fresh fruit as a dessert if you wish, have fruit as your side if you had some good veggies at lunch, or throw some fruit on your salad!
You don’t need a lot of different dishes at the dinner table. The trick is to have whole foods that will better fill you up and make you feel satisfied the first time around.
4. Pretend you are a vegetarian sometimes.
While including enough protein is the way to quench extra hunger pangs, it is fun to discover ways vegetarians eat and are satisfied. It also helps keep us grounded, remembering that there are other healthy things to eat other than eating a lot of meat and salads for quick weight loss.
While not all vegetarian recipes will have ingredients that are low on the glycemic index or that are listed as good food choices for a low carb diet, finding good vegetarian recipes that have good carbs and many healthy benefits can add interest to our diets and expand our healthy recipe box greatly. It’s also just a great diversion on some days.
When incorporating a vegetarian or vegan meal into your diet, make sure you do not include (or severely limit) white potatoes and pasta, limit any your of corn, beans, peas, and sweet potatoes, and just do not include recipes that have white rice, white bread, egg noodles, and flour.
Oh, and be prepared for a “hungry” day the next day if you did add something that is higher on the Glycemic Index or that had more carbohydrates than you are used to eating.
As in any diet, when you go off, count it a chance to show discipline and determination by going right back to your desired eating habits the very next day!
5. Learn how to make low carb desserts, breads, and muffins.
However, any other recipe source will work too.
Just know there are plenty of recipes out there to keep your bread box filled and your sweet tooth satisfied.
By the way, I love the flax seed muffins I made in a mug, in one minute, in our microwave at home. I am satisfied all morning and kind of feel like I just cheated, even though I didn’t!
The recipes are there. Find them!
6. Improve your beverage intake
Make the change from sodas and sweet teas to water, flavored water, and unsweetened tea. (Green tea rocks!)
I LOVE MiO Liquid Enhancer! Four or five squirts into a bottle or glass of water, and I’ve got a sweet drink with no calories, no carbs, and no artificial sweetener even!
Some homemade ice tea with the right Stevia (a sweet herb) can be very yummy too. However, finding the Stevia product that you enjoy tasting may take a little time. I discovered Trader Joe’s in my area carries a really nice Stevia product that is not bitter at all. Also adding a flavored herbal tea bag or two in place a couple of regular or green tea bags can make even an unsweetened tea taste a little sweeter!
Of course plain water is a really good beverage choice and helps you save money eating out too! I like that part!
7. Have healthy, low carb snacks on hand.
Make low carb baked cheese crisps or crispy pepperoni chips, and use them when you are really hungry for potato chips. Have some hard boiled eggs on hand in your refrigerator for a filling afternoon snack. Store strawberries in baggies in your fridge for a mid-morning pick-me-up or bag some homemade low carb peanut butter cookies in your freezer for a Friday night board game party.
Keep some protein powder in the pantry and almond milk close by for a yummy protein shake that will satisfy almost any hunger craving any time of the day.
Some of us have scheduled snacks as a part of our daily lives. Some of us just go crazy for something extra to eat for whatever reason at some weird time. Whatever your snacking need is, it’s best to be prepared with good choices that allow us to continue weight loss instead of just going completely off track!
These seven ways to cut carbs are not a full induction into a low carb lifestyle, but they are steps you can take to begin your weight loss journey and to begin your path to a newer, better feeling you!
Finding your low carb eating style can be a very rewarding experience if done correctly! Just remember, your main goal is to be healthy so you can enjoy living life again!
Watch the carbs.
Be healthy doing it.
Live life again.
You can do it!
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. – 1 Corinthians 6:12 (ESV)