Carbs are the villains in every weight gain story. This food group has been demonized so much that at the very mention of the name, fitness enthusiasts run and hide.
However, carbs aren’t nearly as bad as they are made out to be. Your body needs the energy to function optimally and its biggest source of energy is from carbs.
They are also good for your brain, kidney, heart, and mood. You just have to know how to work around them so they do not result in weight gain.
Below are some of the strategies that can allow you to eat carbs while losing weight.
Secrets to Eating Carbs While Losing Weight
1. Avoid Processed Carbs
What most people need to understand is, carbs do not cause weight gain. It is the sugar and calories in them that cause weight gain.
Processed carbs have added sugar, little nutritional value, sugar and are high in calories. Additionally, they spike blood sugar levels, which leads to cravings after the blood sugar levels drop a few hours later. Resort to either minimally processed carbs or leave them out altogether.
2. Seek Alternative Sources of Carbs
When people ban carbs from their diets, they forget that it is not just cakes, rice, and bread that contain carbohydrates. Fat-reduced foods, sauces, condiments, and no-sugar-added foods are also major culprits.
Switch and supplement your current carbohydrate sources with plant-based carbohydrates like legumes and vegetables.
Not only are they healthier avenues, but they have also not undergone any processing.
3. Eat More Resistant Starch
Carbohydrates are not the same – some are simple, others are complex. The simple carbs are easy to digest and absorb, and often cause a spike in blood sugar. The complex starch, on the other hand, is harder to digest.
According to this 2014 research, complex carbs contribute to weight loss by keeping you fuller for longer, burning fat, preserving lean body mass and keeping insulin levels in check. Green bananas, beans, peas, and oats are rich sources of resistant starch.
4. Keep Off High-Carb Snacks
At the mention of snacks, the mind immediately registers cookies, cakes, candy and the like – these are the kind of simple starches that will mess up your sugar levels and leave you hungry and craving for more.
Replace them with healthier snacks like fruits and veggies, and whole-grain carbohydrates.
5. Be Generous with Spices
Spices hasten metabolism and will help you burn off the calories you might have taken from carbs. Turmeric is a good spice to consider, for instance. Turmeric has curcumin which is an effective weight-management ingredient.
In this research, 44 overweight people saw a reduced waistline, hip circumference, body fat, and BMI after a 60-day administration of curcumin.
Other spices that allow eating carbs while losing weight include cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, and cumin.
6. Know When to Eat Carbs
Besides knowing which carbs to eat, you should check when you eat carbs.
Active day: If you will be on your feet for most of the day, will be running around doing errands or will be engaged in sports, carbs are a good fit for that day because the body will burn it up for energy. Eat much fewer carbs if you are not doing much or if you will be seated in your office all day.
Breakfast: Fit in more carbs early in the day as opposed to late in the night so they can burn away as the day proceeds.
Post-workout – You need to recharge after a workout. Besides your metabolism is very high at this time, so the calories from carbs will be burned quickly.
7. How You Cook Them Matters
If you prepare even the good carbs the wrong way, it will beat their purpose.
Take the nutrient-dense potatoes that most people shy away from – potatoes are some of the healthiest sources of carbs under the sun. Bake them, boil them or steam them and you are in for a good, healthy treat.
Deep fry them in refined oils and add spices, sauces, creams, and processed dips and watch your waistline expand. Buy them as crisps or chips with added sugars, salt, preservatives, and flavors and they lead water weight gain.
Proper cooking methods are the secret to eating carbs while losing weight.
8. Check Your Portions
This is something that goes across the board with all food groups. Even if you decide to eat just protein, too much of it will be bad for your weight loss.
Make sure you serve smaller portions if you’re eating high-calorie carbs. However, don’t limit your intake of veggies because they’re very low in calories.
9. Don’t Drink Carbs
Eating your calories rather than drinking them can help you conquer hunger and even increase your fiber intake. For instance, whole fruits are filling and loaded with fiber while fruit juice lacks fiber and can actually trigger weight gain.
Don’t get me started on other carb drinks such as sodas, diet soda, and energy drinks. They contain sugars and artificial sweeteners that will not only trigger weight gain but also put your health in jeopardy.
10. Pair Carbs with Protein
As you may know, protein doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels. It’s also very filling and research shows it enhances weight loss.
Therefore, maximizing your protein intake will allow you to eat carbs while losing weight.
11. Go Hard on Fiber
You can eat a high-carb diet if you are wise enough to pair it with an equally high-fiber diet. This was proven by a study published in the Nutrition Journal where the participants who ate a high-carb, high-fiber vegan diet not only lost weight but registered a significant drop in blood sugar and blood pressure.
Carbohydrates were the main source of their daily calories. The role of fiber is to slow the digestion of carbs, thus increasing metabolism and promoting overall gut health.
12. Adjust the Rest of Your Meals
Now that you are eating carbs, make sure the rest of the food groups on your plate do not interfere with your calorie content. If most of your calories are coming from carbohydrates, do not eat large amounts of high-calorie proteins.
Neither should you indulge in the wrong kind of fats. In other words, balance your diet accordingly and align them with your carbs intake.
Carbs are not your enemy, but they are not your friends either. Including them into your diet needs a delicate diet because leaving them out altogether is both unsustainable and unhealthy.
You can actually lose up to 10 pounds a week while eating your favorite carbs, simply follow this step-by-step system.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]