Minimizing your intake of carbs can tremendously improve your health.
Sadly, many people find it extremely difficult to cut back on carbs, especially those trying to lose weight.
Chances are the astounding benefits of cutting back on carbs are not new to you. But how can you gradually reduce your intake of carbs without starving or feeling deprived?
Well, it’s unbelievable easy to reduce your carbs intake if you follow the effortless strategies below.
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How to Reduce Carbs Intake without Starving
1. Stop Drinking Sugary Beverages
Sugary beverages contain high amounts of fructose and added sugar. As you may know, fructose has been linked to an increased risk of insulin resistance, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
A 354-ml (12-oz) can of soda contains 38 grams of carbs. All of these carbs come from sugar.
Avoid all sugary drinks including sodas, fruit juice, sports drinks, and energy drinks. If you need to drink something refreshing, opt for fruit-infused water or herbal teas.
2. No More Fresh Fruit Juice
Fruit juice contains negligible amounts of fiber but is loaded with sugar. Yes, it may offer easily absorbable minerals and vitamins but the high sugar content can have disastrous effects.
Stop drinking fruit juice. Instead, flavor your water with a slice of lemon or orange. Or simply eat the whole fruit.
3. Eat more Boiled Eggs
Most breakfast foods are loaded with carbs. You’re better off eating boiled eggs because they’re loaded with protein and they’re very filling.
One egg contains less than 1 gram of carbs and it offers high-quality protein. Research shows that eating eggs for breakfast instead of bagels can enhance weight loss.
4. Cut Down on Bread Consumption
Bread is a staple food in many diets. Unfortunately, it is low in fiber but high carb content. White bread made from highly refined grains can have negative impacts on weight and health, research shows.
You should also be careful with rye bread as well since it contains up to 15 grams of carbs per slice. Only a couple of those grams are fiber.
It may not be easy for you to give up bread entirely but you can start by cutting down on the amount you eat every day.
The side effects of eating too much bread may also motivate you to quit.
5. Choose Low-Carb Dairy
Dairy products can be healthy and are usually delicious. They are loaded with magnesium, calcium, and other essential minerals. However, some dairy choices can be harmful, and so should be avoided.
For example, pudding, frozen yogurt, and fruit-flavored yogurt are not suitable for you. They have high carb content and are loaded with sugar.
But you can opt for cheese and Greek yogurt since they have low carb content. They have also been shown to promote fullness, enhance body composition, and reduce appetite.
The following are excellent dairy choices you can go for:
- Ricotta cheese
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Cheese, i.e., cheddar, mozzarella, brie, etc.
6. Replace Sugar with These Sweeteners
One tablespoon of brown or white sugar contains 12 grams of carbs, i.e., 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose. Honey is also not a good alternative as it also has high carb content. One tablespoon of honey contains up to 17 grams of carbs.
So, learn to enjoy the natural flavor of foods without adding any form of sweeteners. If you must sweeten your food, then use the following healthy sugar alternative:
- Erythritol – This is a form of sugar alcohol that behaves much like regular sugar. However, it does not raise insulin levels or blood sugar levels. Erythritol also helps to prevent cavities by killing bad bacteria that causes plaque.
- Stevia – This sugar alternative originates from the stevia plant, which is more common in South America. It has been shown to bring down blood sugar levels (in animal studies) and increase insulin sensitivity.
- Xylitol – This sugar alcohol helps in combatting bacteria that cause tooth decay. Animal research has also shown that it may help in reducing insulin sensitivity while protecting users from obesity.
7. Eat Less Wheat Flour
Wheat flour contains many high-carb ingredients, and this is evident in most baked products like muffins, bread, etc. It is also the flour of choice for coating fish or meat before baking or sautéing.
Whole wheat flour surprisingly contains up to 61 grams of digestible carbs per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
Luckily, excellent alternatives – from coconuts and nuts – exist. They are available in numerous grocery stores or from online retailers.
8. Go for Non-Starchy Veggies
Vegetables are important sources of fiber and nutrients. They are loaded with plant compounds called phytochemicals, and some of them function as antioxidants. These antioxidants work collectively to protect your body from diseases.
Therefore, it is highly crucial for you to eat only non-starchy vegetables to help you keep your carb intake down.
Root vegetables and legumes such as beets, carrots, peas, potatoes, lima beans, etc. contain moderate amounts of carbs. When you eat any of these, you will remain full for hours, thereby minimizing your carb intake.
9. Eat More High-Protein Foods
It becomes easier to cut back on carbs when you eat an excellent protein source.
Protein triggers the release of a hormone referred to as the “fullness hormone.” This hormone helps to reduce hunger and combat food cravings.
Protein also has a high thermic effect compared to carbs or fat. This means that your body’s metabolic rate increases even more during digestion and metabolism.
Here are the best protein sources.
10. Eat Foods Prepared with Healthy Fats
Extra-virgin olive oil and coconut oil are two healthy choices that you can go for.
Most of the saturated fat in coconut oil is MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), which help in reducing belly fat. MCTs are also known to decrease appetite significantly, according to a recent study.
Here’s the MCT oil we recommend.
11. Choose Low-Carb Snacks
Carbs add up quickly in snack foods such as crackers, pretzels, etc. They are also usually not satisfying unless you eat them in large quantities. And that means more carbs for your body to deal with.
You should, therefore, choose high-protein snacks whenever hunger strikes in-between meals. Consuming these healthy snacks will make you feel full for a long time.
Go for healthy snacks like almonds, hazelnuts, cheese, and peanuts.
12. Take Milk Substitutes
Milk is highly nutritious, but it has relatively high carb content because it contains lactose, a type of sugar.
A 240 ml glass of either low-fat or full-fat milk contains 12-13 grams of carbs. Adding some milk to your tea or coffee is fine, but not when you drink it by the glassful or in shakes.
Almond and coconut milk are two great substitutes.
You don’t have to starve because you want to cut back on carbs. By transitioning to a low-carb lifestyle systematically, your overall health will improve significantly. Eat more protein, non-starchy vegetables, and so on, as outlined in this article.
However, cutting back on carbs isn’t a magical weight loss solution. If you want to lose as many as 10 pounds in 7 days, follow this simple step-by-step guide.