Experts agree that if you're daily carbohydrate intake is 60% or more of your caloric intake, you will have difficulty with weight loss. Often times, the easiest food for "on the run" meals or our favorite go-to comfort food is that yummy carb. But getting and keeping our weight under control means cutting down on all carbohydrate intake.
Replacing Your Favorite Carbs
The FDA does give a high daily recommended carbohydrate intake, so we don't want to eliminate all carbs from our diet. Start by replacing some of your go-to carbs with other healthy, weight reducing alternatives.
- Exchange your breakfast carbs for high protein alternatives - If you're grabbing a breakfast pastry or smoothie in the morning as you head out the door, trying grabbing a boiled egg and some low fat cheese instead. The lean protein will stave off hunger longer and give you that long-term energy you need to make it to lunch.
- Trade your favorite bag of chips in for a handful of high protein nuts or seeds.
- Choose a whole grain bun instead of white flour and only eat the bottom half.
- Double up on vegetables at dinner and reduce your pasta portion to a small side dish.
Cutting Out Hidden Carbs
There are hidden carbs in many of the foods we eat every day, of which we are unaware. Eliminate those and consciously eat carbs high in nutrition.
- Avoid sports drinks that are high in calories and sodium and choose tea or coffee that offer the same energy boost without all the sugar.
- Limit juice drinks that have no fiber and are high in calories, and choose the whole fruit instead.
- When choosing juices, look for 100% fruit or vegetable juice, without added sugar.
- Beware of sauces and dips for your salads, vegetables, and meats. They are often loaded with extra fat and calories.
Reducing Unhealthy Carbs
Since we need to eat some carbs each day for health and energy, try cutting out some of the unhealthy carbs from your diet.
- Avoid processed sugars and flours in exchange for their whole grain counterparts.
- Sodas are an empty calorie drink that offers no nutrition, but unhealthy carbs. Bump up your water intake instead.
- Reduce fast food fried carbs (fries, onion rings, pies) by choosing a healthier alternative like a side salad or low fat yogurts.
Don't concentrate on the carbs you can't have, and enjoy the healthy carbs you love most. You'll feel less deprived and more energized!