Ask anyone trying to start a diet, and they will immediately tell you to cut off the carbs. They claim that removing carbs in your food consumption will cause automatic weight loss, even without counting calories. But are carbs really unhealthy for you? Can you survive on a no-carb diet?
First of all, it will be impossible for you to totally remove carbohydrates from your diet as these can be found in different forms. Carbs are available as sugar found in honey, chocolates, and even unsweetened fruit juices. But they are also found in starches like rice, pasta, and bread, and even in fibrous food like fruits and vegetables. In addition, carbs provide energy for sports, training, and even just day-to-day activities, as proven by the experiment reported here on Kanthaka. Since carbs can be found in basically everything you eat and can provide energy needed for daily functioning, how will you be healthy if you remove them?
Instead of looking to do the impossible by avoiding carbs altogether, it’s better to move towards healthy carb consumption, which you can achieve with the following tips.
Go for healthier food options
Gradually change your food choices. Start by prioritizing fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. Instead of reaching for fruit juice, eat the whole fresh fruits and vegetables instead. In that way, you can avoid the added sugar, and you get more fiber that can make you feel fuller.
When it comes to grains like rice, go for whole-grain varieties instead of refined grains that lack nutrients and fiber. You might prefer brown rice, which gives you more fiber and protein, or red rice, which provides added antioxidants to decrease inflammation and fight off free radicals. Whatever your pick is, they are really easy to prepare and serve alongside healthy viands like fatty fish!
Look for low-fat food
Instead of potatoes or white bread, which causes weight gain, Medicine Plus recommends consuming more legumes, including beans, peas, and lentils. You will be surprised at how many benefits are packed into these small servings. While they may be unpopular food options, they are low on fat and filled with fiber and nutrients like folate, potassium, iron, and magnesium. Because they also contain protein, they can be a healthier alternative for meat, too.
Meanwhile, if you intend to consume dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt, just choose the low-fat versions to maximize getting calcium, protein, and other vitamins without the calories and saturated fat.
Give in to treats every now and then
While discipline is needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you still need to enjoy the journey. Do not be afraid to enjoy your favorite treats every now and then. They may be a reward for a streak of eating clean, or they may just be your company while relaxing. Either way, giving in to these special treats is vital to your emotional and mental well-being. Indulge in that scoop of ice cream, and take a bite of that freshly baked cookie. Just be mindful of your portions, and you are good to go!
Indeed, it is easy to kick-start another trendy diet, but remember, you do not need to sacrifice your health and well-being in doing so. Instead of limiting your carbohydrate intake to unhealthy amounts, consume them healthily. To help you be motivated and consistent in your healthy eating, take small, practical steps instead of big, unrealistic leaps that might do you more harm than good. Tune in to your hunger and satiety cues, too, because only you know what will work best for your body.
Written by: Lizzie Lawton