Most fitness fanatics are all or nothing when it comes to dieting for weight loss. Either they’re eating anything and everything they can get their hands on or they keep everything on lock-down. They severely restrict calories, cut out entire food groups (ahem…carbs), dodge anything with a hint of fat, and limit their “meals” to standard diet staples, like raw veggies and tasteless boiled chicken. To be honest, it’s this kind of dieting that will make your trainer face palm. There’s a right way to start dieting for weight loss. This is not it. You can lose weight and eat carbs too, along with other rich and delicious food that you like. Read on to find out how.
How to Lose Weight without Cutting Carbs
Unless you have an extreme food sensitivity, no healthy diet involves completely eliminating an entire food group. Nor should it involve trimming your calories to the point where you are
- hungry all the time or
- unsatisfied with the bare-bone meals that you ARE having.
In either scenario, you’re setting yourself up for failure! Try these tips instead.
Make Smart Choices
Recognize that not all food options are created equal. In fact, one reason that grains and starches have a bad rap is that they are often more calorie and carbohydrate dense than their fruit and veggie counterparts. You heard right. Fruit and veggies are also carbs! But they contain more water, fiber, and nutrients than grains do. In contrast, grains (pastries and baked goods in particular), tend to be mostly “empty carbs,” the bulk of which, if eaten in excess is stored in the body as fat.
To give you a comparison: 1 slice of bread or a 1/4 of rice are about equal to a full cup of berries, 2 cups of broccoli, or 4 cups of spinach.
Lesson Learned: You can choose to have the pastries if you want. You’ll just have less of them overall than you would of other options.
Also, be sure to add small amounts of healthy fat to your meals. It will help you absorb all those awesome nutrients you consumed. Plus, you’ll feel fuller faster and longer.
Manage Your Portions
Portion sizes, for those who struggle to lose weight, are often too big or too small. Dieters often go from bingeing on restaurant-sized portions of pasta or steak to bite-sized salads and mini-bowls of veggies and proteins. But as we learned in the previous section, not all food items are created equal. That means, where you might cut down on the spaghetti or stir fried rice, you can bulk up on cooked veggies and leafy greens. A balanced plate might look like this:
- 3 ounces of garlic chicken
- 1/2 cup seasoned rice
- 2 cups mixed bell peppers sauteed
- 1/2 small avocado
For rice lovers, this might seem like a stab in your heart at first, but trust me, once you have the plate in front of you’ll realize that you’re actually getting a lot!
Lesson Learned: Less isn’t always more it when it comes to weight loss. Balance is the key.
Eat Food You Love
The most nefarious diet killer is making the foods you enjoy the bad guys on your weight loss journey. The really is room for the tastes you love most. You just need to find a way to meet your goals and satisfy your taste buds at the same time. That might mean making a few swaps.
For me, that means choosing between the heavy cream in my coffee and pork sausage links every morning or deciding whether to have two waffles or just one with a mountain of mixed berries on top. There’s compromise in every relationship, right?
Lesson Learned: You have a choice. The one you make depends on you preferences and needs. But either way, you can lose the weight AND eat carbs too!
What sort of swaps would you make? Tell us in the comments below! Don’t forget to SHARE and LIKE this post and join the community on Facebook!