Cutting carbs is no easy feat, but coming back to the real world after gaining the quarantine 15 is shocking to say the least. Time to say goodbye to the banana bread and sourdough and hello to Keto bombs and a shredded six pack… well, maybe not the six pack, but you will definitely lean out once you cut carbs like a pro. You won’t even miss them! Trust me.
Going Keto is a great starting point if you want to start cutting carbs. A lot of people thrive best when there are guidelines to follow so it’s easier to stay on track with goals. When cutting such a large amount of carbs from your diet and adding so much protein and fat your body goes in to Ketosis. What’s ketosis you ask? Ketosis is when your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to burn so it begins to burn fat. With the keto diet there are copious amounts of facebook groups, youtube videos, and apps to give you all the information and support you need for your low carb journey. Consider speaking to your doctor or dietitian to see of the keto diet would benefit you.
The easiest way to cut carbs is to replace the foods you love and love to eat often with lower carb options. Instead of toast, supplement with a rice cake. Miss your greasy slice of pizza on Friday night? Try a cauliflower pizza crust. Spaghetti squash, lettuce wraps and zucchini boats are all great options and there are countless recipes on Pinterest. Cutting carbs can be very challenging because your body craves those sugars, but once you find the right substitutes that fit your needs, you won’t miss bread or pasta at all… just kidding, but it will be easier. Great substitutes will make you not even miss bread or pasta. Most grocery stores now sell really great low carb and Keto snacks and products. Cauliflower thins, popcorn, jicama wraps, miracle noodles are all great snacks and substitutes to swap out for bread, chips, tortillas, and traditional pasta.
3. Extra Protein
It’s important that when you lower the intake of one macro to increase another. Adding a healthy amount of protein will benefit in more ways than one. Adding more protein will keep you fuller for longer and aid building muscle. Remember that adding additional protein to your diet doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be meat. You can source proteins from other places like yogurt, eggs, nuts, tempe, and other veggies. If you are also working out while cutting more carbs out of your diet it is very important to supplement enough proteins and fats back into your diet to fuel your workouts. You may even feel a bit sluggish when getting back into working out again because those sugars in the carbohydrates aren’t present. Always be sure to take care of yourself!
4. More veggies and More Fat
Did you say more veggies and fat? Adding more veggies will help cutting carbs tremendously, especially once you find the perfect way to eat them. Eating veggies isn’t always the most fun, but once you find a few great recipes to add into your weekly rotation everything will be smooth sailing. Consider substituting starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn out for cauliflower, leafy greens and some beans. Try a harvest chili or Thai lettuce wraps! Not all veggies are created equal, but it sure does help to cut carbs. Implementing vegetables with more fiber such as carrots and broccoli will help keep you full. Although fiber keeps you more full, it can also cause bloating, discomfort and gas so keep that in mind. Adding in healthy fats to your diet will also aid in hunger. Eating high fat foods like avocado and nuts keep your body happy and full.
5. Carb Quality
On days you decide to treat yourself to a carby bowl of pasta or that plate of hash browns remember that the average serving size is smaller than you think. Typically starchy carb heavy foods are only about half cup portions and most of the times you are getting double or even triple that at a restaurant. Consider sharing with a friend when you indulge. Deciding on the smaller portion of cake rather than eating the whole sugar free cake is the type of quality over quantity we’re talking about. Also consider other things you eat throughout the day have carbs. Fruits, vegetables and legumes are great sources of quality carbs that will fuel your body more sufficiently than other carbs like potatoes and whole grains.
6. Not Enough Water
I think we all know by now that keeping your body hydrated is one of the best ways to show love to yourself. When cutting carbs it’s easy to overload yourself on protein which causes constipation. To ensure you don’t have issues with discomfort and digestion be sure to drink your recommended amount of water each day. Our body also confuses being dehydrated for hungry, so before you go and eat that cheese board, drink a big glass of water and wait 20 minutes. A great trick to estimating how much water to drink is to divide your weight in half and that number is how many ounces of water you should be drinking a day. Your hair, skin, and nails will thank you too.
Cutting ALL carbs completely out of your diet is not realistic but making small changes and substitutes will help immensely when trying to lean out. Implementing these tips into your everyday routine may not work for everyone but they have been proven to be helpful. Adding more water to keep you full and hydrated will aid in digestion by keeping you fuller for longer. Don’t forget to add more protein and fats too! Keep in mind these are just a handful of tips that have worked in the past. All bodies are different and react differently when making dietary switches. Speak with your doctor if you have any concerns or questions.