This low carb thing is popping up all over the place, and for many people it proves to be an effective way to lose weight, or manage their weight, while still felling like they are getting a healthy intake of food and having things they enjoy.
For others however, cutting carbs is more difficult, or for some people, just not the way they want to live the rest of their life.
The good news is, there is a happy medium, and you can swap some of your carbs for better ones!
Go With More Veggies
While you may think of carbs as things like pasta, bread or cereal, did you know that vegetables are also carbohydrates? This is good news because you can eat lots of vegetables while still having a lower carbohydrate intake. Vegetables are packed with nutrients and antioxidants and offer a sustainable nourishment to the body. In other words, not only do they give you what you need nutritionally, but they also fill you up so that you feel fuller for longer after eating them.
Opt for Fibre
Part of the reason you feel full for a longer time after eating vegetables is because they are packed with fibre. Fibre is not only important for satiation and helping you feel full for a long period after eating, but is also essential for proper digestion, ensuring you can maintain regular bowel movements, and to help in maintaining proper balance of your gut microbes. Fibres from the stalks of vegetables and legumes act as prebiotics, which are food for the probiotics of your stomach.
Find a Balance
The thing with cutting out carbs is that if you are doing it to lose weight, doing it for a short time and then adding them back in will not allow you to maintain your weight loss. Essentially, you may lose weight, but you likely won’t keep it off once you decide to go back to consuming higher carbohydrate levels. It is not that carbohydrates are bad, just that it is important to find a balance in how many you consume, and in what type you are consuming. Consume most of your carbohydrates from vegetables, as detailed above; for grain based carbohydrates, make sure they are whole grain and rich in fibre. And for each change you make, ask yourself if you can see yourself maintaining it for your life. If not, it may not be a sustainable change.
Like any dietary change, the goal is to find something that is sustainable and that you can do for an extended period of time. Choosing diets that are a quick fix or that you know you won’t want to continue with in a couple of months is simply setting yourself up for failure. Set yourself up for success instead and choose whole foods more often, eat a variety of foods and incorporate more plants into your diet. Collectively these things will allow you to feel full and satisfied and make changes that create a lifestyle that will last a life-time!