Many of you out there have heard, read and watched information about losing weight and you’ve probably seen a good bit of information on cutting carbs.
Some of you may have tried it with success. Some of you may have tried it with less than desirable results. Many of our members come to me and ask about cutting their carbohydrate intake and say the biggest question is knowing where to start.
Most the time I recommend doing a diet log for two weeks. With this diet log they will record everything they eat or drink during the course of the two weeks without changing any of their habits. This way they can have a snapshot of what their food intake really is. There are several different types of apps that you can put on your phone. Most people usually have their phone with them while they’re eating so it’s an easy place to keep track.
Once you have the snapshot of your food intake then you can begin to take a look at what foods are not helping you reach your fitness goals.
I don’t recommend cutting your carbs all in one shot. Sugar imprints on your brain just like many different kinds of drugs so cutting carbohydrates cold turkey is going to cause you to go through some major withdrawal. You’ll be irritable and cranky with low energy and you could even have mood swings and headaches. So cutting all the carbs in one shot is probably the last thing you’d want to do.
I always recommend that we cut carbohydrates overtime which will lessen the shock to the system and allow you to maintain a somewhat normal routine. Another benefit is you can slowly start to add fat into your day is well and you can get used to the fuller feeling of eating more fat instead of the frequently hungry feeling from eating more carbs.
A good way to target what carbohydrates to start cutting out is to look at the nutritional value. So something like soda which is zero nutritional value should be taken out right off the top. Things like fruit juice also have high sugar content and even though they have more nutritional value it doesn’t really outweigh the sugar content. If you are not ready to cut your juice intake you can try instead water it down so that you’re not drinking as much juice as you were before.
Another big culprit in the waste of calories, low nutrition density category is bread most bread is not gonna have much nutrients at all especially white bread. Whole-grain bread is better but what most people don’t understand is the process to make the bread really destroys the quality of the food. So even a whole grain bread is not worth it if you’re looking to compare sugars vs nutrients.
So breads, pastas, bagels, muffins, cereals, oatmeal all that stuff should really be cut out. So you’ll need to make some choices. If you really can’t do without oatmeal then leave it in and cut something else out and visa versa.
Now what about fruit?? That’s always a big one. People often ask me isn’t fruit good for you? The answer is yes. However, it’s about sugar versus useful nutrients if you’re getting too much sugar in your overall diet then you need to cut them out because the nutrient value isn’t worth the carbs.
There are multiple sources for the vitamins and minerals that your body needs vegetables can supply a lot of the stuff that you would look to get from fruit it just doesn’t taste as good.
If you are vegetarian especially if you are vegan it’s a lot more difficult for you because of your decision not to eat meat. It’s still doable it’s just a lot more complicated process. Many vegans use carbs to fill the calorie gaps in their diets.
So my recommendation is to make a two-week diet log. Then start slow taking out the less valuable carbohydrates then work your way down towards ones have more nutritional value. As you remove carbohydrates from your diet just remember to replace them with quality fats otherwise you will be at energy deficit which will make you and when you get hungry you crave carbs and then the vicious cycle will continue.
Thanks and remember to take it one day at a time.