Maybe I am late to the low carb diet or lifestyle. It seems like it when you can find lower carbohydrates anywhere on the web like IG, Facebook and especially on Pinterest. Maybe this is all a scam? Naw, it’s not and I have to take this craze, if we must call it that, more seriously. Earlier this year the doc told me to ditch them all! I balked and lowered my carbs – slightly – but didn’t try that hard. Now, after my numbers got better I decided to kick it up a notch and take this low carb living more seriously.
First off, I LOVE BREAD! Yes, I am up there with Oprah. I love bread, pasta and rice. Have loved it all my life and a few years ago I stopped eating bread so much even when I thought I couldn’t’ do it. That’s what made me finally decide to try the low carb diet, lifestyle or whatever you want to call this way of living. For the past month I’ve changed up my diet and knew it was time to share what i was doing, why and explain why you will be seeing more low carb pics on my social media.
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What is Low Carb?
First off, what are carbs? Carbs, or carbohydrates, are molecules that have carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. They are one of the three macronutrients with the other two being protein and fat. Low carb stands for a Low-carbohydrate diet. According to 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines, target range is for carb eating in our diet is 45 to 65 percent of your total caloric intake. When on a low carb diet, you will lower that number.
“A low-carb diet can drastically reduce carbs and can be very restrictive, or it can be more moderate and inclusive of different foods,” Cassetty [New York–based dietitian] explains. Technically a person getting 10 percent of their calories from carbs and a person getting 40 percent of their calories from carbs are both technically eating low carb.
There are also no foods expressly included or omitted, meaning you could stick to only low-carb foods or incorporate moderate portions of high-carb foods, like bread or potatoes. So ultimately the degree to which you curb your carb intake and how you get there is up to you. Self.com
This diet can be as restrictive as you want so I have gone down to 30% or roughly around 140 grams of carbs a day. Restrictive for me and I have to say I could not even fathom lowering my carbs by that much a few months ago. This took time AND I am steadily working on making this stick. This diet does not mean eliminating all carbohydrates and there good ones like in oatmeal and beans. It means finding alternatives and knowing which ones are good and which ones are not.
Simple vs. complex: What’s the difference and why?
Not all carbohydrates are the same. There are simple and complex and some are both. They are important and a major component in our diet. We rely on them for energy so they must be consumed. How much and which kinds are up to you, your diet and your goals. Let’s explore.
Sugars are simple carbs, and our bodies digest and process them quickly.
What are simple carbohydrates?
high fructose corn syrup
Starches and fiber are complex carbohydrates
What are Complex carbohydrates?
whole wheat products
Fiber helps us get rid of waste. (there are two types)
Insoluble fiber bulks up our stool and collects debris along the way. We get our insoluble fiber from whole grains and vegetables.
Soluble fiber attracts water and “creates a gel-type substance in our gut,” Davidson says. This substance moves along our digestive tract and binds with cholesterol and fat to be eliminated. Healthline.com
Tips on eating carbs the right way for better health and weight loss
As you probably already know, I’m no expert and this is really new to me. I had a common knowledge of low carb eating prior to me taking the plunge so I love hitting up experts on how to do things. I also love reading labels, scholarly articles and asking others who have successfully done the deed. I have a few friends on Keto but that’s another post for another day. Right now we are trying to figure out how to lower our carbohydrates but still eat the good ones needed for everyday activity.
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Basically, choose whole foods rather than processed foods. Perfect example, choose whole fruit over fruit juice because those processed foods have removed much of the needed fiber in those whole foods. Some common examples of whole foods would be like veggies, whole fruit, beans, potatoes and whole grains. Refined ones or processed ones are fruit juice, white bread, white rice, pastries (deserts) and white pasta.
Another tip is to combine your carbs with proteins and fats. I grew up on eating a meat, starch and veggies. A balanced meal will keep your carb intake in check. Eating fruits, veggies, grains, proteins, dairy and oils are what make up a balanced diet. I help to get all that in by cheating with a smoothie. I add my veggies in there to ensure I get them in daily. I’ve had to work on that so know I am a work in progress!
How long I’ve been doing this and is it working?
It may be too soon to tell but I’ve lost 5 pounds in three weeks and have almost completely changed my eating routine and meals. It’s hard! Don’t let anyone tell you that it is not! We had a pretty standard (boring) routine of food I cooked for me and the family prior to to diet. With me going on the low carb diet, I had to start meal prepping (simply preparing some, or all of your meals ahead of time) for myself and creating different meals for the family. More work but worth it so I always have food on hand and not gravitate to what is easy and usually full of carbs and calories.
I’ve lowered my calories too so It’s been hard but incorporating new products like Cutdacarb flatbread have made my meals easier to prepare and tastier without all the carbs. Lowering my calories, lowering my carbs and cutting out processed sweets is a lot to work on but I’ve been doing it and while the scale has not been great, I know I’m working on a better me. From sauteing veggies with shrimp, to cutting out bread and eating lower carb flat bread instead; I’ve been working on a healthier diet with less processed foods and eliminating sweets.
I will be discussing more on the blog and sharing what I”m eating on IG, Pinterest and Facebook so check me out and share what you think and what you are eating too!