Reducing Carbohydrates for Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, there are a million diets, theories, gimicks and meal replacement options out there, all wanting to offer you solutions to the never ending “diet” problem. But the problem with most of these diets and schemes is that they are not maintainable for life.

Who wants to be drinking shakes for the rest of their life instead of eating real meals? Who wants to being buying pre made frozen meals forever? Are you really going to maintain counting calories or popping pills?

If you are really honest with yourself you will come to the conclusion that none of this is maintainable for life. And let’s face it, there is no point working hard to lose your extra weight if it is just going to pile back on as soon as you relax your control.
A more sustainable way is to reduce your carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrate are classified as either simple or complex and are found in foods like pasta, bread, fruits, sugar, lollies, processed foods and some vegetables. Complex carbohydrates are the main component of breads, rice, pasta, wholegrain cereals and most filling energy dense foods. They are generally low GI foods. Simple carbohydrates are in sugars, lollies, fruits, sugary cereals and processed foods. Most of these foods are higher in GI.


complex carbohydrate foods are generally healthy, they do cause an insulin response from your body. This means that once the carbohydrates are digested, the body goes into action to try and digest them. The pancreas releases insulin and it sets about trying to break down the carbohydrates to release energy into the blood stream. This reaction gives us a “buzz” of energy. Generally after we have eaten carbohydrates we feel energetic and happy. Unfortunately, the “buzz” comes to an end and we crave that feeling again. Therefore we want to eat more of these foods to keep the feeling alive. This feeling is even stronger with simple carbohydrates and sugars because the energy release is quicker and we need to replenish the foods quicker to keep that buzz going. That’s why after we eat chocolate or lollies we feel almost desperate to have more straight away.

The problem with consuming high amounts of carbohydrates, whether they be complex or simple, is that we keep wanting more. We rarely feel satisfied and are forever grazing and snacking to try and overcome the hunger feeling. Although eating regularly is a good thing, most high carbohydrate foods are also high in calories. So therefore we are eating too much food, too many calories and we are never really satisfied.

Another issue from consuming too many carbohydrates is that they hold water. So whenever you have eaten carbohydrates, you will probably find yourself feeling bloated afterwards. This is particularly evident after eating pasta or bread. The carbohydrates, even the healthier complex ones, will hold onto any liquid that you have consumed. So you end up feeling bloated, lethargic once the “buzz” wears off and generally dissatisfied.

To reduce your carbohydrate intake, you are best to replace your usual pastas, rices and breads with lean meats and add lots of vegetables and salads. Regular meals and snacks should consist of lean chicken, lamb, beef, fish and seafood as well as occasional consumption of nuts and eggs. Meals should include loads of fibrous vegetables including lots of green, red and yellow vegetables. Potato, sweet potato and pumpkin should be very limited as they are a starchy vegetable that has a similar reaction to carbohydrates. Some vegetables like peas, carrots and corn are still reasonably high in simple carbohydrates so should be limited to 3 days a week.
Many people would panic as soon as you mention cutting out most of your carbohydrates, but it is not as difficult as it seems. You see, once the body stops receiving excessive carbohydrates it will actually stop craving them too. So it is easier to cut out most carbohydrates, rather than just reducing them slightly as the insulin response is incredibly lower for a very low carbohydrate diet. Also, increasing your protein intakes helps keep your body feeling satisfied as proteins help with that “full” feeling. Eating proteins regularly also helps to fuel your metabolism, so your body will be able to use body fat as an energy source as there won’t be excessive carbohydrates to feed off.

Research has shown that the best way to lose weight, and to maintain your weight loss, is to dramatically reduce carbohydrate intake and replace them with lean proteins and loads of fibrous vegetables and salads. So stock up with fridge with low fat meats, plenty of veggies and salads.



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