The trend to limit carbohydrate intake to lose weight is both popular and effective. Carbs are macronutrients that you can only get from the food that you eat—you can’t take them in a pill. But, from pizza night to your go to quinoa salad to sweet potatoes smothered in butter to your beloved, steel-cut oats in the morning—know this: all carbs register as sugar in the body.
All of them.
Eating too many carbs means eating too much sugar. Too much sugar could make you
- and surly…
Here’s another one for you: cancer loves sugar.
So, before your next meal, ask yourself this: What carbohydrates should I eat?
The answer is: Choose smart carbs for you. To figure that out, here are three things to consider.
First, ask: What am I getting for what I am eating?
Many of my nutrition clients do not have excess weight to lose. Like (perhaps) you, they have some of the issues listed above that, among other things, are positively impacted by the carbs they chose to eat. And, by the carbs they chose to leave out of their diets.
To watch your carb intake, always ask what you are getting for what you are eating.
You cannot truly know this unless you use a nutrient tracker and consider how certain carbs affect you. For example, yes quinoa has protein but, are you already getting enough protein daily? For many of my nutrition clients protein is not their issue! In fact, it might be that you too are eating too much protein.
You cannot know how much protein you eat a day unless you track your food and take a look at how many grams of protein you actually consume. (Note: I recommend a moderate approach to protein.)
And, yes! That pizza tastes great but does it make you bloat and give you gas all night long after you eat it? Is the pizza worth losing sleep over? If your answer is yes—eat it. If your answer is no, it’s not worth it—skip it.
The key word here is your…
Choose carbs that have fibre. Choose carbs that are low in sugar.
Example are: vegetables and fruits (not pizza and bagels).
But—not all veggies and not all fruits.
A medium banana has 14 grams of sugar; an avocado has 1.33 grams of sugar.
One cup of beets (chopped) has 9 grams of sugar; one cup of broccoli (chopped) has 1.55 grams of sugar.
Maybe you have an emotional attachment to certain foods. You may think that you cannot live without a banana in your morning protein shake and that you will be missing the magical, super food powers of beets if you don’t eat them…
But, to keep sugar under control, it’s time to limit foods like bananas and beets. Choose the avocado and the broccoli and nutritionally, you’ll never miss the banana and the beets. Through creating new habits, you’ll get over missing high sugar foods like bananas and beets quicker than you think!
If you don’t like avocados and broccoli, fear not. There are low-carb, fibre-rich, low-sugar fruits and veggies out there for you. Stay curious and keep trying new things including new ways of preparing and cooking your fruits and veggies.
Bonus tip: Eat one fruit a day. And for low sugar and higher fibre, just choose berries. (If you eat avocados, you can have two fruits a day—berries and some avocado!)
Don’t layer your carbs.
Choose one, nutrient-dead carb per day and only eat it once a day (if you must).
Don’t fall into the trap of what I like to call carb-layering. Here’s what I mean: If you have left-over lasagna, go ahead and have some for lunch the next day. But, don’t have lasagna cold for breakfast, re-heated at lunch and as a ‘side’ for dinner. Eating high-sugar carbs like this all day long can wreak havoc on your blood sugar, your mood, your skin, your guts and your body composition.
As a point of reference, my most successful nutrition clients consume between 60 and 80 grams of carbs per day. And, most see positive results when they hover right around 16 grams of total sugar a day.
Imagine, if considering these two things (carbs and sugar), along with finding your fibre tipping points, eating adequate protein and plenty of healthy fats daily could allow you to enjoy
over-weighta healthy body weight sleeplessa restful sleep inflamedless body pain due to inflammation depresseda brighter outlook anxiousa tamed monkey mind sexlessmore libido surly…more patience, tolerance and love
And, ultimately a greater sense of self-esteem…
Stay curious (and watch your carbs!),
Cait Lynch, B.A.
Nutrition, Fitness & Momentum Coach
Owner | Custom Fit Vitality
P.S. Want some help? Private nutrition coaching for May starts this week. Join me to figure out what you are really hungry for so you can stick a fork in worrying about what to eat for good.
P.P.S I blog weekly (usually on Sundays). My goal is to share stories and tips on nutrition, fitness and momentum. If this isn’t your gig, feel free to unsubscribe.