Reducing carbs for weight loss is one of the many methods that people follow.
However, when most people just begin the transition from a traditional high-carb and low-fat diet to a low-carb diet, they may not know how to reduce their carbohydrate intake.
However, it is very simple. Try the following methods to easily change your eating habits and you will lose weight without knowing it.
1. Avoid all Sugar-Sweetened Beverages.
Sugary drinks, including fruit juices, carbonated drinks, etc., contain a lot of sugar. Fruit juice with very high fructose content will significantly increase your risk of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. [*]
If you want to reduce carbohydrates intake, avoiding sugary drinks should be one of the first steps you do.
Water is the healthiest and safest beverage. Other choices like sugar-free green tea or black coffee can also be good.
You can add some lemon or lime to increase the taste. If you prefer sweetened beverages, use a small amount of sugar substitutes, such as stevia and erythritol.
2. Choose “good” carbohydrates.
Good carbs are complex carbohydrates. These types of carbs are rich in fiber and various nutrients. They take longer to decompose, so blood sugar levels will not rise rapidly.
These foods include:
- Whole fruits: banana, apple, or strawberries.
- Whole grains: pure quinoa, oats, or brown rice.
- Vegetables: all kinds.
- Legumes: peas or kidney beans.
- Seeds: Chia seeds, flaxseeds, or pumpkin seeds.
- Nuts: walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, peanuts, etc.
Bad carbs are simple carbohydrates. They decompose quickly and cause blood sugar spikes, so try to avoid eating them.
These types of food include:
- white sugar, brown sugar
- refined rice and flour
- cakes, biscuits, sweets
- sugary drinks
- other processed foods
3. Eat low-carb snacks when you are craving.
People like snacks, but the most popular ones are junk foods such as potato chips, cookies, and popcorn. These foods are extremely high in carbohydrates.
If you want to lose weight, you must cut out these junk foods and replace them with protein-rich low-carbohydrate snacks.
- low-carb nuts
- homemade ketogenic/low-carb snacks.
You can find many ketogenic-friendly/low-carb snacks on Amazon.
4. Eat more leafy vegetables.
In a low-carb diet, vegetables are the best sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also contain plant compounds, many of which have antioxidant effects that can reduce inflammation and improve immunity.
Try to choose non-starchy vegetables. Especially green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, and broccoli.
Certain root vegetables and legumes, such as carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, peas, lima beans, and corn, contain moderate carbohydrates, so you should only eat a small amount of them.
5. Use almond milk and coconut milk instead of milk.
Milk is rich in nutrition. However, it also contains a high amount of carbohydrates from the lactose. An 8-ounce (240 ml) cup of whole or low-fat milk contains 12-13 grams of carbohydrates.
Instead, you can choose to use almond milk or coconut milk. These beverages are mainly water and contain a lot fewer carbs. However, when buying them check the ingredient list and nutrition label and choose sugar-free products.
6. Use low-carb flour instead of wheat flour.
The common bread, cakes, biscuits, etc. are generally made of refined wheat flour.
During the processing of making the flour, in order to increase the taste, most of the fiber and other nutrients are removed, leaving only carbohydrates.
Therefore, eating too much food made of wheat flour will cause your blood sugar to rise rapidly. This makes your body easily accumulate fat, causing obesity and diabetes.
You can use almond flour or coconut flour instead of wheat flour. These flour substitutes are very low in carbs. They are perfect for making keto-friendly or low carb snacks.
7. Replace added sugar with healthy sweeteners.
Sugar substitutes are often used in low-carb diets. They can be added to water, tea, and black coffee, or used for baking, replacing ordinary white sugar or brown sugar.
The best choice is:
- Monk fruit sweetener
8. Consume high-protein foods.
Eating more protein will increase your satiety, which can easily reduce carbohydrates and calories intake. High-quality protein helps control appetite and maintain muscle mass and strength during weight loss.
Having enough protein intake will also increase the metabolic rate. Protein is mainly composed of amino acids. It takes more time and effort for your body to digest these foods than fat and carbohydrates. Therefore, to break them down, your body needs to burn more calories.
Ensure that each of your meals contain at least one serving of high-protein, low-carbohydrate food, such as:
- beef, pork, chickens and other poultry meats
- fish, shrimps, crabs and other aquatic products
- sugar-free yogurt
- whey protein powder
9. Avoid deep-fried food.
Fried chicken wings, fish steaks, etc. are usually coated with a layer of flour (or batter) which can greatly increase the carbohydrate content.
In addition, the oil used for frying can also produce toxic substances if heated for a long time. [*]
If you really like these types of food, you can use almond flour or coconut flour instead of wheat flour. You can also use an air fryer instead of deep-frying.
10. Eat more healthy fats.
When reducing carbohydrates, you need to eat other foods to achieve a certain degree of fullness, while also keeping you energetic for a long time.
In addition to protein, healthy fat is another major nutrient. It accounts for at least 50% of a low-carb diet. The fat intake in a ketogenic diet can even be as high as 75%.
Instead of peanut oil or rapeseed oil, you can use MCT oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, or animal fat (such as lard) for stir-frying or salad dressing.
Other healthy fat sources such as grass-fed butter or avocado are also good choices.
These healthy oils can suppress appetite, lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and reduce abdominal fat.
Reducing your carb intake has an obvious effect on weight loss.
Try to stay away from junk foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugar. Eating more vegetables, protein and high-quality fats can significantly improve your overall health and help you lose weight faster.
You can take some measures to gradually reduce your intake of carbohydrates, but there may be some short-term adverse reactions during the early stages of a change to your diet. You should always make adjustments based on your body’s feelings to find the most suitable carbs ratio.