Low-carb diets are incredibly effective when it comes to losing weight. But, if many of the foods you normally eat include carbohydrates, it can be difficult to start on a low-carb diet plan when you’re not sure what to eat. Fortunately, a few easy steps can be all it takes to get started with slashing your carb intake. Use the following tips to successfully transition to a low-carb diet.
Skip the Diet Products
When you go grocery shopping, you might notice a number of diet products labeled “low-carb” or “sugar-free” that cater to your new eating goals. In general, you’ll want to avoid these foods since they are mostly processed items that don’t offer a lot of nutritional value. They will essentially act as empty calories and make it harder for you to lose weight. Plus, many of these products are made with sugar alcohols which don’t digest easily, leading to bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Instead of buying diet foods, focus instead on buying fresh whole foods that have not been processed or packaged whenever possible.
Find a Few Go-To Meals & Snacks
Making the switch to a low-carb diet doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Take the guesswork out of transitioning to this new eating plan by coming up with a list of simple and easy-to-make meals and snacks that are low in carbs. For example, you could swap chips and crackers for nuts and seeds as a healthy snack. For breakfast, opt for eggs and lean turkey bacon instead of toast, bagels, or cereal. Enjoy lettuce wraps instead of sandwiches for lunch, and bookmark a few favorite meat or fish dishes with veggie sides for dinner.
Be sure to cook with healthy fats, such as olive oil or vegetable oil, and try to opt for leaner proteins like poultry and fish when possible. Vegetarians should be sure to get plenty of plant protein from sources like beans, tofu, nuts, and meals like veggie burgers.
Time Your Carb Intake
Remember that you don’t need to cut out carbs completely, especially since your body needs some fuel for exercising. One of the best ways to maximize the small number of carbs you do eat is to time your intake so that you’re consuming your carbohydrates about an hour before working out. That way, you get the energy you need from your carbs for cardio and strength training. A low-carb diet app like LifeSum can help you stay on track with timing your carb intake effectively.
Learn About Healthy Carbs
When you do need some carbs, make sure you’re eating the right ones. Refined carbs like those found in white bread, white rice, pastries, and pasta are low in fiber and cause your blood sugar levels to spike, making them bad for your health and leaving you hungry not long after eating. Instead, choose foods with healthy carbs like whole grains, sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, quinoa, fruits, and vegetables and incorporate them into your diet in a healthy manner.
Use these tips to make your transition to a low-carb diet a successful one.
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