Ultimate Carbohydrates Weight Loss Guide for Beginners
Think of it this way—a calorie is not a calorie; rather, it depends on its source. You can know and understand the calorie count, for example, but you are getting nutrients in the end. Just because you can get the same calories from a few crackers doesn’t mean that they are equally good a snack.
As you work to understand what makes up the suitable types of calories in your healthy eating habits, consider a few key elements. If you can think through these factors, you can weigh if it’s a good food choice or a poor one.
- Consider the makeup of the food itself—if it’s natural and from the earth, then you are getting nutrients as part of the calorie investment.
- If it is a whole food and from the earth, it will provide you natural energy and fuel, and therefore is a good calorie choice.
- If you get significant calories per serving but can’t figure out the essential nutrients or healthy ingredients.
- If you get nothing back from eating this food, such as better health or energy, it’s best to choose something else.
- If you get a lot of fat, sodium, or additives and preservatives along with the calories, then it’s not a good food choice.
- Consider calories to be an investment in your health and well-being, so optimize them to get the most out of them with every food choice.
Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs
Start with understanding this—CARBOHYDRATES ARE ESSENTIAL! So this should automatically ensure that you cast aside any diet that tells you to stop eating carbs altogether.
There is a difference between good and bad carbs, so it’s up to you to know the difference. By noting the differences between the two, you can make healthy choices and get the most out of your carbohydrates.
When you eat carbohydrates, they get converted to glucose in your system, which is used to provide energy and allow your brain, muscles, and body to function. They also offer many vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytonutrients necessary for good health.
SO THE RIGHT CARBS ARE GOOD FOR YOU!
Good carbs generally have these healthy characteristics
- High in fiber: Help you to feel full longer and give you natural energy
- Low glycemic index: stabilizes blood sugar levels and insulin production
- More significant “thermic effect”: naturally stimulates metabolism and promotes fat loss.
The following food types are generally considered good carbs and should make up most of your carb intake.
- Whole vegetables
- Whole fruits
- Whole grains (sourdough, rye, etc.)
If you eat only good carbs, you can avoid many health problems that plague millions of people worldwide. In essence, to be healthier and in better shape, choosing good carbs can:
- You will feel better and have significantly more energy
- You will lose most or all of your excess body fat
- You will have more power and better quality of life
So if it’s not apparent with certain carbohydrates, you may like some guidelines to help you make good choices. If you’re not sure, then know this about bad carbs:
-Most bad carbs are refined, processed, starchy foods with all or most of their natural ingredients and fiber stripped away or removed.
-To try to make them taste better or be more “consumer-friendly,” they lose their nutritional makeup and, therefore, their benefits.
Most baked goods, white bread, pasta, snack foods, candies, diet, and regular soft drinks fit into this category.
-Bleached, enriched “white flour and white sugar and an array of artificial flavorings, coloring, and preservatives are the most common ingredients used to make “bad carb” foods.
-These are harmful because the human body cannot process them very well.
– It’s also important to realize that many processed carb foods provide large amounts of ‘empty’ calories – calories with little or no nutritional value.
Most of the processed carbs we eat wreak havoc on our natural hormone levels. Insulin production is especially ‘thrown out of whack’ as the body attempts to process the vast amounts of starches and simple sugars in a typical ‘bad carb’-based meal.
This leads to dramatic fluctuations in blood glucose levels – a big reason why you often feel lethargic after eating high-sugar, unhealthy meals. The up and down cycle of feeling full and then shortly after feeling hungry isn’t good for your health and certainly isn’t suitable for your ability to lose weight.
Simple Tips for Incorporating Good Carbs Into Your Diet
- Try to cut out as much ‘junk food’ from your diet. This includes pretty much all chips, candy, and soft drinks. These are the bad carbs and all full of empty calories.
- Avoid or limit your refined flour baked goods intake, including non-whole-grain bread, bagels, doughnuts, cupcakes, brownies, cakes, etc. Also, throw out the processed, high-sugar breakfast cereals – stick to whole-grain cereals and oatmeal.
- Buy a variety of fresh fruits and veggies, and begin to include at least 1 or 2 servings with each meal. Be sure that you aim to eat at least two servings of leafy green vegetables within this food group each day.
- Use nuts and seeds as healthy, portable snacks you can carry anywhere. Also, they can be used to add flavor and ‘texture’ to many foods (especially salads).
- Eat a serving of beans or legumes at least 1-2 times per day. The dozens of different types of beans and peas can be used in hundreds of delicious recipes. Also, consider buying or making bean sprouts – they are considered some of the most nutritionally ‘powerful’ foods available!
- Always choose the whole-grain option for bread, cereals, crackers, pasta, etc. Just make sure that ‘whole-grain’ is the first word in the ingredients list, and you’ll be fine. Read labels carefully and know precisely what you are getting!
Tip: Always try to eat protein with your good carbs. This offers a natural balance in your food consumption, but it slows the rate at which the sugar hits your bloodstream.