The dilemma of whether to leave out carbs or not from your meals to lose weight has existed for ages. In recent years, diets like keto are becoming popular every day, making people believe that this is the only way to burn those extra fats. But this isn’t true. Carbs were never the enemy. In fact, carbs are a vital macronutrient that provides the energy required for maintaining bodily functions and carrying out daily activities. In fact, carbs can actually help you to lose weight. Are you getting a little confused at this point? Wondering how?
How can carbs help in losing weight? Well, the secret is to eat complex carbohydrates instead of refined ones. Complex carbs will make you feel full for a long time whereas refined carbs will make you hungrier. We brought you a few methods for including carbs in your diet so you can devour delicious meals while still losing weight. Love having your favorite beer bread and jam in the morning? Can’t enjoy those movie nights without pizzas? All you need to think of is how you pair up those carbs. Choosing the right grains is important as well. So, stop starving yourself to death and trim your body by eating all your favorite foods following these strategies below.
Don’t Be Afraid of Toppings
You might be pondering diet-friendly pizzas, but you will be surprised to know that a fully loaded pizza will help with your weight loss whereas a plain cheese pizza won’t. It turns out that as you add protein to your pizza, your Glycemic Index (GI) reduces. This is a measure of how quickly your blood glucose levels rise when you have food on a scale of 0 to 100. The lower you can keep this score, the better your chance for weight loss.
Whole grains come from a family of complex carbohydrates that has a lower score on the GI scale. If you want to further reduce this GI load, start adding protein to your meals. Proteins will slow down your digestion and make you feel fuller, keeping your blood sugar steady. Apart from protein, fat can also reduce this score, but they would add way more calories as well.
Make Drinking Green Tea a Habit
Nothing can be more soothing than a cup of green tea after a high-carb meal. Green tea helps wash down heavy food and research shows that an antioxidant called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, found in this tea, can help to regulate your hunger hormones by combining with the carbohydrates. They also do wonders in maintaining healthy metabolism in your body by lowering your blood sugar level.
Berries Are Not Just Delicious
Munching fresh berries can slow your digestion and increase the absorption of starch from your meals. A study shows that having berries like blueberries or strawberries with bread can reduce your blood sugar level by 36% when compared to eating bread without the berries. Having a mixture of berries like cranberries, bilberries, strawberries, and blueberries can further reduce the glycemic index by 38%. Researchers found out that the result comes from the polyphenols present in these berries, and encourage diets with a moderate amount of low glycemic index carbs to help regulate your weight.
Stop Drinking and Start Eating
You might think that eating some fresh apples instead of an apple pie or muffin is going to eliminate the carbs from your diet, but that isn’t the case. There are carbs in all fruits or vegetables; in fact, the apple you just ate has more carbs than two slices of bread. But the problem arises when you make juice out of it. This is because juicing removes the fibers from the fruit which helps you feel full. As a result, you will feel much hungrier than if you had eaten the fruit instead of drinking it. Researchers have found out that liquid carbohydrates are 17% less filling when compared to solid carbs.
Add Fat to Lose Fat
Who doesn’t love butter? But is it a carb? No, it isn’t. Researchers have found out that including monounsaturated fat in your meals can help your stomach feel full, reducing your overall calorie intake. You can find these fats in avocados and olive oil. But keep in mind that not any fat will do. Studies have shown that toasting your bread with monounsaturated fat like olive oil increases satiety hormones by 23% when compared to having bread with butter. Other research shows the same satiety result on people who have their meal with fresh avocados; they have a 40% reduced desire to eat for hours after.
You might find this odd but having your carbs cold can help you lose weight. Start eating your pasta straight out of the fridge because the lowered temperature changes the properties of the noodles into something called resistant starch. What this means is that your body needs to work harder now to digest it. Some other natural resistant starches include peas, lentils, beans, and oatmeal. They pass through your small intestine without getting digested, which keeps your stomach full for a long time. Cold pasta resembles the structure of these natural resistants. A recent study found out when you add resistant starch like beans, peas, and lentils to your evening meal, this increases your satiety hormones by almost 51%, reducing the activity of your hunger hormones by 15% compared to any simpler carbs included in your diet.
Good News for Night Owls
If you are a night owl and love munching on midnight snacks then there is good news for you. A recent study shows that people who have carbs in the evening or later can lose up to 27% more body fat than those who take their carbs in the daytime. This is because the nighttime carb eaters feel 13.7% fuller than those who are on their regular diet. Not only this, the inflammation markers decreased by 27.8% whereas it reduced to only 5.8% in the regular dieters. So start swapping your morning bagels and toasts with omelets and add french fries to your evening snack.
Carbs Can Even Be Your Best Friend
Exercise is the other part of the equation when it comes to weight loss. And the most preferred fuel when exercising is carbohydrates. Even if your body gets fat-adapted, you would still need some carbs to get that instant energy during high-intensity workouts. The body cannot burn fat as quickly as it can burn carbohydrates. Just opt for the right carbs instead of trying to get rid of them.