6 Tips to Make a Low-Carb Lifestyle Work for You

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While carbohydrates aren’t necessarily the bane of living a healthy lifestyle, as some fad diets would have you believe, it’s true that too much of a good thing is never really a good thing. And unless you’re doing Olympic-style training daily, chances are you’re already eating more carbs than you need to.

Low-carb diets may not work for everyone, but being smarter about which carbs to eat is something anyone can benefit from!

 

Tips for Eating Fewer Carbs

  • Try to eat most of your carbs early in the day
    • Mornings are usually when you need the most energy because you’re burning the most fuel.
    • Load up on a carb-heavy(ish) breakfast, then limit your carbs for the rest of the day.
  • Limit your starchy carbs first
    • It’s tough going from 60 to zero, so eliminate what’s easy first, like ditching the cone and getting your ice cream in a cup.
    • When eating out, ask for veggies or another low-carb option for your side. Also: stick to water, which brings us to our next tip…
  • Don’t drink your carbs
    • Get rid of soda altogether. Try carbonated water (like La Croix) if you really need something with bubbles.
    • Avoid packaged ‘fruit’ juices since they tend to have a ton of added sugar, upping your carb intake. Try to make your own instead!
  • Focus on your complex carbs
    • Just like calories, fats, and everything else, there are good carbs and bad carbs.
    • Since skipping out on carbs altogether can leave you tired and more likely to binge later, opt for complex carbs (found in whole grains and vegetables) and fruits to help keep you full longer.
  • If you’re craving sugary carbs, make it a rule that you have to make them yourself.
    • Everyone craves cake, cookies, or pastries every now and again – they’re such delicious treats!
    • BUT, you’d be surprised how quickly those cravings go away when you have to make ‘em from scratch instead of popping by the bakery.
  • If you’re having trouble staving off hunger, try eating more protein and smaller meals throughout the day.

 

Substitutions for Your Carb-Heavy Faves

The Carb-Heavy Fave The Low-Carb Alternative
Pizza Pizza with a Portobello mushroom crust or cauliflower crust
Pasta Zucchini/squash noodles, spaghetti squash
Wheat flour Coconut flour, almond flour
Fried rice Cauliflower
Tortillas Sturdy greens (chard, kale)
Hamburger buns Portobello mushrooms
Mashed potatoes Mashed cauliflower
Crackers Sliced cucumbers or apples
Cookies Strawberries lightly dipped in dark chocolate
Apple pie Baked apples
Potato chips Peanuts
Breadcrumbs Ground almonds
Croutons Roasted, salted nuts
French fries Baked zucchini sticks

An important thing to remember when going low-carb is that it’s tough! But after a few weeks of cravings – and maybe some slip-ups (hey, we’re all human) – you’ll find you’re craving sugar and carbs way less than you used to. And don’t forget to tell us about your low-carb journey in the comments!

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