Despite the frequency I write and speak about cutting carbs to create your best body I absolutely am NOT hating on carbs.
I love them and eat them at every main meal. I recommend you do too. Yes, even if losing fat is your goal.
The caveat is that like a calorie is not a calorie… there are carbs and there are carbs… and to be clear I AM absolutely hating on fake, processed carbs as a part of your regular eating routine.
Today I’m covering: FREE Carbs, which of our carbie friends to eat to your hearts desire, which to enjoy in moderation and which to ditch or indulge in infrequently.
I recently had a comment on one of my Facebook posts asking “where are the carbs in this meal plan?”
The one day plan in question though high in protein and good fats ALSO included:
Coconut water, berries, chick peas, mixed leaves, tomato, spinach, broccoli, red capsicum, mushroom, onions & more green veggies.
They are all carbs.
As are some of the more obvious starchy veg like potato, sweet potato, carrot, corn and pumpkin.
As are some of the more obvious processed carbs like bread, rice, pasta and cereal.
It can get tricky right?
Three carb considerations:
1). It ISN’T FREE when,
It has a drive through, it’s own mascot or a T.V. commercial.
It has to advertise to you on it’s packet how ‘healthy’, ‘low in fat’, ‘light’ or ‘low in calories’ it is.
These are the foods to either ditch or indulge in infrequently.
2). Fruit and Vegetables are NOT one food group.
They are NOT interchangeable.
Fruit is optional. I would never say no fruit however 5 serves of fruit is A LOT of sugar and it does not make up for under-eating your veg.
Eat as many non starchy fibrous veg as possible… these super-veg are free.
Enjoy your fruit and starchy veg in moderation.
3). Just because it has protein in it it may still be a carb.
Like yoghurt. Or chickpeas. Or quinoa.
The more natural and less processed the better. So choose full fat natural Greek yoghurt rather than the one with a layer of sugary fruit syrup or the diet stuff.
These are the foods to choose based on quality not quantity and enjoy in moderation.
Three steps to make eating quality carbs and ditching crap-o-la carbs easiest on you:
Step one: Follow these build a meal that let’s you build your best body guidelines.
=> Start with a serving of lean protein.
That’s 100-200 grams of lean protein (fish, meat, egg) and whatever herbs and spices you like.
=> Add 3-12+ different fibrous veg and/or salad greens.
This may be any combination of spinach, kale, mushroom, capsicum, cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, rocket, cabbage, green beans etc.
=> Finish with a satisfying good fat.
That’s 1/4 of a large avocado or 50gm nuts/seeds, a teaspoon of coconut or olive oil… or any combination of the above.
Step two: Consider your minds eye.
Visually appealing food has been proven to be more satisfying.
=> Ideally your meal will look generous with a decent serving size based around – you guessed it – FREE fibrous veg.
=> And also attractive with lots of variety, colour and texture of Yes, FREE fibrous veg.
Step three: Choose your language with volition.
Talking about what you ‘can’t’ eat is going to feel restrictive.
In contrast when you state: ‘I don’t…’ you’re emphasising to yourself it’s your choice. You are in control. You’re making a good decision of your own free will.
If you know you should avoid saying yes, and yet recognise that “I can’t” feels restrictive then take “I don’t” for a spin.
It sounds minor however it absolutely works for me – I think I feel like I’m letting myself down if I were to say “I don’t” and then do it. In contrast “I can’t” feels like I’m breaking someone else’s rules, or bucking restriction and that’s more tempting.
I’d never say I can’t eat meat – because no one else is stopping me. I don’t eat meat because I choose not to – in the same way (though for vastly different reasons) that I choose not to eat donuts.
In fact I’ve actually got a chocolate bar study to back me up…
In 2012 researchers put 120 students to the “I can’t” v. “I don’t” test.
In the study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, the student were split in 2 groups. One group used “I can’t” and the other used “I don’t”.
The results were significant. Of the students who told themselves “I can’t eat X” the chocolate bar was eaten 61% of the time.
Meanwhile, of the students who told themselves “I don’t eat X” the chocolate bar was eaten only 36% of the time.
To get actionable today I’m only going to ask you of one small switch. That’s all I was ever able to make happen at a time.
A massive refined carb overhaul would have seemed daunting when it made up the majority of my day to day eating.
What is one processed carb you currently consume on a daily basis that you could relegate to either your cheat meal or never AND just as importantly what is the one FREE fibrous veg carb you’re choosing to consume instead?
=> Rice switches to cauliflower rice.
=> Pasta switches to julienne zucchini.
=> Chips switch to kale crisps.
That’s it for today… in tomorrows Wednesday Weigh-in show I’m covering: The Art of Selfish.
If you liked this you’ll also like: How To Cut Carbs To Lose Weight
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