This was a headline in the news this week: Cutting Carbs Can KILL YOU!
To which I declare CRAP-O-LA!
Today I’m going to cover how to cut carbs and enjoy fat loss results without any of the hyphy potential side effects.
As with everything health there is no 1 plan to cover all… and you can take a safe, effective approach (like cutting fake-nutritionally-void-craving-causing-carbs 90% of the time) to a detrimental extreme (like avoiding all fruit, veg, grains and pulses ALWAYS!).
YOU are unique.
Important factors to account for:
1. What is your goal? And the timeframe to achieve it?
And do you want to be able to maintain said goal once you do achieve it?!
=> the question to ask yourself when considering any change to your nutrition:
“Is this something I can be happy and satisfied doing long term?”
Because if in a months time it’s no longer going to seem like a good idea then it’s not even worth the pain of putting yourself through.
YOUR IDEAL BODY IS A LIFESTYLE, NOT A ONCE OFF EVENT. So the actions you take to get there need to be sustainable.
Caveat to factor 1. It’s amazing what can become acceptable and sustainable to you when you take it one step at a time. I could never have gone from processed carbs 5-6 meals a day (truth!) to two times a week. There were steps of my choosing in between. Go at your own pace.
2. How much activity are you currently doing?
And how much is sustainable, long term?
Great fuel will always trump great exercise for fat loss results so don’t get caught on the more you do = the more you have to do viscous cycle of always upping your activity to a point that is unsustainable, puts your body under stress, invites injury… and makes you crave carbs!
=> the question to ask: “Is this something I enjoy (or could learn to enjoy!) that can fit in with my lifestyle long term?”
What activity is supreme? I cover that here:
3. What is your current carb consumption?
And are you open to upgrading fake, nutritionally void processed carbs for quality carb fuel? I’ll get to what is top quality soon!
The hardest way to lose weight is via strict portion control of crap food. If you’re willing to cut the stuff that provides no value to your body then you get to enjoy HEAPS of the foods that keep your body fit, strong, lean and energized.
=> the questions to ask: “What do I believe indulging in the fake carbs will Give me? And Does It? How can I more resourcefully get that feeling?”
Perhaps: Comfort. Reward. Certainty. Vice. Stress Relief. Avoidance.
Factors such as body type | alcohol consumption also have an impact.
Yes some body types have a naturally faster metabolism as they have a natural inclination towards more lean muscle mass. More metabolically active lean muscle = faster metabolism.
Genetics/body type is not a deal-breaker. You work with what you’ve got. The ability to increase your METABOLISM is absolutely 100% within your control.
=> the question to ask: “What is this worth to me and what am I willing to do to achieve it?”
Alcohol consumption? A topic close to my heart! I love a drink… we all have our vices.
Perhaps: Red Wine. Chocolate. Pasta. Ice Cream.
Anything can be worked into your eating regime while you still lose weight and then sustain your ideal body. The factor to account for is OPPORTUNITY COST.
=> the question to ask: “Given the amount of (insert vice of choice) I’m choosing to consume on a weekly basis, what does this mean to my overall fuel consumption and what carbs can I nudge out to ensure my vice is not a nutritionally-void-escalating-extra?”
Now let’s look at best practice:
Quality natural fuel:
Your best carbs are natural one ingredient foods:
Carbohydrate Fibrous Veggies: (will make up the bulk of your carbs) Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Spinach, Rocket, Capsicum, Zucchini, Asparagus, Green Beans, Cucumber, Mushroom, Lettuce Varieties, Snow Peas, Tomato (fruit), Celery, Leek, Eggplant, Onion, Spring Onion, Peas. Garlic, ginger, chilli, all fresh/dried herbs.
Carbohydrate Complex Starchy Veggies: (eat in moderation) Sweet potato, Potato, Corn, Carrot, Pumpkin, Turnip, Yam.
Other: (eat in moderation) Oats – steel cut not with added fruit or ‘quick oats’, Black beans, Quinoa, Brown rice.
Carbohydrate Natural simple: Fruit (eat in moderation) such as, Berries, Apples, Melon, Grapefruit.
Post workout consumption:
The time when your body is best primed to NOT store carbs as fat is in the hour or two following an intense work-out. Your body is just waiting to suck them up for recovery, replenishment and to assist in muscle growth.
Emotional attachment and cheat days:
There’s something really comforting about knowing that you’re only ever a few days away from eating whatever you want and also knowing that it won’t ‘ruin your diet’. Nothing is ‘off limits’ for ever. The cheat day is the tactic that allows cutting carbs to be sustainable long term.
It’s necessary hormonally too.
Here’s Why: To lose weight you need to be in calorie deficit. Sounds simple?
However, when you decrease your calorie intake it mess’s with an important fat-burning hormone called leptin. It only takes roughly a week of moderate dieting for leptin levels to drop off significantly.
Low leptin = stalled fat burning.
The cherished cheat day resets your emotional focus because you know you can count on it each week – and it also resets your metabolism.
Hang on in there and remember:
=> You crave what you eat… it only gets easier.
=> Increase your water consumption. Each gram of carb allows your body to store around 3 mIls of water so cutting carbs can lead to dehydration headaches AND Deceptive- Water-Weight-Loss!
=> First build your meals around a generous mix of fibrous veg, next focus on some satisfying lean protein and finish with a little good fat you love.
=> Get creative… boredom will crush your commitment.
=> Fibrous veg are FREE CARBS… eat as much as you want of them.
=> It’s never black or white, all or nothing. You can take a new food upgrade for a spin for a long enough time to see results… and know you’re not locked in. If you like it (and the results!) – keep it. If you don’t (or the results aren’t worth the sacrifice/opportunity cost) – don’t!
Love to hear your favourite sugar swaps, fake fixes or carb compulsions you’ve now overcome?
Or perhaps the one you’re committing to today?
I have SO many. I’ll get the ball rolling with just one. Afternoon tea used to be SIX white bread rolls filled with a packet of crushed up (flavour sachet added yet uncooked) 2 minute noodles.
If you found this post useful you may enjoy: How To Cut Carbs To Lose Weight