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advice on cutting your carb intake

Ever feel guilty about grabbing that extra slice of pizza? Carbs are often feared and regarded as the enemy to anyone trying to lose weight. However, you shouldn’t cut carbs out of your diet altogether. In fact, carbohydrates should make up around half of the total calories you have in a day (plus or minus depending on your diet and any dietary or medical restrictions).

Carbohydrates provide your body with the energy and fuel it needs to get through the day. That being said, many people see benefits both physically and internally after cutting carbs from their diet. Here is how you can sustainably reduce your carb intake:

Try Low Carb Alternatives

If you want to drastically reduce your carb intake, you won’t succeed at consistently eating fewer carbs if you quit cold turkey. Start by trying some low-carb alternatives to your everyday foods, such as low carb cereal.

Remove Sugary Drinks from Your Diet

Beverages that are sweetened with added sugar (such as fruit juice and soda) are very unhealthy. Drinking a lot of sugary beverages increases your risk of obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. This should be one of your first steps to a healthier lifestyle. 

Because you are removing sugar-sweetened drinks, you should make up for that by drinking more water. Stay hydrated! This is one of the key ways to care for your body. Drinking more water means you can avoid consuming empty calories from any other beverage. If plain water is too boring for you, try adding a spritz of lemon or lime juice for a refreshing twist.

Reduce Your Bread Consumption

Bread is low in fiber and high in carbs, which is why it is truly unfortunate that it is such a consistent food stable in diets. Even the more nutritious breads are very high in carbs. The fiber in rye bread, for example, isn’t enough to make up for the large carb component it contains. Instead of a dinner roll, try a different side of vegetables.

Snack Smart

The amount of carbs you eat in a day can add up very quickly in the snack foods you reach for. Crackers, pretzels, and chips are all just a bunch of empty carbs that won’t do much to satisfy your hunger craving in the long run.

Try snacking on something high in protein. By consuming something that is more filling, such as a nut mix, you are more likely to remain full longer and refrain from overindulging at your next meal. Here are some good food items to reach for the next time you’re feeling snacky:

  1. - Peanuts
  2. - Almonds
  3. - Hazelnuts
  4. - Pecans
  5. - Macadamia nuts
  6. - Walnuts
  7. - Cheese

Eat Eggs at Breakfast

Over time, it will get easier and easier to adapt your meals so that they all contain fewer carbs. Until then, start easy by working more eggs into your breakfast and less pancakes and waffles. 

Eggs are a premium source of quality protein, which means they will keep you feeling full for much longer than a bowl of granola. Eggs also have the benefit of being versatile, so don’t sweat it if you don’t like your eggs scrambled.

Try Sugar Alternatives

Using sugar in beverages and foods to sweeten them is generally not a good practice, especially if you are on a low-carb diet. Honey seems like a safe next bet, but honey is actually even higher in its carb content. If you aren’t ready to enjoy the natural flavor of food as is, try some of these alternative sweeteners instead of reaching for the sugar:

  1. - Stevia
  2. - Erythritol
  3. - Xylitol
  4. - Yacon syrup
  5. - Coconut sugar

The Bottom Line

This is a marathon, not a sprint. Take it one step at a time to eventually reach your goal. Transitioning into a healthy, low-carb lifestyle can be easy if you're still incorporating things you love into your diet.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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