Carbs might strike fear into your heart if you’re trying to shed some excess pounds, but you don’t have to be afraid because there are some carbs that will help you lose weight. Yes, you read that right! I know that carbs get a bad rap, but the truth is your body needs carbs because they offer up energy, which I need plenty of, and I’m sure you do too. So go ahead and add low-glycemic carbs that will help you lose weight to your meal plan. Your palette and your taste buds will thank you!
1. Whole-Wheat Bread
The white bread of your childhood is delicious, but when it comes to choosing a healthy carb, it just doesn’t measure up. If you’re looking to drop a few unwanted pounds, whole-wheat bread is one of the carbs that will help you lose weight. I know that finding the right bread can be daunting with so many choices lining grocery store shelves. The trick I use is to scan the ingredient list. Look for a product that lists whole-wheat as its first ingredient. With more complex carbohydrates, you’ll find that the bread will keep you full longer and help ensure that you don’t reach for unhealthy snacks between meals.
Yes, fruit has carbohydrates. That means it’s perfect for a weight-loss plan because it’s also low in fat and many choices have minimal calories. At the same time, fruit has fiber so it fills you up without filling you out. Add fruit to breakfast and lunch and munch on it for snacks. Not only will you find that you feel more energetic, but you’ll also feel satisfied, which means it’ll be easier to say no to that afternoon cupcake.
Much like fruit, vegetables contain good carbs while also being low in fat and calories. Since weight loss happens when you burn more calories than you eat, vegetables are a perfect choice. Filled with fiber and energy-increasing good carbs, vegetables belong at each meal. I know that not all options are appealing, but buying the types you like to eat ensures that you’ll cook them up and serve them at lunch or dinner. So, opt for cucumbers if they taste good, but skip the artichokes if they make you gag.
It’s easy, it’s delicious, and it contains good carbs. Oatmeal is a tasty way to start your day and gets you in the mindset of choosing healthy carbohydrates for weight loss. Put down the instant oatmeal! It often contains added sugars and refined oats. Instead, grab a canister of plain rolled oats. Sweeten them with fresh fruit and a dab of honey. You’ll save tons of calories, fill your belly for the morning, and give your body the fuel it needs to get through your daily to-do list. Not to mention all the iron and fiber you’ll be consuming.
5. Whole-Grain Cereal
I love to have cereal for breakfast or even as a late night snack. Sounds virtuous, right? Wrong. Not all cereals are created equal and not all choices contain carbs that play a role in weight loss. Look for those made with whole grains and stay away from the cereals of yesteryear that contain loads of sugar and not much else. Read the ingredients and opt for cereal that lists some type of whole grain as a primary ingredient.
6. Alternate Grains
The number of people I know that must eat gluten-free grows larger all the time. If you’re one of the many that cannot eat traditional grains like wheat and rye, look for alternate grains that contain good carbs. They satisfy hunger without compromising your health and help contribute to your weight loss goals. Brown rice, amaranth, millet and quinoa are easy to find options that offer much in the way of vitamins and minerals. Use them to prepare main dishes or side dishes that taste great and won’t weigh you down.
Talk about something that fills you up, but doesn’t have many calories! Beans are ideal for a weight loss diet because they contain fiber for appetite control, but they also have good carbs for energy. This comes in handy when it’s time to hit the gym. With so many bean varieties available, you’re sure to find the perfect one to fill your next burrito. Black beans and pinto beans are good choices to get you started.
Even armed with all this information, it can be hard to exert your willpower and make the right choice. How do you make sure you aren’t sabotaging your weight loss efforts? I like to make a menu for the week and shop for everything at once. If I don’t bring it home, it’s easier to resist the lure of bad carbs. Does this work for you?