It’s come to my attention that a lot of people struggle with a few key points when attempting to convert to a low carb diet. Let’s say someone is having chicken cutlet for dinner with a side of pasta and vegetables. Well the breading for that chicken cutlet is going to make up 1-2 servings of carbs and if you’re like most people you probably didn’t measure the amount of pasta you put on your plate. Your dinner alone could contain over 100 grams of carbs without you even feeling like you ate a lot of carbs.
These are the 3 Mistakes People Make When Cutting Carbs:
1. They have no idea how many grams of carbohydrates their body needs to maintain their current weight let alone lose weight.
2. They don’t know how to translate this into meals that provide the predetermined portion of carbs that they need in order to lose weight.
3. They may not know what foods are sources of carbohydrates. Yes, everyone knows bread, rice, and pasta are carbohydrates but few people realize that dried fruit and some starchy vegetables are high in carbs.
I’ve had clients say to me “I’ve been cutting out carbs for a few weeks now and I haven’t seen any results. I can’t lose weight no matter what I do”. Then, when I ask them what a typical breakfast looks like they say something along the lines of “yogurt with granola and fruit”. So what you just told me is that you’re cutting back on carbs but for breakfast you had a sugary protein with carbs and carbs.
In short, here’s my advice
1. Get an Idea of How Many Grams of Carbs You Need
You can use free tracking apps like MyFitnessPal to get a good idea of how many grams of carbs, protein and fat you should be eating, or you can consult with a nutritionist or dietitian for advice. Once you’ve figured out how many calories you need every day and how many grams of protein, carbohydrates and fat you need every day to maintain your weight, you’ll be one step closer to figuring out how many grams you need to cut to lose weight.
2. Cut the Servings of Carbs You Eat Everyday
Sounds a little obvious right? If you normally eat a bagel every day for breakfast doing something as simple as switching to half a bagel every day is enough to spark some results. This is by no means the most effective method, but it’s a method none the less.
3. Clean Up Your Carbs
Switching from white rice to brown rice probably isn’t going to spark the weight loss you’re after alone but it’s a good place to start. Let me be the first person to say that the commercial where they say “sugar is sugar, your body doesn’t recognize the difference” is the most misinforming piece of nutritional information of all time. Your body absolutely knows the difference between the sugar you get from a piece of fruit and the sugar you get from an iced caramel macchiato. Keep 80% of your carbs from whole sources like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. They’ll keep you feeling satiated longer and they’re less likely to be stored as fat for a few reasons: it’s much harder to eat 100 grams of carbohydrates from vegetables than it is from candy, they won’t spike your blood sugar as much, and you’ll automatically increase your intake of fiber and micronutrients.
4. Use the Nutrition Info Label on Packaged Foods
A typical serving of carbs is about 15 grams. If you absolutely have to eat a processed, packaged food make sure you look at the nutrition info and see how many grams of carbs are in each serving and more importantly, WHAT IS 1 SERVING? 1 serving size of poptarts is one pastry…nobody eats one pastry. If you never check the serving size on the nutrition info label then you could easily be eating 2x the amount of carbs that you think you’re eating.
If you have any questions feel free to comment on this post. Check out my Instagram for low carb, high protein meals that are easy to make and a lot more exciting than eating salads all day. Like this meal (minus the wine and breadsticks):
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Shout out to my sister, Jackie, for this topic idea. She’s an awesome cook and sees people making this mistakes all the time!