5 best ways to cut back on Carbs

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Carbs rich foods
Bad carbs often come in form of highly processed foods like Processed grains that include breakfast cereals, bread, and pasta; Treat foods like chocolate bars and baked goods—cookies to cakes; Drinks like juice, soda, lattes, and alcohol.

The preferred method of minimizing processed carbohydrate consumption is to focus on one meal at a time. Let’s begin!

1. Breakfast

Begin the day by being mindful of ingredients within your meals and minimizing processed carbs right from the start. Processed carbs found in breakfast cereals, egg sandwiches, bagels, and cream cheese produce a strong metabolic response, stressing your internal systems and negatively impacting health and waistlines. For breakfast, it is best to consume foods that will maintain consistent blood-sugar level, steadily providing energy while keeping you full until the next meal. Our quick and easy, go-to, high protein and fiber-rich breakfast includes warm whole grain oats, made with a blended mix of milk (can be substituted for milk alternative), walnuts and apple.

Recipe: Porridge recipe

2. Snacks

Often times for a morning or afternoon snack the body craves something sweet as a pick-me-up. When this craving comes on, opt for a protein-rich smoothie with added fruit and good fats (nuts and avocado) to keep you going for hours until the next meal. Fruit provides the desired sweetness and healthy fats from avocado smoothies the overall creamy texture often associated with chocolate bars. We add vanilla-flavored protein powder to a smoothie for the essential amino acid profile, but any protein powder product (flavored or otherwise) will suffice.

Recipe: Protein-rich energy Smoothie

3. Drinks

Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) are a tough replacement! There are few things that can replicate the taste of cold soda such as Coke or Pepsi. So, we don’t even try! Don’t buy them, don’t look at them, and avoid grocery and or cafeteria areas where such products are showcased and sold. Giving up an SSBs is hard at the beginning but gets easier with every avoidance until you can control such cravings.

If you are a regular soda consumer such as Coke or Pepsi, substituting an original can for a low-calorie or newly introduced “green” versions is a recipe for failure. These low-calorie alternatives are packed with numerous artificial sweeteners and/or heavily processed sugary substitutes which are far from their natural form. Hazards of artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes (such as agave nectar) are beyond the scope of this article but will be discussed in future posts. The goal is always to select a healthier alternative including for pick-me-up situations. A good option is a whole foods smoothie made with yogurt and fruit. Here you will get both the sweet taste and chilled texture enjoyed in an SSB—recipe coming soon!

Creating smoothies is not practical when out on the road or at work, but drinks can still be substituted with healthier alternatives. A piece of sweet fruit like a banana with vanilla yogurt will go a long way. The natural sweetness of fruit satisfies taste buds for all sugary cravings while milk-protein in yogurt provide lasting satiety. Cool yogurt temperature mimics some of that chilled beverage effect.

Juice is another processed product and should be substituted for a whole foods smoothie of your choice. Smoothie is always a better option due to its fiber content that is present in the pulp. At work with no access to a blender—no problem. Drink water, plain, unflavoured water and have a piece of fruit or two.

Lattes and other warm beverages can be switched to plain tea or coffee. These substitutes are often cheaper alternatives which also allow you to control the level of sweetness (sugar, syrup, other toppings) and fat (whip cream) within such drinks.

4. Dinner

Most of us, love creamy pasta covered with sweet and salty marinara sauce and parmesan cheese for dinner. But, you can get the same satisfying texture with added fiber benefits of whole foods by substituting beans. Our go-to recipe that satisfies the carb needs is also fiber-rich, filling and satisfying—veggie bean burgers.

If you are not yet convinced of this substitution—beans for pasta—let us explain.

The secret to a healthy and satisfying carb substitution is that the alternatives should be of comparable taste, texture and macronutrient value. These burgers are just that, creamy like pasta and full of flavors like marinara sauce and cheese, not to mention they too are high in carbs. But, don’t fear the carbs here as they are of complex variables, the ones your body craves and is used to maximize on for improved gut health and immunity.

Recipe: Veggie burgers 

5. Dessert

Sweetness and carbs are once again things we are accustomed to enjoying after a meal. Foods like ice cream, cakes, brownies tug at our need for sweet taste buds. If you want to lose fat the right way by cutting down calories, dessert is the first place to start. At S&S household, we simply don’t eat dessert on a regular basis and such treats are occasionally enjoyed on birthdays or other celebrations.

But, we all need to start somewhere and may we suggest, first fill up on a healthy dinner and then try to satisfy the sweet tooth with a small bowl of chopped up fruit. Another go-to favorite is a small vanilla yogurt or even smaller scope of creamy vanilla ice cream, topped up with diced banana. By eating this slowly, the body will maximize the flavor and decrease the need to eat more.

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