3 Diets You Should Try If You’re A Total Carb Lover
by Krissy Brady; photography by Unsplash
Ditch deprivation for good…
Ask almost anyone what it takes to drop a few pounds, and cutting carbs will probably make a cameo in the conversation. But going low-carb doesn’t just mean nixing the refined carbs (pasta and white bread) that give this important macronutrient a bad name; it can also severely limits many of the healthiest sources of carbs, like fruits, many veggies, and grains, to name a few. And that’s a bummer since these can keep you satiated on fewer kilojoules and keep your metabolism running smoothly.
When you’re seeking weight control and overall weight management, diets that have a healthy balance of carbs, protein, and fats—and that emphasise the healthiest food choices—are where it’s at, says registered dietician Susan Bowerman, director of worldwide nutrition education and training for Herbalife. (As a general rule, you should aim to get roughly 40 to 50 percent of your kilojoules from carbs—including veggies—20 to 30 percent from protein, and 30 percent or less from healthy fats.)
If you’re wondering how to get started, following one these four diets can help you practice (and sustain) healthy eating habits without making carbs the enemy.
1. The Mediterranean Diet
Unlike many other eating plans, the Mediterranean diet isn’t low in carbs or fat, says registered dietician Edwina Clark, head of nutrition and wellness for Yummly. It emphasises plant-based foods and is rich in fresh fruits and veggies, fish and poultry, olive oil, nuts, whole grains, herbs, and spices. Red wine, cheese, yogurt, and eggs are also part of the eating plan—in moderation—while meats and sweets are only consumed occasionally. Because no foods or food groups are banned, the Mediterranean diet is easier to sustain over the long-term when compared to more restrictive eating plans, says Clark. Best of all, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of eating fibre-rich carbs, including satiety and cholesterol control.
READ MORE: 9 Reasons Why You Need Carbs In Your Diet
2. The DASH Diet
The DASH diet was developed to help prevent and lower high blood pressure, says Liz Blom, a Minnesota-based nutrition and wellness coach. That’s because this plan prioritises nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein, and fibre, which are crucial to fending off or fighting hypertension. But it also happens to be clutch for weight loss, she says. The diet emphasises the foods you’ve always been encouraged to nosh on (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy), while limiting unhealthy eats (added sugar, red meat, and high-sodium foods).
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The Flexitarian Diet
The theory behind the Flexitarian (flexible vegetarian) diet is that you don’t have to eliminate meat entirely to reap the health benefits associated with vegetarianism—you can be a vegetarian most of the time but still enjoy a burger or steak when the craving strikes. “Becoming a Flexitarian adds food groups to your diet versus taking them away,” says Blom. That includes meat alternatives (tofu, beans, lentils, peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds). Other foods to fill up on with this diet include fruits and veggies, whole grains, and dairy.
“Vegetarians tend to eat fewer kilojoules, weigh less, and have a lower BMI than their meat-eating peers,” says Blom. “If you emphasise the plant-based component of this diet by eating lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains, you’ll likely feel full on fewer kilojoules than you’re accustomed to and are bound to shed pounds.”
It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to follow a diet to lose weight. Instead, focus on filling half of your plate with veggies, upping your protein intake, and reducing your refined carb quota significantly. Grains are not the enemy, but that bag of chips, bowl of white pasta, or bagel might make it tougher to reach your goal if you make it a habit.
Looking for more? Here are 15 ways protein powder can help you lose weight.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com