Recently I started using the phrase Eat God's Carbs because I see a lot of my clients decide they want to do a low carb diet, join the Paleo/Primal eating plans, or go gluten free. This post is not to bash any of them but rather how to take a commonsense approach to your eating. Why? Because, I watch women with a decent amount of weight to lose try and follow very "rules oriented" plans ALL.THE.TIME.
So, what to eat on a low carb diet?
I'm a fan of people eating a moderate carbohydrate lifestyle but a healthy one. It is rare I see someone with a lot of weight to lose that can stick to very restrictive diets that cut out food groups, has you watching GI this and macro that, or just cut gluten in exchange for a bunch of high sugar wrapped in plastic subs.
My theory is that if we were so good at being restrictive or radically eating different then just start eating healthy! I'm telling you right now if your diet consists of a bunch of carbs cutting them is probably going to make you feel cruddy and it won't last long. Most people don't bother to truly research and make the switch properly adding in plenty of healthy fats and all that jazz.
If you are someone who feels carbs are making you overweight and you need to cut them, start with JUNK carbs first and BUMP your healthy carbs. I like to call them God's Carbs because if it comes from the ground, a tree, and has to be washed you are OK with eating it. Really examine your daily food intake. Is it heavy on bread and low cal "treats"? Well, if you ditch that then eat a butt load of potatoes (plain and baked people), fruits, bananas, squashes, any other kind of gotta-be-washed carb out there.
You know, I'll also give you a big, secret tip. Those lower carb diets do work and mainly for two reasons: when you cut carbs you cut your junk food and have to eat less. Most people fold here after a bit because they don't add in stuff to keep them from starving. Second, you also cut your muscle's energy stores down so you see a big drop in "bloat" the first couple of weeks. Some IS bloat but a lot of it when you go low carb is just muscle juice you are tee-teeing out!
Remember: This is all my opinion because I'm not a registered dietician but a regular person who lost 100lbs and tries to help other people do the same. So, there's not a bunch of science and such to back this up. What I can promise is that science isn't what stops MOST OF YOU from losing weight. I wish! If it was that simple I could fix all of you in a New York second.
My secrets to helping people really aren't secrets. They just aren't very popular because I teach a healthy and sensible lifestyle and that takes work, commitment and patience. You need to be willing to screw up a lot but fix the screw ups versus giving up. You don't have to starve but you have to be ready to sweat most days of the week, have sore muscles, prepare some of your food in advance, and eat more real food than fake.
I, personally, love a moderate carb plan and I eat loads of potatoes and fruits on mine. I know others who do fabulous on Primal because they focus on real food. But the common thread in all of us with any long-term whole food eating plan is we've used commonsense and patience to build the lifestyle. We didn't look for it to be a quick fix.
What do you think of God's Carbs? And, if you are looking for a few good recipes for the healthy carbs check out Snack Girl's article on Carbohydrates Are Not Evil.