Being both mac-addicted and caffeine addicted (although I’m only on decaf at the moment), I spend a lot of time in cafes. And when I’m there, in between musings and actual writing, I tend to, um, well, okay I tend to eavesdrop. Who knows where inspiration might strike from, right?
Anyway, I was playing with my poached eggs and avocado last week and pretending to work when I overheard one of the waiters make the following comment to a customer –
“I’ve been on a carb-free diet, I really need to lose some weight”
I kept writing. Not that interesting. Until I heard the following snippet –
“Yeah, all I’ve been eating is like salad, and corn, and tuna, and rice crackers“
Um, firstly that’s not carb-free, and secondly, are you trying to kill yourself?! Now I’m not really one who likes to impose her views on random strangers (especially when they’re involved in my food preparation), but I figure I can let loose on you, being that you chose to come here and all.
Carb-Free Dieting: Five Key Rules
1. Know Your Carbs
What comes to mind when you think of carbs? Pasta, bread, rice, maybe some mashed potatoes? You’d be right – those are all forms of starchy carbohydrate. Other starchy carbs include rice, noodles, pumpkin, and all forms of processed grain foods. But did you know that all grain products including whole-grain foods and typical dieters foods such as wheat crackers and corn thins or rice cakes are also starchy carbs? And – get this – starchy carbs are just one type of this massive food group. All fruits, all vegetables, all soft drinks and juices, and definitely all baked goods, sweets and chocolates fall into the carb family. Yep, even the greenest, most nutritious vegetables.
2. Be Smart About Starch
With that in mind, can you see how it can be really easy to get things wrong on a carb-free diet? In actuality, going carb-free is a terrible idea for both health and weight loss. Going starch-free, or low-carb is the key, but you’ve gotta be smart about your carb choices. Keep the vegies – especially the green ones. But lay off the cereals, the grains (in all forms, yes, even gluten-free products), the fruit (unless it’s berries for their high antioxidant value), the juices and sodas, the cakes, cookies and sweets, and then you’ll truly be on your way to consistent weight loss, improved digestion, and a massive health and energy spike.
3. Cover Your Energy Needs
You’re not going to lean up eating tuna, salad and the occasional cracker. Nor will you be very good company. But you might just stand a chance if you consider giving your body some fuel for energy and a speedy metabolism. Not that there’s anything wrong with salad (tuna, with it’s high mercury levels, is another story), but it’s not very satisfying, is it? A smart low-carb dieter eats plenty of animal protein with each meal, lots of smart fats like coconut oil, omega-3’s, avocado, and extra-virgin olive oil, and they load up on the green veg. They supplement with raw nuts and seeds, some organic full-fat dairy, and the occasional piece of dark chocolate.
4. Losing Weight
Cutting back the starch is only one part of the equation. Mind you it is a pretty important part. After all, grains have only been farmed for around 10,000 years, and it takes the human genes that much time just to evolve by a mere one percent. So it’s no wonder our bodies haven’t quite figured out what to do with the stuff, and end up storing it as fat. Couple that with the fact that most carbs, such as fruits, are only seasonal in nature, and it just plain makes sense that we shouldn’t be indulging all year round. So what you should eat if weight loss is your goal? Well, the above meal-plan sounds a little more interesting than tuna and salad, doesn’t it?! And believe you me, it’s a great start for improved health and a taut, trim belly. This is because of the focus on quality proteins and fats.
5. Optimal Nutrition
The final part of the equation is nutrition. If you’re at all serious about your health, and if boundless energy appeals to you, then you’ll be very interested in what I’m about to say. And that is this – low-fat, low-cal, low-carb (low-taste!), such as the typical dieters meal of tuna and salad, is not only rubbish for weight loss, it’s virtually devoid of nutrients. I mean, c’mon – we’re talking tinned and toxic fish, no-doubt anemic salad, and a non-digestible grain product. Of course you could spice that meal up a little on both the nutrient and health front. This is done easily just by adding organic leafy greens, some oil and/or avocado, and replace the tuna for wild salmon or free-range chicken. But in my experience those who are on the low-carb bandwagon without fully understanding the right way to do it tend to go for convenience – packaged foods, sandwich meats or tinned protein, and supermarket or food court salads.
If this is you, or if you’ve been thinking about going low-carb but not sure where to start, then now could be the time to implement change and start to seriously transform your body. Of course, as you now appreciate, the right way to do carb-free takes more time and maybe even costs a little more, but it’s a helluva lot better than starving yourself for a desired outcome that never comes. Choose quality, choose variety, and choose the foods that nature intended for you, and your body will thank you.
And remember –
Life is Now. Press Play.
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