I have shared about weight loss and healthy eating before and what that looks like for me, and when I am trying to eat better and lose a little weight or reboot my eating habits I opt for low carb. I don’t do keto, and personally don’t think it’s a healthy option, but I am not an expert.
However, I do know that cutting back on processed carbs, sugar and portion control does work for me. I lost 52lb doing this a couple of years ago, prior to having a knee operation, and I find it’s an easy and safe way for me to eat, and help my body to adjust to weight loss. I am a carb girl, I love my bread, my pasta and my potatoes. I do like the odd slice of cake, but my go-to comfort food and staples to tend to be carb-loaded and whilst carbs are NOT bad, and our body does need them, I think we do eat a very processed carb diet generally in the UK that isn’t great.
So carbs are not evil. I am not saying that. But I think eating less for me is better. Once I am into the swing of healthy eating I don’t miss bread and pasta too much and when I do eat them I really appreciate and enjoy them. Everything in moderation.
What I am saying is that I find cutting down on bread, and lots of starchy foods like crackers, cereal bars, etc, helps me.
I also do cut back on sugar and remove cakes, sweets, biscuits and sweetened foods like juice (I don’t drink much juice or squash anyway and I don’t have sugar in my hot drinks, so this bit is easier for me)
So a typical day for me eating low carb would involve less bread, so no toast, and either a very small portion of pasta with a meal, or none and substituting with other less processed carbs. So for example, I would add chickpeas or lentils rather than bread. If I want a baked potato I would have one but make sure I am adding lots of salad or veg with it. I LOVE rice, but try to make sure it’s only in small portions.
I normally eat toast, for breakfast, and sandwiches for lunch. I also find that a lot of vegan and vegetarian foods are more carb-based, so I am trying to be careful about those too. Sticking to fresh produce and fruit and veg is a better option. I am not currently eating a vegan diet for other health reasons.
I recently did a week of meals with Diet Bon and thoroughly enjoyed them, and will be sharing a post about that later this week
What I eat in a day when cutting back on carbs:
Breakfast – smoothie made with berries, coconut yogurt, protein and collagen powder added and my multivitamins.
Snack – fresh fruit
Lunch – protein-based, today it will be scrambled eggs with mushrooms and a protein ball.
Dinner – chickpeas with feta, green beans, and fresh spinach. I use an olive oil dressing with some herbs to give it a bit more flavor.
Snack – some peanut butter with slices of apple. (low salt and no added sugar peanut butter)
I also drink two cups of coffee, with soya milk. One is caffeinated, the other is decaff. I try and drink 8 glasses of water and I will have a herbal tea before bedtime.
I don’t tend to be strict with measuring foods although I do watch my portion sizes and a day like this if you are counting calories works out as about 1400/1500 which if I am active and doing some exercise as well as being generally more active (taking the stairs and not the lift, walking a couple of stops instead of the bus the whole way) tends to let me burn off 1-1.5lb a week, which is sensible and slow. It is actually a myth that 2000 calories is needed for a woman, it’s more like 1800. (this is what I have been told by two very qualified dieticians and tend to go by)
I have one treat day. A day when I will have a glass of wine and if we are out and I feel like having a cake, I will. I am very strict about no alcohol when I am on lower carb, it’s basically wasted calories, and I would rather use my food choices for other things.
It takes a few days to adjust and then I get into the swing of things and find I am feeling full and not hungry and I don’t miss my bread and pasta, and the sneaky biscuits that slide into my habits.
It works well for me, and I find it’s a good way to reset my eating and make sure I am giving my body good fuel. It’s a sensible way for me and it helps me to enjoy and appreciate treats more too.
Have you tried lower carb? What works for you?