“I want carbs off my plate”
That’s always the first input I get from a client when they sign up for weight loss.
And I don’t blame them: websites and nutritionists have made ‘low-carb’ a buzz word for weight loss. Carbs are painted as the villain for those extra pounds. And lost in the haze of such misleading advice, people eliminate this vital nutrient and invite a mountain of troubles including – insomnia, constipation, mood swings and hair loss.
To avoid falling into this vicious trap, you must understand that carbs are your friends; they provide energy for every task you do. All you need to do is learn how to make the right carb choice and eat in the right amount.
Now bakery products and desserts, loaded with refined flour and sugar, are the carbs you should avoid. These foods have a high-glycaemic index i.e. they result in an instant spike in blood sugar levels, which causes the pancreas to produce more insulin. The excess insulin converts all the surplus sugar into fat.
That said opting for the healthier choices – rice, roti, multi-grain bread – can result in weight gain if you overeat. But if you drastically reduce your carb quota, you’ll feel hungry soon and end up gobbling much more than you would have in the first place. Also, it would be near to impossible for you to say no to chips or cookies on an empty stomach.
The bottom line is – you should not exceed nor fall behind your carb intake.
So, let’s tread a middle path – the smarter ways to relish carbs and still lose weight:
- Millets like bajra, jowar and nachni are low GI foods and serve as excellent alternatives to roti and rice. These millets will inject taste, variety and nutrition in our meals. Nachni, exploding with the goodness of calcium, is a great way to make your bones strong. On the other hand, bajra is a storehouse of iron, phosphorus and fibre. A nachni upma over suji upma for breakfast, a bajra khichdi over rice-dal khichdi or a jowar bhakri instead of roti can be interesting ways to eat millets.
- Besides bursting with antioxidants, all veggies and fruits are a good source of carbohydrates. Eating fruits between meals or adding a veggie salad to lunch and dinner will allow you to meet your ration of the energy-rich nutrient.
- Snacking on nuts, peanuts and chana, makhana or cheese cube (yes, you read it right!) are wiser choices than the carb-loaded cookie or biscuit. You can add a glass of buttermilk or coconut water as well. Eating high-protein and healthy fats allow you to pack in a solid dose of nutrition, minus the extra carbs.
- Opt for a grain-free dinner to keep a tab on your carb intake. A besan or moong dal chilla; mixed sprouts and veggie bhel; egg white, cheese and veggie omelette; grilled paneer with veggies; grilled/roasted chicken with veggies – you have plenty of options!
- Ban aerated drinks and fruit juices – even the fresh, no-sugar and homemade ones from your life. This small step will save you from spiralling into the web of empty calories and carbs.
And in the endeavour to make your low-carb meal plan work for you, the bon happetee team has included a low carb nutrition and diet plan in the app. All you need to do is select the low carb meal option. The app will guide you to follow a low-carb lifestyle for weight loss, including a variety of delicious low-carb dinners.
So, download the app and hop on to the low-carb bandwagon, without compromising on your health. 🙂
Vishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years. Love food, love life — is her mantra.