Be a smart carb-eater : Your guide to a low-carb life

“I want carbs off my plate”

That’s always the first input I get from a client when they sign up for weight loss.

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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:

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Carbs are good, there are NO “bad” Carbs

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Ask people about their secret to weight loss, and they will preen … “I do not eat carbs, except on my cheat days”, “I absolutely avoid carbs for dinner”, “I have not had carbs in months”, and so on.

All these answers lead you to believe that carbs are bad and they must be avoided at all costs. So what do you do? You consciously slash down your rice intake, and do not eat roti, idli and dosa. And do you lose weight? Maybe. But do you manage to keep up the practice? No, right?

We bet that since the time you cut down on carbs, you have become more irritable, you are unable to focus on work, and you have lost your sense of judgement. That is because your brain cannot think right without carbs. It is the carbs that help in the proper functioning of the brain cells and neurons.

But you have read this already, haven’t you? And this has been going on for a while. Some say you have to eat carbs, some say it’s an absolute no-no. Some say they are necessary, some say they are a curse. So, who do you listen to? What do you do?

Here’s what you do, you try to understand the types of carbs.

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