Losing weight is not something that happens overnight. It requires sacrifice, sweat, and pain endurance. For some, weight loss seems like a distant dream that can only manifest into reality in the gym. However, the gym is not the only crucial aspect when it comes to losing weight. Other factors like diet and sleep are equally important.
You might already be knowing how difficult it is when it comes to diet. Bad eating habits are the reason why people struggle with losing weight. Also, the journey is slow and tiresome. It is not a cakewalk. It’s rightly said that you are what you eat. So, now the obvious question is, what can you eat when you are trying to lose weight?
Your weight depends on the amount of calorie intake over the course of the day. If you eat more, you’ll have more calories and vice versa. So weight loss can be as simple as having a diet that is calorie deficit. Our body needs different nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water. Apart from fats, carbohydrates are the nutrient that comes up every time someone mentions weight loss.
Carbohydrate is essential nutrient for our body because it is a primary source of energy. It not only provides quick energy but also stores energy. If your daily diet doesn’t contain carbs, then you will be low on energy, and susceptible to fatigue and nausea. What we consume daily has changed over generations, and today there are a lot of processed foods that contain concentrated carbs. The spike in diseases today is because we are consuming the wrong kind of carbs. Let’s dig deeper and find out what the right carbs are to eat for weight loss.
Carbohydrates are nutrients that your body breaks down into sugar ( glucose ) to provide and store instant energy. It is associated with weight gain because a high amount of carbs means more sugar in your body. Each gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories. Carbs are also easily digested and are the only fuel source for your brain and nervous system. On the other hand, your muscles use fats as an energy source.
There are two types of carbs; Simple carbohydrates and Complex carbohydrates.
Simple Carbohydrates are single units of sugar. For example, glucose, fructose, lactose, etc. On the other hand, Complex carbohydrates are multiple units of sugar such as starch, fiber, and glycogen.
Simple carbs are found in food such as milk, honey, and all types of fruits. Whereas, complex carbs can be found in rice, oats, noodles, and starchy vegetables like potatoes. They can also be found in nuts, legumes, and whole grains that provide fiber to the body.
The connection between any nutrient and weight loss is calorie intake. Calculating your calorie intake can help a lot in the process. It is said that a low-carb diet is beneficial in losing weight. However, carbs are present in a variety of meals, and a lot of them contain huge amounts of calories. Therefore, choosing the right food that has adequate carbs and other important nutrients is essential.
Choosing to cut carbs entirely from your diet can lead to inadequacy in other nutritional values. The trick is to eat food that fill you up on the least calories. So, here are the right carbs that you may want to add to your diet while losing weight.
- Quinoa: It has 2 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein in half a cup. It will fill you up easily and is also a good meal for muscle building. Quinoa is gluten-free.
- Oatmeal: It is rich in fiber and will keep you satisfied for a long time. Try to eat its sugar-free version. Studies show that oatmeal reduces the risk of heart diseases, and also reduces blood cholesterol.
- Chickpeas: It comes in a family of legumes, and is popular in Indian cuisine. It can be roasted, boiled, and even used as a dip (hummus). You will get 27.42g of carbs in a 100g scoop of chickpeas. It’s also high in protein.
- Sweet Potatoes: As the name suggests, sweet potato is a sweet and starchy root vegetable. Its nutritional value is 21% carbs that are divided into 7% starch, 6.5% sugar, and 3.3% dietary fiber. It’s a good food to fill you up with less calorie intake.
- Whole-grain bread: This might seem surprising because products like bread are often looked upon by people trying to lose weight. However, whole-grain foods are proven to be good for your health. It lowers the risk of diseases. It has a good amount of micronutrients along with carbs, and that is why it’s better to have this included in your diet.
The foods listed above are good, but it’s also important how much and when you eat them. Making a diet plan, and practicing portion control will help you keep a track of your calorie intake. Here is our suggestion on what you can eat in a common three-meal-a-day setting.
Your intake of carbs should be divided into meals throughout the day. However, eating more carbs in the morning will result in more energy as carbs are digested quickly. Therefore, eating whole-grains rice and bread for breakfast will keep you full, and also high in energy.
Eating carbs in the morning means having an early metabolic reaction. It is bound to make you feel sleepy after a while. Therefore, eating too much at lunch should be avoided. You can eat any healthy meal with portion control.
It is widely believed that eating carbs for dinner is a bad idea as digesting them becomes difficult at night, and they will be converted to fats. This is just a myth as carbs never get converted into fats. It gets converted into glycogen which is responsible for energy. So, logically speaking, high energy at night will not let you sleep. Therefore, foods with only a few carbs should be eaten at night. You can eat veggies that are nutritious and also not too high in carbs.
During digestion, carbs are broken down into sugar that enters your bloodstream. When the blood sugar rises, your pancreas produces insulin that helps in the absorption of blood sugar and converts it into energy. So eating carbs when your body is insulin sensitive is recommended. Some studies show that diabetic people have insulin sensitivity in the evening. In addition, losing weight with a low-carb diet should be paired with a good workout routine and a good sleep schedule.
Lastly, don’t give up on losing weight! It is difficult but the rewards are always worth it.