10 Carbs you should eat that won't sabotage your weight loss plans
As summer creeps ever closer, it becomes more and more important to stick to the weight loss plan you've put in place for yourself. Just because you're seeing results in week seven of 12 doesn't mean you should lay off the kale and go back to carbonara as a "treat".
As I'm sure you are aware, refined and processed carbs like those found in white bread should be avoided when trying to lose weight. Instead, you should stick to carbs that are full of fibre and give your body energy. So no one is confused on the matter, here are some of the carbs you should eat that won't sabotage your weight loss plans.
1. Acorn squash
Besides serving up a third of the day's fiber, a one-cup serving of this highly nutritious, naturally sweet veggie contains 30 percent of your daily vitamin C needs.
A recent study at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fibre eaten per day, belly fat was reduced by 3.7 percent over five years. Wouldn't you know it, apples are one of the best sources of fibre.
This fruit that comes in its own wrapper, boosts bloating bacteria in your stomach and is a prime source of potassium, which can help diminish water retention. Each medium banana contains about 36 grams of good carbs: Their low glycemic index means carbs are slowly released into your body, preventing sugar crashes and spurring muscle recovery.
Barley is a terrific appetite suppressant because it contains six grams of belly-filling, mostly soluble fibre that has been linked to lowered cholesterol, decreased blood sugars and increased satiety. It also has tons of health benefits like decreased in inflammation and stabilised blood sugar levels.
Lentils, chickpeas, peas, and beans - they're all magic bullets for belly-fat loss. In one four-week Spanish study, researchers found that eating a calorie-restricted diet that includes four weekly servings of legumes aids weight loss more effectively than an equivalent diet that doesn't include them. Those who consumed the legume-rich diet also saw improvements in their "bad" LDL cholesterol levels and systolic blood pressure.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes can be called the king of slow carbs, because they're digested slowly and keep you feeling fuller and energised longer. Plus they are loaded with fibre and nutrients, not to mention they can also help you to burn fat. The magic ingredients here are carotenoids, antioxidants that stabilise blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance, which prevents calories from being converted into fat. And their high vitamin profile (including A, C and B6) gives you more energy to burn at the gym.
7. Tart cherries
In most of the country you'll find them dried, frozen or canned. But they're worth seeking out because they are a true superpower fruit. Animal studies at the University of Michigan have found that tart cherries have the power to reduce belly fat and alter the expression of fat genes.
8. Whole-wheat bread
You know brown is better, but do you know why? It's because whole wheat contains three parts of the grain, all nutrient rich and full of fibre. Just be careful - most breads in the bread aisle are filled with high-fructose corn syrup or a blend of whole and enriched wheats. It's worth splurging on the pricier stuff, often found in the freezer section.
9. Whole-wheat pasta
As with whole-wheat bread, you're getting all three parts of the grain, with fibre to increase satiety and prevent overeating. For variety, try pasta made from lentils, chickpeas, black beans or quinoa; all are full of fibre. Just because it's whole wheat doesn't mean you can have four servings however.
10. Greek yoghurt
Packed with protein and probiotics, a cup of yoghurt will satisfy hunger and improve your gut health, a key factor in weight loss. It is also rich in vitamin D and calcium, and it's one of the few foods containing conjugated linoleic acid, a special fat that studies show may reduce overall body fat. But you need to get the right kind to take advantage of this benefits. Most yoghurts are full of sugar and fruity sweeteners. Shop for plain Greek yoghurt.
With this in mind, a solid exercise regime and a diet leaned towards a well-balanced lifestyle, your weight loss plans can be airtight. Those Instagram pics on the beach may not be as bad as you're dreading.