Carbohydrates have received a bad rap these past few years. With the popularity of such low-carb and no-carb weight loss programs such as Atkins, the Zone, Protein Power and others, some dieters regard all carbs as bad. C-a-r-b may have four letters but to many dieters, it’s viewd as a “three-letter-word”.
But it’s not the carbs that are bad for you. It’s the “naked” carbs you need to avoid. When you do eat carbs, make sure they’re covered up with protein. Dress them up—don’t let them enter your bloodstream without clothing them with protein. In other words, if you have a slice of pita bread for breakfast, add a slice of cheese on top before you toast it. Naked carbs, or carbs eaten without protein will cause chaos and confusion to your metabolism. If you’re trying to lose weight, this is not a good thing—Your body is tricked in its thinking “I need to prepare for winter” and your body mistakenly stores fat. But if you “dress it up” with cheese there’s not a problem—Your metabolism is calm, thinking, “it’s summer and all is well” thus allowing that ugly fat to “take a hike out” of your body.
You may remember to have a balanced breakfast, lunch, or dinner with a balance of carbs and protein, but what about snacks? The same principle holds—If you have a bowl of popcorn, dress it up with protein, such as adding a cheese sauce or slice of cheese. Logically, it may seem you’re defeating your weight loss program by adding calories. But actually, you’re helping your body get rid of fat. This is especially true if you’re like me and prone to eat a bowl full of popcorn late at night, just before you go to bed. A good rule of thumb is to not eat anything three-four hours before you go to sleep.
Don’t cut out all carbs. Just eat those “good” carbs that are broken down slowly. When carbs are broken down slowly, they’d don’t set off huge a huge quantity of insulin. Better known as the “glycemic index,” this process centers around foods with a lower glycemic index. Here are a few “good” carbs to have in your kitchen pantry. Again, just be sure to balance out these good carbs with protein and not eat them “in the raw.” In his popular New York Times bestseller The Ultimate Weight Solution, Dr. Phil calls this setting up a “No Fail Kitchen.”
Whole grain carbs—Food such as such as whole-grain crackers and air-popped popcorn.
Low fat dairy—reduced-fat or fat-free skim milke, sugar-free yogurt, low-fat cheeses
Non-starchy Vegetables—-asparagus, bean sprouts, beets, bell peppers, brocooli, cabbage, carrots, celery, cucumbers, cauliflower, egglplant, green beans,
Beans— black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, leeks, mixed greens, mushrooms, onions, parsnips,lentils, lima beans, peas, pinto beans, red kidney beans, radishes, white beans etc.
Besides adding protein to your carbs, it’s also a good idea to include some fat and fiber. By slowing down the process of food leaving your stomach, you also slow down blood sugar, decreasing your odds of diabetes and other health risks associated with eating “naked” carbohydrates.