Are you trying to lose weight by cutting out carbs? Big mistake!
These secret carbs actually help you lose weight by providing you more energy to burn fat.
There are thousands of different diets and most will tell you to cut out or drastically reduce your carb intake.
There are low-calorie diets, liquid diets, fasting diets, protein-only diets, low-carb diets and even no-carb diets, and many diets will even tell you to avoid carbs as much as you can.
However, there are genuine good carbohydrates and eating them combined with other healthy food could actually aid your weight-loss journey and help you achieve that flat belly of your dreams.
In this article, we’re going to explore those “secret” carbs that improve weight-loss
The carbs that you probably already know about but perhaps always thought might not be diet-friendly!
Well, eaten properly and in moderation, they are actually great for fat-burning and certainly for making you feel full!
Mostly, you need carbohydrates to keep your energy levels up and when you deprive your body of carbs, you feel slow and sluggish.
That’s when you reach for a sugary, calorific snack, for a well-needed energy burst but actually, with the right type of carbs, you’re less likely to reach for something naughty and therefore less likely to pile on the weight.
1. Add Barley into your Diet
This is a great carb to consume, it’s filling and provides you with slow-release energy, plus, in winter, it makes the most delicious vegetable soup that becomes a meal all of its own!
Barley is better than any sugar snack and provides 25% of your RDA of fiber in just one single serving.
It’s healthy and nutritious, eating it won’t add pounds as long as you do it in moderation and combine it with lots of other nutritious vegetables.
2. Serve your Protein with Peas
If you’re having a piece of lean meat, chicken or fish, serve peas with it.
These are carbohydrates but they’re a vegetable too.
Peas make you feel fuller longer, provide zinc (a cold-busting mineral that fights off the virus) and they’re full of vitamins too.
Definitely place peas high up on your good-carbs list!
3. Wholewheat Pasta
Yes, white pasta is not recommended when you’re on a diet, it’s starchy and bulks up your waistline but switching to wholewheat will give you plenty of fullness without the fat.
It’s nutrient-rich, lower in calories and higher in fiber.
The fiber is what makes you feel full so it’s the ideal alternative to regular pasta.
However, don’t eat it every day but a couple of portions a week won’t do you any harm.
60 grams of wholewheat pasta is only 198 calories.
4. Wholewheat Bread
Along with wholewheat pasta, there’s also wholewheat bread – a whole-lot (!) better than white bread in so many ways.
Most diets suggest the complete elimination of bread but with wholewheat, you can still enjoy your sandwiches.
However, as a word of advice, look for loaves of wholewheat bread that are 100% wholewheat (50% won’t cut it!).
These are around 80 calories per slice (5 calories less than white bread but much lower in carbs) and higher in fiber than white bread, plus they contain more nutrients.
Not only is wholewheat bread better for you when it comes to weight-loss!
As an added bonus wholegrains might also help you to live longer, according to a study by Nutrients (the journal) which examined 3,349 people over 50.
The research showed that those who ate more whole grains were overall far healthier than those that did not, with less chronic diseases, less likely to be diabetic, less depression and able to maintain a healthy weight level.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Switch out your regular potatoes for sweet potatoes, a far better carbohydrate that you can enjoy when trying to lose weight.
These root vegetables will keep you nicely satisfied for longer and only contain 27g of carbs for a medium-sized sweet potato.
Did you know that they can even encourage a faster metabolism because they help your body to increase its levels of adiponectin?
That’s the hormone that regulates blood sugar.
So, overall, not only are they delicious, they’re excellent for your weight-loss journey.
Beans are good for you, especially as a side to your lean meat, piece of chicken or fish; they also make excellent soups and salads.
High in fiber, they will keep you fuller for longer and they’re great sources of protein and iron.
It’s always a good idea to wash your beans before use, to get rid of the excess sodium content.
The Journal of the American College of Nutrition tells us that by eating beans, you could reduce your risk of obesity by 22%!
Choose kidney, lima, pinto or black beans, as they are lower in fat, higher in fiber and they contain a vast amount of nutrients to keep your body healthy.
Popcorn is perfectly fine for you to eat as a snack – so long as it’s air-popped (not bought ready-packed) and as long as you don’t coat it in oil or sugar!
It’s a filling snack too and did you know that 500g of popcorn is equivalent to eating 9 greasy crisps!
Don’t overdo it though, but 150g of popcorn a day will definitely keep hunger pangs at bay without ruining your diet!
Oatmeal is a high-fiber food but it is also soluble which means it keeps you satisfied for longer as it doesn’t empty out of your tummy for a while.
Studies show that adding soluble fiber to your diet could help reduce visceral fat and lower glucose levels (an added bonus, it also helps to control cholesterol levels – vital if you want to reduce heart disease).
Gluten-free quinoa is so good for you, it is a protein as well as containing carbs (20g per 65g) and contains the nine essential amino acids your body needs to run efficiently and build lean muscle.
Great as a side dish or in salads, there is a lot you can do with quinoa.
It’s filling too, so by adding quinoa to your diet, you’re less likely to reach for calorific snacks.
A low-GI food, it is effective in controlling blood sugar levels.
Did you know that eating foods that have a high GI can lead to obesity as they make you feel hungry?
When you do so, you reach for more food to satisfy your craving.
By eating quinoa, you can control hunger pangs and enjoy all the nutrition it delivers.
Try roasting some chickpeas!
These make a tasty and nutritious snack because they’re high in protein and especially delicious!
They’re also full of fiber and so could help you to feel satisfied for longer, staving off hunger pangs.
Just roast them for 40 minutes on high and add some salt and pepper to give them even more flavor.
Chickpeas contain 60g of carbs per 100g, so don’t over-indulge but enjoying them from time to time won’t harm your diet at all.