Low Carb? No Carb? Do What Works for You!

Before I started changing my lifestyle, I heard a lot about the no- and low-carb diet stuff. I had friends doing Atkins, and South Beach. It all seemed like a bunch of silly dieting stuff to me.

After I started logging my food, I realized that the point, for me in any case, wasn’t that carbs (in the form of breads, pastas, and such) were evil in some way (I have no idea if they are or aren’t), but that they have a lot of calories for very little nutritional value. Fiber is great, but you can get that with fruits and vegetables, with many fewer calories. When I started logging, it was all about bang for my buck, or volume and “fullness” for my calories. Protein keeps me fuller longer than carbs, and I can eat vegetables by the plateful for many fewer calories than a single slice of bread.

I haven’t cut out carbs, because I think that if I completely cut anything out that I enjoy eating, I will start feeling deprived and resentful of the changes I’ve made. However, I practice very strict portion control, and I very, very infrequently snack on carbs (like chips, crackers, etc.). I have a piece of toast nearly every morning, I have found a bread that is very high in fiber and toasts up beautifully. I have it with some kind of protein and sometimes a vegetable. I have some kind of carb with my lunch most days, though not every day. I always make a carb for dinner, I have 2 young kids, so it is required so they don’t throw fits. I just have much smaller portions than I used to, only putting it on 1/4 of my small dinner plate.

If you love carbs, can’t live without them, don’t cut them out of your diet. That is a recipe for failure. Just practice good portion control, and be careful with how many calories you are eating in a day. Do what works for you, and what you can continue to do long term.

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