Gaining weight has nothing to do with how big your portions are, whether you’re counting calories or carbs. It’s about what you eat. If you eat a small serving of cake, you’ll get more carbs and calories than you would from a huge bowl of salad. Finding ways to cut your calories or carbs without feeling deprived can help you make lifestyle changes that will help you lose weight and keep weight off permanently. Here are some carb alternatives to get you started.
If you like trail mix, don’t opt for the mix at the store.
Unless you find a truly healthy option that has mostly nuts and some dried fruit, most trail mix has M&M’s or other bits of candy that can increase carb counts substantially. You can save money and reduce your carb count by making your own. You need bulk nuts, seeds and some dried fruit. Make sure the dried fruit you purchase doesn’t have added sugar by reading the label. Craisins for instance, contains added sugar and so do many raisins. Add the dried fruit sparingly and put into individual serving size plastic bags.
More snacks or meal compliments.
If you love buffalo wings, you’ll love the snack of buffalo wing stuffed celery that uses leftovers. Use 2 cups of shredded leftover chicken, whether it’s air fried, rotisserie or cooked other low carb way. Combine it with ¼ C mayonnaise, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, ½ tsp garlic powder and 3 T buffalo wing sauce. Cut 6 celery stalks in half and stuff them with the mixture. Put chopped chives on top if you choose. It has 1.2 grams of carbs, but is far more filling than 1 Hershey’s Krackle miniature, but has less than half the calories and about 1/25th the number of carbs.
Choose veggies that are lower in carbs.
Root vegetables are normally higher in carbohydrates, so avoid them and focus on those veggies that grow above the soil line. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce and kale are on the all-you can eat menu, since they’re so low in carbs. Start your meal with a salad. Try some raw Brussel’s sprouts cut up in the salad and a few seeds, like pumpkin seeds. Use a lettuce leaf for a wrap instead of a tortilla to save even more carbs at a meal.
- Substitute veggie noodles for pasta. You can make zoodles with a spiralizer or purchase frozen veggie noodles at the store. Why not try spaghetti made by Mother Nature by using a spaghetti squash to replace the pasta.
- Replace buns with large roasted portobello mushrooms. You can use them for anything that requires a bun and is low carb. Roasted eggplant is also a good substitute for the bread in bruschetta, too.
- You can make old favorites, like fries, from other veggies that are lower in carbs. Instead of baked sweet potato fries, try carrot fries, lower in carbs but with the same delicious flavor.
- Do you miss mashed potatoes? You can have much of the same taste and consistency of mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower. If you’re not ready to completely give up potatoes, go half potatoes and half cauliflower. It will still be far lower in carbs.
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