After seeing his results on my new body measurement scale, one of my neighbors expressed his renewed interest to lose weight. He had done it before, he said, and he knew how to do it again.
"How will you lose the weight?" I asked. "By cutting out all carbs," he said. "All carbs?" I repeated? "Yes, all. I did that before a few years ago and lost 15 pounds," he stated.
Folks, if someone told me that to lose weight I'd have to eliminate all carbohydrates from my diet, I likely wouldn't bother rising in the morning. Not only would that depress me, but without carbs, I wouldn't have the energy to move anyway. My neighbor's family was quick to point out that on this protein-only diet, he was grumpy and intolerable. Besides that, it wasn't sustainable, and he put the weight back on.
Despite carbs getting a bad rap, they aren't all evil. In fact, they're an essential component of a balanced diet. Consider these points by the National Academy of Sports Medicine:
The body needs carbohydrates because:
So, what might be the best carbs you can choose that also blast belly fat, according to the experts at BioTrust Nutrition? These four:
#4 - Berries & Cherries
Berries like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and cherries (although not technically a berry) are some of the BEST carbs you can eat. They are high in fiber, packed with antioxidants, and score extremely low on the glycemic index, especially cherries which come with a GI of just 22.
#3 - Sprouted Grain Bread
Sprouted grain breads, like Ezekiel 4:9 bread (one of the most popular brands of sprouted grain bread) is a great way to include bread in your diet on occassion without all the issues associated with white breads and even 100% whole wheat breads.
Instead, Ezekiel bread is organic, sprouted, 100% whole grain flourless bread. A 2-slice serving even contains 8 grams of complete protein and 6 grams of fiber, so don't give up the bread, just choose the right kind!
#2 - Quinoa
While brown rice is thought to be the healthy grain, there’s one even better, and that’s quinoa.
Quinoa is a gluten free grain that contains double the protein of brown rice along with greater fiber content and a lower glycemic load.
Not only that, but quinoa is the ONLY grain to contain complete protein and the full spectrum of amino acids. It comes in several varieties, including “oatmeal-like” flakes and it’s wholegrain rice-like form.
Enjoy it as an oatmeal substitute for breakfast, in salads or casseroles, or as a wholesome whole-grain, high protein side item to any lunch or dinner meal.
#1 - Beans, Lentils, and other Legumes
Beans and Lentils, part of the "legume" family, are packed with loads of fiber and protein. These guys come in so many different varieties that you'll never get bored: lentils, chickpeas, black eyed peas, black beans, red beans, kidney beans, navy beans, butter beans, lima beans, pinto beans...and the list goes on.
You may now officially make peace with carbs, keep them in your diet, and add those top four carbs to your grocery list!
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I am not a registered dietitian, nor a medical professional. My blog is a representation of my views and experiences, which are not intended as medical advice. While I am a certified personal trainer, descriptions of things I eat and exercises I perform may not be suitable for everyone. Please speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your current routine.