You’ve heard it repeated many times, no carbs if you want to lose weight. Well, you may actually still include carbs in your diet by following the tips below:
1. Clock ‘em up
It turns out when you eat carbohydrates is more important than what you have.
“To process refined carbs like white bread and pasta effectively, enough time needs to have passed since your last carb ‘peak’,” says Dr Adam Collins, who led a study into this at the University of Surrey.
And the bigger the gap between carb meals, the less glucose in your blood will be stored as fat.
Try eating one carb-based meal a day or breaking up a carb-laden breakfast and dinner with a protein-rich lunch. Lowering the Glycemic Index (GI) level is the key.
2. Cook and cool
Leftovers may not sound super-exciting, but when it comes to carb-hacking they could make a huge difference.
Why? Cooking and cooling carbohydrates changes their molecular structure, increasing the amount of resistant starch they contain.
This means that when they’re eaten, they’re converted into fatty acids used for energy instead of blood-sugar-spiking glucose.
So reheated potatoes and pasta actually have a lower GI value, contain fewer calories and act more like dietary fibre, which promotes good bacteria in the gut and helps weight loss.
3. The 90-minute rule
Wanna boost the burn in the gym and shed extra calories post-workout? Try eating a bagel 90 minutes before your gym session.
“Women are better fat-burners than men because they preserve more carbs during exercise and switch to fat-burning mode immediately after,” Adam explains.
However, consuming carbs post-exercise turns off the fat-burning “switch”.
“So it’s better to abstain from eating carbs until at least 90 minutes later to take advantage of the ‘afterburn’ effect,” adds Adam.
4. Freeze your loaf
White bread has been in the nutritional wilderness for years, but it’s time to bring it in from the cold – as long as you put it in the freezer first.
Why? Well, according to research from Oxford Brookes University, freezing, defrosting and then toasting white bread significantly lowers the GI value of the bread by nearly 40%.
This means the carbs are slower-acting, giving you more energy and leaving you feeling fuller for longer – and not reaching straight for the biscuit tin.
5. Pimp your rice
It’s hardly a treat, but a bowl of the fluffy stuff still clocks up 130 cals per 100g cooked.
But adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to the rice while boiling it and then cooling it for 12 hours could reduce the calories, plus it lowers its GI value so you avoid that dreaded blood-sugar spike.
Researchers at the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka found that if the oil enters the rice at boiling temperature, it can act as a barrier to digestive enzymes in the gut, resulting in fewer calories being absorbed.
6. Crash control
Have trouble staying alert after a lunchtime carb blowout? Get yourself a stash of protein-rich snacks.
“Your body’s insulin response to carbs floods the brain with the amino acid tryptophan, making you feel drowsy,” says nutritionist Kim Pearson.
Warding off a carb coma with more food may sound counterproductive, but Kim explains: “Following lunch with a high-protein, low-carb snack that includes some healthy fats will slow down the insulin response, so you won’t crash.”
Try veggie sticks with humus and a boiled egg or a handful of edamame beans.
Originally published in The Sun
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