A few weeks ago, a new study came out with news that saddened us to no end: Low-carb diets, it turns out, are extremely effective, even more so than their low-fat counterparts. We imagine that women everywhere, like ourselves, heaved a great sigh of disappointment and reluctantly passed on the bread basket that night.
That study only further reaffirmed our fear—er, belief—that refined carbs aren’t exactly helping our weight loss goals. But that doesn’t mean cutting back on them has to be a daily struggle. Simply making a few small changes in your diet can greatly decrease your carb intake. Keep flipping for five simple carb-curbing tricks that actually work!
#1. Load Up on Healthy Fats
More fat might not necessarily sound like a good thing, but hear us out. Natural fats from foods like salmon, avocados, and olive oil will not only fill you up and keep carb cravings at bay, but are also full of good-for-you benefits (great skin and hair, for example).
#2: Trade Chips for Popcorn
We know, we know—nothing quite beats the satisfying crunch of a perfectly salted potato chip. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the top contenders for empty calories and excess carbs. If you’re craving something salty, reach for popcorn instead—it has only six grams of carbohydrates per cup versus the 14 grams in potato chips.
#3: Choose a Protein-Filled Breakfast
Breakfast can be the easiest way for empty carbs to sneak their way in. Try swapping out your croissant and bagel for yummy, protein-rich alternatives instead (egg white frittata, anyone?).
#4: Dress Things Down
We have a love-hate relationship with dressing. On one hand, it makes everything taste that much better. On the other, it’s filled with secret carbs—yes, even your salad dressing is hindering your skinny jeans game plan. Here’s an easy fix: Just ask for dressing on the side, then make it a goal to use less than half of what they give you. Or, swap out your dressing for flavorful, less carb-laden alternatives, like balsamic vinegar and olive oil, lemon juice, or homemade yogurt-based dressings.
#5. Clear Things Up
Here’s another sad fact: Even your Friday night glass of red vino (or margarita, depending on how the week went) is hindering your carb-cutting goals. The solution? Cut back on sugary mixers and try to choose clear liquors, which are usually lower in carbohydrates. And, above all, avoid Jägermeister—just one shot contains 11 grams of carbs!
For more healthy eating tips, click here!