Counting Carbs or Making Carbs Count
Are you counting carbs, calories or even
fat? Are you confused as to what to track and
record? Trust me, you are not alone. When trying to
lose weight it can be very confusing as to what you should count and
In short, to lose weight you must create a calorie
deficit, meaning you have to consume fewer calories than you
With this said you would think that tracking calories
is all you need to worry about.
Well, despite the simple
formula for losing weight, counting
carbohydrates in addition to your calories can make the difference
between losing weight and losing control.
Don’t let this
statement scare you as I am not saying to avoid all
carbohydrates. In fact, carbs are a critical energy and
nutritional source that you need in order to function
However, not all carbs are created equal. There are good
carbs and bad carbohydrates. So instead of just counting
carbs, learn to make your carbs count. Here are some tips to
help you choose the right carbs and lose weight.
Tip # 1- Count the Fiber
When counting carbs be sure to look at the label for the fiber
content as well.
You see, the only carbs that count are what
is called “Effective Carbohydrate Count (ECC) or usable
Watch the Fats!
Don't forget to look at the fat
content as well.
Although we need certain fats, like Omega 3 fats, try
to avoid foods that are high in fats, especially saturated fats and
Since fiber is a carb that simply passes through your
system, these are not available for energy and therefore do not
To determine the ECC, take the total carbs minus the
fiber to determine your carbohydrates that count.
selecting your foods look for high fiber foods to reduce the carb count
in your diet. High fiber foods have many health benefits in addition to
the weight loss help.
Tip # 2 -Go Low
Go Low! Low Glycemic Index foods that is.
One of the main reasons carbohydrates have gotten a bad name over these
past years is due to the impact it can have on our glucose, or blood
Many low carb diets will promote the foods that
are low on the glycemic index.
The glycemic index, or GI,
measures foods based on the impact each food item has on the blood
Those low on the index have the least impact
and fluctuation on our levels and insulin levels.
Foods that land in the range of 55 or less on this index are the “good”
carbs and are considered low GI foods.
Moderate GI foods
range from 56 to 69 and foods higher than 70 on the index are high
glycemic index foods.
In general, most veggies are in the low
category with some vegetables like potatoes, carrots, corn and beets
being a bit higher.
Tip # 3-Make it Nutritional
When counting carbs, one of the best ways to ensure the carbohydrates
are the most effective is to make it nutritional.
if you are consuming carbs, why not make it healthier.
of reaching for that piece of cake packed with sugar and non
nutritional carbs, opt instead for a piece of fruit.
many fruits can be high in carbs, they offer our bodies with a
multitude of vitamins and minerals.
Your foods should be as close to natural as possible to get the most
from the nutritional value. For instance, an apple will offer
more fiber, vitamins and minerals than a cup of apple juice.
Not only is it in its natural state but there are no added ingredients
like sugar or sugar substitutes. This is one way to ensure
your carbs count.
Tip # 4-Whole vs Processed
Let’s face it; some foods are just higher in carbohydrates than
others. Breads and cereals are good examples. Both
these types of foods can really start to rack up the carb
count. So when you want these foods, opt for the whole grains
versus processed selections.
Counting Carbs for Diabetes
If you are a diabetic then counting carbs can help you control your
Read more about diebetic
and how you can take control.
For example, a slice of white bread, made with processed flour, has
slightly higher calories and more effective carbs.
other hand, a slice of 100% whole wheat bread is both lower in calories
So not only are you consuming fewer
calories but you are making your carbs count and getting more
nutritional value for those carbs.
So remember don’t just count carbs – make your carbs count.
In addition to counting
carbs for weight loss, here are some tips on cutting calories.
from Fat, Protein and Carbs
Learn how carbohydrates, protein and fat impact the total calories in the foods you eat. Understanding what makes up a calorie can help you make healthier food selections.
Learn ways to keep your hunger under control. Curbing your appetite can ensure you eat the proper portions and limit snacking.
Lose Belly Fat
Before you spend hours doing crunches and other abdominal exericses, check out this article. You might be surprised to find out what it really takes to lose belly fat.