Reducing carbohydrates helps improve anyones health, and for a type 2 diabetic it is one of the single best things you can do to lower glucose levels, improve a1c, and lose weight too.
So I thought it might be a good idea to chat about how to reduce carbohydrates in your diet, and I've got 4 steps with some ideas and alternatives to help get you started.
1. Do It One Step At A Time
Okay, some people can go cold turkey and cut out all forms of carbs but most people find it fairly restrictive to just go cold turkey. So the other option is to do it one step at a time to avoid the major withdrawals and perhaps the binge eating that follows.
Have you ever cut out the sugar?
Or maybe cut out coffee?
Well cutting down the carbohydrates is much the same. You WILL have some kind of withdrawal if you just make the cut.
So it’s better to do it one step at a time and reduce your intake slowly. That way you can find some great alternatives and get into a better eating pattern and routine that you can stick to and enjoy. We'll be talking about alternatives down the page and finding alternatives is the key to carb reduction.
2. Avoid Beverages High In Sugar
Beverages (aka drinks) are the easiest way to over consume carbohydrates in your diet.
So as a rule: DON’T drink your sugar!
Drinks high in sugar include soft drinks, cordials, sports drinks, flavored mineral waters, and fruit juice. Yes fruit juice is natural but it is still sugar/carbs and A LOT of them at one sitting!
Also, be careful you don't want to swap these out for diet sodas because they are just as bad.
So here are a few alternatives:
- Water = your absolute best friend – remember your blood sugar is measured per liter and when we drink water this helps dilute the blood stream and bring down blood sugar levels.
- Try fizzy soda water with lime and mint leaves, or you could use lemon as well.
- Make herbal fruit teas like blackcurrant or raspberry tea, allow them to cool, put them in the fridge and drink them on ice.
- Make a fizzy herbal tea drink – follow the method above and then add some soda water to the mix.
3. Eat Protein Rich Snacks
Although we often crave carbs, have you noticed that they don’t keep you full for very long?
And have you noticed that when you eat more chocolate or carbs you often crave more of those foods?
Protein doesn't cause this response and it is naturally more satiating, meaning it fills you up more and keeps you fuller longer!
The key here is organization, by prepared and then you can’t go wrong.
Here are 5 ideas for protein rich snacks.
- 1/4 cup cottage cheese topped with some blueberries
- Hard boiled eggs
- A handful of nuts or seeds
- Eat a leftover meat patty or sliced chicken breast slices
- A tablespoon of nut butter like almond butter or peanut butter
Of course there are plenty more protein filled snacks but this gives you a good place to start 🙂
4. Keep a list of carbohydrate replacements handy
Here are 10 great ideas to help get you started:
- Replace rice with cauliflower rice
- Replace mashed potato with mashed cauliflower
- Replace pasta with konjac noodles
- Replace bread with lettuce leaves and make a breadless burger (We've got loads of bread recipes)
- Triple your veggie intake, the fiber is awesome, has loads of benefits and fills you up
- Replace crackers with veggie sticks or try having your boiled eggs on top of slices of cucumber with cheese – I had this yesterday…delicious!
- Make a sandwich wrap with lettuce instead of bread
- Don't include pasta, just make a tuna cheesy bake without it
- Skip the toast and cereals for breakfast and try eating eggs and veggies at breakfast
- Replace crisps with homemade popcorn and get more bang for your buck – popcorn is not necessarily low carb but it's better than crisps and satisfies your need for crunch!
The key is to drastically cut down or cut out bread, potatoes, cereals, rice, wheat products, flour, most fruits (apart from berries and a few others), and keep beans and legumes limited.
Get your carbohydrates from VEGETABLES!
Eat lots of fresh salads and eat loads of vegetables – especially ones that grow above the ground.
That should give you some ideas on how to reduce carbohydrates in your diet!
But hey…it’s no good just thinking about it, if you really want to reduce carbohydrates in your diet, you actually have to be prepared to DO IT 🙂
It’s actually not as hard as you think.
I remember the first time I served cauliflower rice to my partner and he was pleasantly surprised that it tasted almost exactly like rice.
He also never used to like vegetables for breakfast. Now he eats my vegetables filled omelets without a sound and loves them too 🙂
Dietary adjustments are not the end of the world. In fact, most of the time they are the best thing we can do for ourselves.
So just start with one thing and keep making those swaps and alternatives.
Wishing you the best in health 🙂
P.S. Have you got anymore cool ideas or things that have worked for you? Leave your comments below and lets chat about it 🙂