Friday, July 20, 2012

Sneaky Carbs

One of the biggest sabotagers of a low carb diet is sneaky carbs. You've been working hard counting your carbs, but you still can't lose weight. What gives? It's time to sniff out the sneaky carbs. Here are some tips for eliminating unwanted carbs from your diet.

Tip 1: Assume Nothing. Read the nutritional information on the back of every package. Ignore the front of the package, especially packages that claim low net carbs or sugar free. Nine times out of ten it's a bunch of bunk. Personally, I think it should be against the law to call a food item sugar free if it has carbs in it, after all, we all know that carbs break down as sugar in our bodies. Watch out for so-called net carbs too. Food companies (including Atkins) remove xylitol from its carb count. This stuff effects different people in different ways. One person may be fine with it, yet another person may experience blood sugar spikes. Watch out for any ingredient that ends in -ol. Look at the actual carbs on the nutritional label yourself. You can subtract fiber for your net carbs, but that's it. Hidden carbs in packages are sneaky little boogers.

Tip 2: Round up. If the package says less than one carb, round up to one. Less than one carb doesn't equal zero carbs. Round up to avoid over eating carbs.

Tip 3: Factor in the Serving Size. Make sure you look at the serving size on the nutritional ingredients label. You turned over the package, and it says two carbs. But that two carbs is for ONE TEASPOON. Factor in the serving size. Is that all you are going to eat? One teaspoon? Serving sizes can make or break the carb count.

Tip 4: Weigh and Measure. Keep a tight count on carbs by weighing and measuring your food (especially vegetables and fruit). This isn't my idea of fun. I would much rather eyeball it, and I can if things are going well, but if I get stalled, out comes the scale. Write down your carb counts or enter them into an online program, but if you are seriously worried about over eating carbs, you will need a good kitchen scale.

Tip 5: Carry Stevia. Carry a small bottle of Stevia in your purse, backpack, briefcase, or whatever you carry around. Next time you grab an iced tea, skip the Splenda or artificial sugar and use Stevia instead. It's zero carbs (unlike Splenda). This way you don't get caught in a pinch. I hate the taste of aspartame (not to mention it scares me), so I'll use Splenda, but Splenda does have carbs, so I carry a little bottle of Stevia in my purse to sweeten tea and coffee on the go.

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