We sorted the steps from 1 to 5 in order of importance. The first few help you remove simple carbs, also called sugars, and the later ones show you how to reduce complex carbs. Take these steps one by one and watch how these small changes make you feel. Progress at your own pace and don’t feel like you have to do all five of them. Introducing even just one of them into your way of eating is a success!
#1 Eliminate sugary beverages
Excess sugar is a risk factor for weight gain, diabetes, and other health issues. The World Health Organization recommends reducing added sugars under 25g per day. Probably the easiest way to reduce sugar intake is to eliminate beverages that are high in sugars.
- Energy drinks
- Soda and lemonades
- Chocolate milk
- Sweetened coffees
- Fruit juices
A single soda or a glass of orange juice can push you over the 25g of sugar a day limit. Replacing those kinds of beverages with water can make a huge difference. Of course, you can still enjoy unsweetened tea and coffee and you can also liven up your water with a few mint leaves or drops of lemon.
#2 Replace sugary breakfasts
Breakfast is another common source of sugar. Sweet breakfasts are really popular and there are so many to choose from - morning cereal, pastries, muffins, scones, pancakes, or sweetened yogurt. The problem is those kinds of breakfasts often taste like dessert. And when you look at the sugar and fat content, they actually are just like desserts.
You can reduce a lot of carbs if you introduce other types of breakfast into your repertoire. You can try savoury options such as eggs, nuts, cheese, or plain Greek yogurt as the base for your breakfast. Or find low carb low sugar alternatives to your favourite breakfasts. Here is our favourite porridge recipe that fits the bill.
#3 Swap unhealthy snacks
Snacks are convenient, easy, and you can find them everywhere. The only issue is that the most popular ones are often unhealthy and very carb rich. We all know the snacks we should eat less of such as chips, cookies, pretzels, energy bars, candy, chocolate bars, or popcorn. You don’t have to give up snacking as long as you make better choices.
There are whole food snacks like olives, nuts, seeds, and vegetables that can be tasty, nutritious, and low carb. But you don’t have to stop there. In our previous blog posts we described a lot of delicious low carb snacks. Here is one example to get you excited about better snacking, you can use flaxseed-based dough to make low carb nachos! Check out the recipe.
#4 Change your approach to desserts
All of us with a sweet tooth know that we should probably reduce the amount of dessert we eat. It’s not easy to give up something you love but the good news is that there are several different ways to do it. You don’t have to give up desserts completely.
You can try to have desserts less often. If you think that wouldn’t be realistic, the other way would be to enjoy frequent desserts but reduce the serving size. And there’s also a third option, you can make your own low sugar and low carb desserts. If you like this option then we have a lot of recipes for you. You can start with this one.
#5 Find alternatives for starchy side dishes
Another big source of carbs are side dishes. Things like potatoes, rice, pasta, or bread are a part of almost all of our meals. If you want to reduce your carb intake, you should think of alternatives for these carbohydrate rich foods.
You can try some popular low carb swaps. You can grate cauliflower and use it instead of rice. It works really well. There are also plenty of alternatives for pasta such as zucchini noodles, flaxseed rigatoni, or carrots curls. Check out our blog post on low carb pasta to learn how to make them.
And then there’s bread. It’s hard to imagine life without bread. But thankfully, we have you covered with Lizza low carb bread. Check out this recipe to see that side dish alternatives can be really delicious and easy to make.
Congratulations for making it this far. By implementing one or more of these steps, you moved closer to a healthier diet. And what’s next? If you’re hooked and want to learn more about low carb and what benefits it brings, check out our low carb in a nutshell blog post.