Carbohydrates should take up about 45 to 65 percent of your daily caloric intake, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Carbs are vital for your body as a fuel source.
But here’s the thing.
They’re easy to overdo.
You also want to eat more good carbs and fewer ‘bad’ carbs.
Processed foods use bad carbs as sugars and starches. Also called ‘simple carbs,’ they’re empty calories that spike your blood sugar levels. They also leave you hungry for more shortly after you consume them.
This makes it easy to overeat when you ingest simple carbs.
Plus, there are a lot of other health benefits associated with reducing your bad carbohydrate intake.
As a college student, you may still be operating with that teenage metabolism. You know — a stomach of iron, capable of digesting nearly any amount of junk food quickly and without an issue.
But this doesn’t last forever. And you want to stay healthy and avoid putting on excess weight as you navigate school and get ready to start your career.
Therefore, it’s best to put a hold on an outrageous carbohydrate intake and take a few notes from the health gurus about limiting it.
In our modern western world (especially in the United States), it’s easy to eat far too many simple carbs. Learning how to limit them is essential to maintaining good health.
And in this post, you’re going to learn precisely how to do that.
1. Cut Back on Sugary Drinks
Sweet and sugary drinks add a lot of carbohydrates to your diet.
They taste fantastic but are chock full of sugars and carbohydrates. Always check the nutrition facts labels on drinks to know what you’re swallowing. You should look for the Total Carbohydrate amount on the label.
An occasional soda is fine, but it’s best to only consume drinks that don’t contain carbohydrates regularly.
2. Take a Break From Refined Grain Bread
Bread that contains refined grains (for example, white bread) has some complex carbohydrates. But it composes refined grains, meaning that the grain’s bran and the germ are left out.
This lowers the overall nutritional value of the bread and makes it high in bad carbohydrates. Again, bad carbs are devoid of most of the vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and fiber that you’d otherwise get from whole grain bread.
3. Rethink Your Fruit Juice Habit
Most fruit juices that you buy on store shelves contain added sugars. They’re highly processed and contain mostly empty calories.
All this despite the clever marketing that leads many people to believe that they’re getting vital nutrients from them.
Instead of buying sugary fruit juices at the store, consider juicing your own fruit.
For flavor, add fresh fruit to water and make delicious fruity drinks. You’ll enjoy a drink that contains the whole fruit without the added sugar and empty calories.
This will help you avoid up-ticking your intake of bad carbs from the sugars in store-bought fruit juices.
4. Watch Your Snacking Habits
Sugary snack foods are popular because they can provide you with a quick boost of energy.
But the problem is that empty carbs supply this energy and give you a spike in blood sugar. After that high, it leaves you drained since there’s no substance to back up the sugar spike.
For this reason, people who snack often have to keep it up to continue to feel good.
Weight gain and a general overall less energetic feeling.
Avoid snacking on junk food. Instead, opt for healthy snack foods — like fruits, nuts, cottage cheese, and yogurt.
5. Be Wary of Restaurant Meals
A lot of restaurants use less than healthy techniques for preparing meals. They may fry their foods in butter, fill them with processed sugar, overcook them, deep fry them, and use white flour instead of whole grain. And while frying food doesn’t add carbohydrates that didn’t exist before, it does add a bit of extra fat. And this makes those foods pretty fattening and unhealthy in general.
Plus, sometimes there’s no way to know for sure how many carbs a restaurant meal contains. This makes it impossible to track your carbs while trying to stick to a low-carb diet.
It’s best to avoid most restaurant meals while you’re trying to limit your carbohydrate intake. Stick to those that list nutritional facts and eye any meal’s carb count.
6. Stay Away From White Flour
People often blame white foods and refined carbs for playing a somewhat serious role in the obesity epidemic in America. And for good reasons.
It’s easy to overeat with foods made from white flour. Plus, the body absorbs these processed grains and turns them into simple sugars.
This delivers a blood sugar spike and leaves you hungry again a few hours later. For best results, avoid using white flour or eating baked goods or pasta made with white flour.
Instead, stick to wholegrain flour. It contains the bran and wheat germ and isn’t overly processed.
7. Consume More Non-Starchy Vegetables
Non-starchy vegetables fill you up without ingesting more carbohydrates than you should.
Some non-starchy vegetables to add to your diet could include options like:
- Salad greens
Stick with these to sate your appetite while lowering your carb intake.
These are seven easy ways to reduce your carbohydrate intake without making massive diet sacrifices.
It isn’t always easy to change your diet. But staying motivated is the key.
Now that you have the information you need, you’re ready to succeed.
Just remember. Changing your food habits will require you to replace ‘bad habits’ with ‘good’ ones.
Reward yourself for your healthier choices by preparing delicious, low-carb foods. They will not only nourish you but also taste awesome!
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Copper Beech at Ames to help them with their online marketing.