People who diet to lose weight are really dieting to burn off fat. Our bodies can generate energy by burning one of two general types of fuel: we convert sugars (carbohydrates) to energy or we convert fat to energy. One important problem caused by a high-carb diet is that, our body usually tries to burn available sugars first. Then, when it runs out, it'll start burning stored body fat for energy. If your activity level is lower than what's necessary to burn all available carbs, it won't get to burning fat. In fact, some of those extra carbs will be efficiently stored for later…as body fat.
If you're following a ketogenic diet, you already know that your goal is to keep carb intake super-low. That way, your body's hormones re-balance and opt to burn fat for energy at every opportunity. But the average person raised on the Standard American Diet faces a tough challenge in cutting carbs out of their diet.
Here are some easy ways to eliminate the worst carb-sources from your diet and help your body burn the fuel you want it to consume: fat!
1. No Sugar-Sweetened Drinks!
If you reach for a sweet drink when you're thirsty, or even just out of habit, there's a good chance you're loading up on carbs. DO drink lots of water or other unsweetened other beverages, since proper hydration helps boost your metabolism, but avoid all sweetened drinks. Sugary soft-drinks seem to be everywhere, from soda to sweetened iced tea, but every 12-ounce can comes packed with more than 35 grams of sugar!
2. Avoid Products Made from Grains and Especially Bread
Substitute healthy alternatives, such as vegetables, nuts, or seeds for bread products to avoid the high-carb hit. Even the most nutritious breads are very high in carbs and very little of those carbs come from fiber. There are a few keto-friendly bread options if substitution is tricky.
3. Choose an Alternative to Milk, Like Almond or Coconut Milk.
Similar to bread, milk does contain useful nutritious elements, but it's also loaded with the sugar known as lactose. You guessed it: although milk is not as loaded with carbs as sugary drinks, it has a ton of carbs.
Instead of cow's milk, which has at least 12 grams of carbs per 8-ounce glass, opt for a different drink. Almond milk and coconut milk are popular alternatives. As long as they're not sweetened with sugar, you'll probably only be consuming 2 grams of carbs in an 8-ounce drink, instead.
4. Choose Healthy Fats
A keto diet is about more than just consuming a higher percentage of calories from fats. Replace the carbs in your diet with high-quality, healthy fats, such as extra-virgin olive oil and virgin coconut oil. Not only are these oils great-tasting in food, they produce plenty of documented side-benefits, like the appetite-suppressant tendency from coconut oil.
5. Choose the Right Vegetables
Veggies contain lots of vital nutrients and are an important source of fiber that's tough to find from other sources, but not all vegetables are equally keto-friendly. Choose non-starchy vegetables, like the cruciferous varieties to get loads of nutrition without a high concentration of sugary carbs. Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, and kale are just a few common examples of these keto-friendly veggies. They'll help keep your carb-levels low and, along with healthy fats, they'll help promote ketosis.
Be sure to check out Healthline for 10 more ways to kick the carb habit.
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