The Atkins diet achieved peak fad status in 2004, and although it’s since been replaced by trendy new ways of losing weight, it’s had a lasting impact on how people view weight loss. Atkins recommended that dieters reduce their intake of carbohydrates. But that can be harder than it sounds. Here are some easy ways to cut carbs from your diet without sacrificing all of your favorite foodstuffs.
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1. Lose the Juice- Fruit juice isn’t as healthy as people once thought. It lacks the fiber of whole fruit, and even 100% fruit juice is loaded with sugar and carbs. Cutting out fruit juice from your diet can eliminate a source of carbs you may not have even been watching out for.
2. Cut the Crust- While pizza is an undeniably delicious indulgence, most pizza crusts are high in refined white flour, which is a major carbohydrate offender. If you can’t resist eating pizza, opt for the thin crust variety rather than deep dish. You can still get your cheese and tomato sauce fix without ingesting as many carbohydrates.
3. Wrap It Up- Sacrificing sandwiches and burgers is one of the toughest things about going low carb. But if you “think outside the bun,” you can still enjoy many of the flavors you love, just low carb. The solution? Substitute lettuce wraps for the bun on your burger or the bread on your turkey sandwich. You’ll drastically lower the carb content and still have something to grip.
4. Substitute Your Spaghetti- A spiralizer is the kitchen invention you never knew you needed-and it’s shockingly affordable, with many going for under $30. This nifty gadget can transform squash, zucchini, and other low-carb veggies into spaghetti (or other shapes), making a great substitute for that carb-heavy pasta you miss eating.
5. Replace Your Rice- Rice, like pasta, is a carb-heavy starch that’s omnipresent in many cuisines. But you don’t have to give up on Chinese or Indian food entirely just because you’re counting carbs. Try subbing in riced cauliflower. It’s got a similar texture and absorbency, and when it’s loaded up with curry or broccoli beef, you’ll barely notice a difference.
6. Switch Your Chips- Potato chips are one of those snacks that it’s really tough to let go of. If you’re craving that crunch, try kale chips, which offer the same snackability with fewer carbs and a host of other health benefits. You can even make your own by tossing chopped up kale in olive oil, separating the leaves on a cooking sheet, and throwing them in the oven until they crisp up.
7. Go with Protein for Breakfast- Even healthy breakfast cereals like granola and oatmeal are high in carbohydrates. But if you start your day with a protein, particularly eggs, you won’t get off on the wrong foot. Eating protein early in the day also kick-starts your digestive system and helps you start burning fat when you exercise.
8. Skip the Starch- While you need veggies to stay healthy on your low-carb diet, you want to avoid the starchier varieties. Potatoes are an obvious no-go, but so are sweet potatoes, despite being healthy otherwise. Other secretly starchy veggies include carrots, peas, and corn. The next time you need a vegetable side or want to add something to a salad, reach for some bell peppers, broccoli, asparagus, or artichokes.
The paleo and keto diets both take a page out of Atkins’ book by suggesting you cut down on carbohydrates. If you’re following either of these diets, or the many others that recommend a reduced carb intake, the tips above can help!