Important Update: Calorie Count will be shutting down on March 15th. Please click here to read the announcement. Data export is available.
Hello, I'm new here, and this is my first serious attempt at dieting. I'm twenty two and about ten or fifteen pounds overweight, which I know isn't that much, but I want to fix the problem (unhealthy eating habits and not enough exercise) while I'm young.
Seeing the breakdown of what I eat everyday has been really eye opening to me. I never think much about what I eat, and when I do, I generally decide if something isn't deep fried or sugar coated, it can't be all that bad for me haha. What I"ve come to realize is that almost half of what I eat every day is carbs. I eat a lot of bread and pasta, and even the healthier snacks I enjoy, like granola or fruit, is high in carbs. I don't want to go Atkins and cut out carbs completley, for one I'm skeptical of how healthy that is and for two, I know I don't have the will power or the lifestyle to keep that up indefinitley. But I do want to start eating less carbs, maybe cut my carb intake in half.
My question is, what are some alternatives to meals that are rich in carbohydrates? I work in an office, so I generally pack a lunch. I tend to pack either left over pasta from dinner the night before (I live at home and generally eat dinner with my parents, who are not dieting and really like the carbs as well lol) or a sandwich. I also tend to have a bagel (usually whole wheat, but still) for breakfast, which I know isn't ideal. Any suggestions to healthy lunches that would pack a bit more protein or at least have less carbs? I know salads are a good option, and I"m trying to eat more of those, but I tend to get bored.
I had/ still kind of have the same problem. I've started to buy whole wheat pasta, which is a little more healthy. Also, give whole wheat wraps a try instead of the bread you're using for a sandwich. I've found one that has 5 carbs per wrap, which really helps me cut down for the day. For lunch, try bringing in fruit and veggies, since they'll fill you up and are low in cals, and some lean meat like turkey.
It won't be easy to cut the carbs down, but just a little bit will help. Good luck.
Just tweak the quantities a little..... 2oz dry weight pasta, rice, bread or other grain is enough in a dish. Bulk it up with things like tomatoes (in a sauce), vegetables and some lean protein. So your pasta dish that you take to work ... ease back a little on the amount of pasta and add more salads, veggies etc.
Sandwiches don't have to be made with great wads of bread. A pitta, for example, is about 2oz... Fill the pocket with plenty of lean meat, fish or beans for the protein and stuff in as much salad as you can get away with. Take along a piece of fruit, a yoghurt or similar.... then the meal balances up a little more.
Instead of a bagel (which I always find too heavy duty!) for breakfast... try eggs from time to time... scrambled, boiled or poached with a little wholegrain toast. Eggs are a great source of protein.
Best of luck
I don't know where people get the idea that carbs are bad for them.... they aren't.
The only problem comes when you are talking about "empty" carbs, which hold no real nutritional value. These are things such as white bread, processed grains, refined sugar, etc.
If you want more pack for your punch, I'd switch to all 100% whole grain products. Check the labels for these. Some breads say "Wheat Bread!" and its like... well, duh, all bread is made from wheat... I'm wondering if its processed, enriched wheat, or whole grain wheat. The ingredients label will tell you.
Even Atkins and South Beach diets allow for some amount of carbs though, I think around 15-20%, once you get to the maintenance phase... Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that 50% carbs isn't bad, and that by cutting them in half, you are getting pretty close to SBD/Atkins anyway.
I would aim for GOOD carbs (fruit, veggie, whole grain) instead of BAD carbs (sugar, white/processed grains)
According to CC that percentage of carbs isn't bad for you but if you want to decrease or "low carb it" I suggest cutting out one major carbs ource per day. For instance if you usually have a bagel for breakfast substitute it with eggs and turkey bacon, for lunch if you usually have a sandwich, have a wrap instead, dinner, pasta(I love pasts too btw) instead have a chicken breast and steamed vegetables.
It's all about portion control.
i can also empathize with the high carb count. That is one thing i have certainly learned about my body in this weight loss process is that i need ALOT less carbs than my tastebuds think i do. Eating a controlled amount of healthy carbs and increasing my protein has been a key element to weight loss. It is great that you are now more aware of the total amount of carbs you are consuming with the food log. One "diet" that i think does a pretty good job of making your food proportions pretty simple and healthy is the zone diet. It is not nearly as drastic as the Atkins and a little more resonable for the average person to follw. It is a great place to start to get an idea of how much of what you should be eating and you can always adjust when you see how your body is doing, also they have some good food ideas. I work in an office and also bring my lunch, which by the way is a great start,...I had to make the switch from eating out to bringing and that was a little tough.Okay,..as for my protein sources/lower carb meals:
breakfast: scrambled eggs in the microwave, 1 slice of nature's own 100% whole wheat toast witha with a small amount of smart balance butter, you could also do turkey bacon, 1/4 cup steel cut oats ( imake a whole pot of these and they last for the week.) also berries are good lower carb higher fiber fruits..blueberries, strawberries.
lunch/dinner: I also usually eat leftovers, but that means that your dinner has to be healthy. I keep it pretty simple b/c i don't liike to spend alot of time cooking. Chicken brest on the george foreman with frozen vegetable mix sauteed (make sure you are getting vegetables that are non starchy,..no potatoes, corn and few carrots. Green is better....green beans, broccoli, aspragus, spinach. All these vegetables are primarily carbs, but they are paired with a good amount of fiber and are still realtively low in carbs. You could also have ground turkey, either as a burger, in spagetti, just make sure you are only eating one serving (1/2cup) os spagetti sauce and you use either the whole wheat pasta or try the dreamfields brand, i find itin my local kroger. It only has 5 carbs and tastes like the reagular pasta,....i can't do the whole wheat. Lean ground beef and turkey are also good options....just skep the bun and add some avocado or mixed veggies on the side. I also occasionaly make sweet potato french fries, Just be careful to not eat too many,..they are yum! Sometimes For lunch I take the leftover protien (meat) and put it on top of a spinach salad with some other veggies. And fish is a great souce of protein...salmon, tuna, anything you like that you can get local is good.
Other foods that are a good source of protein and low in carbs:
low fat cottage cheese, unsweetened soymilk, edamame (soybeans..good snack) tofu, cabot 75% fat free cheddar cheese, boiled eggs or any form of eggs...egg salad, deviled eggs, . etc, any lean meat, such as turkey slices and the cheddar cheese on one slice of the nature's own bread. Also, light string cheese is a good snack. raw nuts and seeds, but not too many, the fat can add up quick, even though it is good fat. if you are still in need of protein you could have a 100% whey proteinshake. i come up with all sortof concoctions to flavor these up. One other thing I have founf that has really helped with the carb control is stevia, it is a natural sweetner that you can get a healthfood type store. It has no calories and no carbs, i have completley replaces all added sugar and artificial sweetners with it...tea, oatmeal, shakes, anytihng i would usually add sugar or equal to.
Good luck pineapple...and remember to have some fun with finding the right proportions in your meals! i applaud your efforts for a healthy lifestyle!
I definitely second all the comments about whole-wheat carbs. The other thing I have found really helpful is to have the fewest carbs for your last meal of the day. A lot of people (me included) will have their biggest meal for dinner but then are also the least active in the evening. So you take in the most calories but use the least. Am I making sense? Anyway, if you try to have your bigger meals at breakfast and lunch and then pack your dinner with loads of veggies and protein then I know that personally that has really helped me. This is not to say that you can never have any carbs for dinner, but just try to avoid them where possible and where it isn't, then just try to have a small amount and load up on the other stuff. Also, if you know you're going to be very active after dinner then this doesn't matter so much. For example, going clubbing on a Friday night - you will need your carbs then!
P.S. I definitely don't advocate the Atkins diet. Tried it, it's awful. It might work in the short-term, but anything that is that restrictive on a food group is not good for you and it's not sustainable unless you're superwoman. Plus it makes your breath smell.
have fun enjoying you're new life style you should see immediate results. those who never dieted have better success at the weight loss.
Original Post by pineapple1012:
My question is, what are some alternatives to meals that are rich in carbohydrates? I work in an office, so I generally pack a lunch. I tend to pack either left over pasta from dinner the night before (I live at home and generally eat dinner with my parents, who are not dieting and really like the carbs as well lol) or a sandwich. I also tend to have a bagel (usually whole wheat, but still) for breakfast, which I know isn't ideal.
You don't have to arbitrarily cut out carbs, you just have to balance them, a sandwich is good, because you still get some fat and protein with the meat. Leftover pasta is not so good, because it is all carbs and won't fill you up like a sandwich. You should have your pasta either as a side dish, or if you are going to have it as a meal, make it a dish that has meat and/or vegetables. If you want to have a bagel, have it with some low-fat cream cheese or natural (i.e. no sugar added) peanut butter.
Wow what a great topic, thanks! Please make this your lifestyle change and do not think of this as dieting. Eating healthy should never be considered that D word! Carbs have been a huge concern for me as well as I love fancy breads. (My store does a cranberry/pistachio to die for!) Your question and everyones reply helped me to understand that 50% carbs is ok! Thanks again!
eating carbs at night, as long as you dont go nuts is fine. YOur metabolism burns it off in its sleep.
personally i know im not a pure carb type, but nor do i do well on just protien and fat like atkins. Im somewhere in the middle.
i dont really know the ratio of carbs i eat but im su re its between 40-50. imn also very active and do high intesity cardio, weights, etc. so all these factors come into play as well.
50 perent carbs as long as they are from whole grains, fruits and veggies is fine. If its all sugar, then you have an issue, i dont know where people got the fricken idea that carbs are bad. Its annoying how fickle people can be.....
just like people who said bread is fattening, yeah white breads fattening. Whole grain, sourdough, or sprouted bread made from whole grains is better than whole grain cereal, and people stil eat that.. bah i dunno.,
in africa for example, about 70 percent of the calories comes from staple grains and veggies, and in asia, most of the diet is carbs.
Ok I have a question. My carbs are usually about 65% of what I eat, is that too high? They are all coming (or 95%) from veggies,fruits,dairy and whole grains. I do a lot of cardio about 9 hours of cardio a week between walking and riding bike. Is 65% carbs alright then? I try to get around 20% protein and about 15% fat. Any thoughts?
Thanks for the post, this is something I have been thinking about too.