When want to lose weight, you need to watch what you eat. No surprise there, but what’s good for you and what isn’t good for you can get pretty confusing. Some say you should eat certain things, while other experts tell you to avoid them. Carbohydrates are a good example.
Should you consume carbohydrates? Can they help with weight loss for women? Absolutely. In fact, your body needs carbs throughout the entire day.
Why We Need Carbs
Energy is vital. Your body needs it to move, create/maintain body heat, and develop. Your brain and nervous system need a constant supply of glucose, too. And carbohydrates are one of the best sources of energy. However, you need to consider balance — not getting enough carbohydrates can be just as bad as (if not worse than) consuming too many.
To be as lean as possible, you need the right amount of carbs, at the right time, from the right sources. The American Dietetic Association recommends a minimum of 130 grams of carbohydrates daily. Of course, how many carbs you need will depend on your size, activity level, and micronutrient intake. So, if you’re petite and extremely active, for example, you’ll need more than 130 grams.
Best of all, leanness acquired this way is sustainable. If you gain a few extra pounds, you can get back into shape in no time with just a few tweaks to your diet. You do need to be careful, however. Not enough carbs in your diet, and your body will start converting lean muscle mass to energy, preventing you from getting a six-pack and toning up. You’ll become weak and might even start feeling ill.
When to Eat Carbohydrates for the Best Weight Loss for Women
While your body needs carbohydrates for energy, it’s not made of them. Therefore, any carbs your body doesn’t use for energy and repairing muscle tissue will be turned straight into fat. If you want to make sure your body uses carbs instead of storing them, eat these foods only after a workout, when your body needs them the most.
For the maximum weight loss for women, carbs should be included in the second meal of the day. This way, you can save your first meal of the day for proteins and fats that will help your body regulate hormones.
The Best Sources of Carbohydrates
Brown Rice — Brown rice is a great source of easy-to-digest carbohydrates, but that’s not all. It’s an excellent source of dietary fiber that helps you stay regular and flush toxins from your body. It also contains CoQ10 (which turns fat into energy and protects your heart) and gammaoryzanol, which is a muscle-strengthening antioxidant that turns fat into lean body mass.
Quinoa — A seedy relative of the popular leafy green veggie spinach, quinoa is an instant energy source and complete protein. It’s also a healthy source of fiber, calcium, and the amino acid lycine, which encourages tissue growth and repair. Its high amounts of magnesium, folate, and phosphorus help prevent and ease migraines, improve heart health, and keep your cardiovascular system in tip-top shape. Studies have found it may also help ward off certain types of cancers, gallstones, and childhood asthma.
Steel Cut Oats — Because steel cut oats are lower on the glycemic index than regular oats, they’re great for weight loss for women, since they won’t causes spikes in your blood glucose levels. They’re also high in protein and fiber.
Sweet Potato — The carbs, beta-carotene, and fiber found in sweet potatoes make them a great anti-inflammatory food that speeds healing and reduces pain and stiffness in your muscles and joints.
Potatoes — Potatoes contain easy-to-breakdown carbohydrates, but they also contain high levels of B6. This vitamin is a vital ingredient in the formation of new cells, as well as amino acid (the building blocks of protein) synthesis.
Lentils — The complex carbs found in lentils increase your energy levels by replenishing your iron, but they’re also slow burning, which helps sustain energy levels. And, because they’re so high in fiber, they limit spikes in your blood sugar levels that often occur after eating a meal.
Beans — Just like lentils, kidney beans are rich in fiber to prevent sharp increases in blood sugar levels and control your cholesterol. They also replenish your iron and supply you with protein, giving you an excellent boost of energy. The molybdenum found in kidney beans help your body deal with sulphites, a preservative often added to prepared foods.
Gluten-Free Cereals and Breads — Wheat contains gluten, which is often the trigger for digestive disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and joint problems. So, not only do you suffer with uncomfortable symptoms, but you also end up with inflammation, which causes you to retain water and gain weight. But, by eliminating gluten and substituting wheat with foods like millet, brown rice, sprouted grains, quinoa, and buckwheat, you can eliminate these negative side effects and quickly drop those hard-to-lose pounds.
Carbohydrates have really gotten a bad reputation when it comes to dieting and weight loss for women, but you shouldn’t eliminate them from your diet. Instead, eat the right carb-containing foods, at the right time, and finally shed those hard-to-lose pounds that have been staring back at you.