3 Easy Low Carb First Step Tips

Thursday, November 15, 2012

You gotta start somewhere

One of the hardest parts about making a change or trying something new is taking the first step. I registered this blog and started five different posts before I finally stopped procrastinating and started typing. The same was true for getting healthy. I knew well before the doctor's orders came that I wasn't in good shape and that sooner or later something had to give.

          Making big changes works differently for different people. I typically need to make a big change all at once in order for it to take. However, most people I talk to are more inclined to stick with it if they break a big change into smaller changes. So I'm approaching this post from that point of view and will go over three easy changes that can get you started on the right track to losing weight and feeling better.

Tip 1: Deconstruct your sandwich


Removing bread from your meals seems like the most difficult change in the world but when you stop to think about what it entails you realize it's actually the easiest first step to take. This was the first step I took when going low carb and I learned a few things from it. The first is that sandwich bread masks the flavor of your sandwich fillings. I started packing my lunches with the same smoked turkey I always bought (the Boar's Head section of the deli can be dangerous) and a slice or chunk of good cheese but leaving off the bread. What I found was that I was able to fully experience the taste of the meat and cheese and appreciate those as individual lunch components instead of associating them as part of the dry, boring flavor of a whole wheat sandwich.

          What are you really missing when you ditch the bread? A boat-load of sugar, that's what. Most bread is nutritionally devoid of anything beneficial except items that it has been "fortified" with. All the good stuff is added in in order to improve the nutritional value. For a really scientific breakdown of how bread is essentially equivalent to Skittles, read this post by J. Stanton.

Tip 2: Up the fat content

This is tough. I know. It goes against everything you've ever heard about healthy eating. If there's anything you take away from this blog I hope it's this point; fat is not bad for you. Fat is a general term and there are healthy fats as well as unhealthy fats. Unfortunately, our grain producing industry has spent fifty years and millions of dollars to convince us that corn, soybean, and other vegetable oils are what's good and that saturated animal fats are what's bad. It's just not the case.

          When you consume healthy fats that are acquired from good sources you are able to stay satiated longer since fat is digested and metabolized at a slower rate than carbohydrates are. This alleviates that "OMG! I'm starving!" feeling we experience around mid-morning or mid-afternoon that usually drives us straight to the snack cabinet. There is a fantastic documentary that I highly recommend called Fat Head by comedian Tom Naughton which chronicles his weight loss and health experiment by eating fat rich foods.

Tip 3: Shake up your joe

I'm a big fan of good coffee. Lot's of us enjoy a sweetened and creamed style. Unfortunately, we've been trained to forego the fat in order to shave some calories even though the calories we're left with provide us with no nutritional benefits. So here's an easy way to modify your coffee habit. Instead of adding low-fat milk or soy or any number of other evil concoctions, try adding in fat rich dairy and skipping the sweetener. You'll gain the nutritional benefits of the milk fat at the same time reducing the extra carbs.

          Heavy cream is a great option as it's naturally sweet but if you're feeling adventurous you can try adding in a good quality grass-fed butter and whipping it up to a froth with an immersion blender. I know, it's crazy sounding, but it's absolutely delicious. You can find more info about this style of coffee at Dave Asprey's blog the Bulletproof Executive. For a little extra sweetness I add a tablespoon of coconut oil to the frothed butter coffee. Yum!

       
          I hope these tips prove helpful. For more info on getting started and where to look you can check out my references for beginners page here. Also, please share any feedback on the blog in the comments section below or via email. Stay tuned for more tips and recipes by subscribing to the blog and good luck in getting healthy!




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3 Easy Low Carb First Step Tips

You gotta start somewhere

One of the hardest parts about making a change or trying something new is taking the first step. I registered this blog and started five different posts before I finally stopped procrastinating and started typing. The same was true for getting healthy. I knew well before the doctor's orders came that I wasn't in good shape and that sooner or later something had to give.

          Making big changes works differently for different people. I typically need to make a big change all at once in order for it to take. However, most people I talk to are more inclined to stick with it if they break a big change into smaller changes. So I'm approaching this post from that point of view and will go over three easy changes that can get you started on the right track to losing weight and feeling better.

Tip 1: Deconstruct your sandwich


Removing bread from your meals seems like the most difficult change in the world but when you stop to think about what it entails you realize it's actually the easiest first step to take. This was the first step I took when going low carb and I learned a few things from it. The first is that sandwich bread masks the flavor of your sandwich fillings. I started packing my lunches with the same smoked turkey I always bought (the Boar's Head section of the deli can be dangerous) and a slice or chunk of good cheese but leaving off the bread. What I found was that I was able to fully experience the taste of the meat and cheese and appreciate those as individual lunch components instead of associating them as part of the dry, boring flavor of a whole wheat sandwich.

          What are you really missing when you ditch the bread? A boat-load of sugar, that's what. Most bread is nutritionally devoid of anything beneficial except items that it has been "fortified" with. All the good stuff is added in in order to improve the nutritional value. For a really scientific breakdown of how bread is essentially equivalent to Skittles, read this post by J. Stanton.

Tip 2: Up the fat content

This is tough. I know. It goes against everything you've ever heard about healthy eating. If there's anything you take away from this blog I hope it's this point; fat is not bad for you. Fat is a general term and there are healthy fats as well as unhealthy fats. Unfortunately, our grain producing industry has spent fifty years and millions of dollars to convince us that corn, soybean, and other vegetable oils are what's good and that saturated animal fats are what's bad. It's just not the case.

          When you consume healthy fats that are acquired from good sources you are able to stay satiated longer since fat is digested and metabolized at a slower rate than carbohydrates are. This alleviates that "OMG! I'm starving!" feeling we experience around mid-morning or mid-afternoon that usually drives us straight to the snack cabinet. There is a fantastic documentary that I highly recommend called Fat Head by comedian Tom Naughton which chronicles his weight loss and health experiment by eating fat rich foods.

Tip 3: Shake up your joe

I'm a big fan of good coffee. Lot's of us enjoy a sweetened and creamed style. Unfortunately, we've been trained to forego the fat in order to shave some calories even though the calories we're left with provide us with no nutritional benefits. So here's an easy way to modify your coffee habit. Instead of adding low-fat milk or soy or any number of other evil concoctions, try adding in fat rich dairy and skipping the sweetener. You'll gain the nutritional benefits of the milk fat at the same time reducing the extra carbs.

          Heavy cream is a great option as it's naturally sweet but if you're feeling adventurous you can try adding in a good quality grass-fed butter and whipping it up to a froth with an immersion blender. I know, it's crazy sounding, but it's absolutely delicious. You can find more info about this style of coffee at Dave Asprey's blog the Bulletproof Executive. For a little extra sweetness I add a tablespoon of coconut oil to the frothed butter coffee. Yum!

       
          I hope these tips prove helpful. For more info on getting started and where to look you can check out my references for beginners page here. Also, please share any feedback on the blog in the comments section below or via email. Stay tuned for more tips and recipes by subscribing to the blog and good luck in getting healthy!




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