Pilates

Dear Cassey: How do I control my carb obsession?!

Hey Cassey,
I think I may have a carb obsession. I just LOVE bread, I always have and I can safely say it is my FAVORITE food. I like to believe I maintain a healthy diet (I don’t drink coffee, sodas or alcohol, I try to only eat natural sugars and I eat my veggies every day), but I’m finding out that I just MUST have a carb in every meal (eg: oatmeal for breakfast, pasta for lunch, salad with pita bread for dinner).
Do you have any tips on how I can change my mindset to eat a little less carbs and not crave them so much?
Thanks a lot in advance!
Carb Queen

3 baguettes bread on wooden backrground

Hey Carb Queen,

There’s no shame in your carb game!

Seriously. There’s a reason we all love carbs so much: our bodies NEED them. Your body breaks down carbs to use as energy for everything from thinking to exercise to digesting food. So when you say you feel like you MUST have a carb with every meal, I say keep eating carbs at every meal!

Although carbs aren’t as evil as they’re made out to be, some are definitely better than others.

Eating refined carbs like white bread and pasta or sugary stuff very often can cause some problems, but there are soooo many healthy carbs too! I’m amazed at how many people FORGET that a lot of veggies are actually mostly carbs! So instead of cutting back on carbs altogether, let’s talk about how to choose the BEST carbs, shall we?!

It sounds like you’re doing an amazing job at making healthy carb choices, but it’s always sooo interesting to really pay attention to which ones make you feel better than others. Like, do you ever feel sluggish or bloated after a meal that’s heavier on the bread or pasta? If yes, try a smaller portion of those foods and replace them with fruits or veggies.

Speaking of bread, I don’t blame you for loving it so much. It’s sooooo good. But if you’re noticing you’re “stuck” with your fitness goals (whether it be weight loss, body composition, etc.), it’s totally possible that tweaking your bread intake COULD make a difference. What kind of bread do you usually eat? Try to go for something minimally processed, with only a few, simple ingredients. You want high fiber and lots of nutrients.

It’s basically the same story for your oatmeal and pasta. Get the least processed form as possible to maximize your nutrition. You’ll stay full longer and your body will metabolize it best.

For oatmeal, steel-cut is going to give you more fiber and nutrients than the instant stuff because it hasn’t been stripped and processed. No matter what kind you choose, you can pile on fruits (or veggies in a savory oatmeal), nuts, seeds and other healthy fats!

For pasta, you could always switch it up and try pasta made with lentils or chickpeas… OR my favorite – sub the pasta altogether with zoodles. YUM. Such a great tip if you struggle to get your veggies in, too!

My last tip is to really think about why you’re craving carbs. Especially if you feel like you can’t control your portions. If you’re feeling hungry or unsatisfied when you’re not loading up on carbs, try adding more protein and healthy fats to your meals.

No matter what, I don’t want you to feel like you HAVE to cut out your favorite foods to be healthy. It’s really not worth it. Instead, look at your diet as a whole, and think about how the foods you eat make you feel. Your body is pretty good at letting you know what’s up!

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.

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