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6 Tips to Help You Lower Your Carb Intake

6 Tips to Help You Lower Your Carb Intake

Almost all of us want to try to slim down every once in awhile, but often finding the right balance to shed a few pounds can be difficult. One way that you can shed those extra pounds is by cutting your daily intake of carbohydrates.

1. Understand how carbohydrates work.

Carbohydrates are one of the three main macronutrients in the human diet, with fat and protein being the other two. Carbohydrates are essential to a number of functions in the body, including growth and your body’s metabolism. Carbohydrates are most often found in starchy foods such as breads, pastas and rice, but they can also be found in fruits and vegetables as well.

2. Know the difference between complex and simple carbohydrates.

You may have noticed these labels on some of the food you buy, but what do they really mean? Simple carbohydrates are made from refined grains. During the refining process, much of what makes them good for you is simply stripped away. You can often find these in your white breads or any heavily processed foods. Studies have shown that eating too much of these types of carbohydrates can lead to weight gain and other health problems such as diabetes and even cardiovascular conditions.

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Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, have not been through the refining process. This means that they retain much of the fiber and other nutrients that your body really needs. These are commonly found in whole grains. Studies have shown that eating a low carb diet that is rich in complex carbohydrates will help you lose weight and improve your health.

If you want to follow a low carb diet, you should eliminate as many of the simple carbohydrates as you can from your diet while at the same time including more complex carbohydrates in your diet.

3. Find out if a low carb diet is right for you.

Low carb diets were all the rage several years ago, with many people choosing to eat more protein and eliminating carbohydrates almost completely from their diets. But is this right for you? The answer depends largely on your lifestyle

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You see, your body takes the carbohydrates you ingest and turns them into glucose, otherwise known as sugar. It takes this sugar and then uses it as fuel to provide you with the energy you need each day. If you are active, enough all this fuel will be burned and you won’t store any for later. However, if you are not, your body takes this sugar and stores it as fat in your body causing you to gain weight. Reducing your intake of carbohydrates based on your activity level is the perfect way to keep your weight in check while also making sure your body still gets the fuel it needs every day.

4. Don’t eliminate carbohydrates all-together.

Carbohydrates, especially complex carbohydrates, provides several things that your body needs every day. These include starch, which is an easily-converted form of energy for your body; fiber, which aids in the digestion process; and other vitamins and minerals you need each day in order to maintain proper health.

What this means is you shouldn’t try to completely eliminate all carbohydrates from your diet. If you do, you will be denying your body many of the nutrients that it needs in order to maintain proper health. Just be sure when you do eat carbs that you choose whole grains and other sources of complex carbohydrates so you get the proper nutrition you need and not just the wasted calories and sugar that are found in simple carbohydrates.

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5. Avoid these foods.

When planning your low carb diet, most diets recommend limiting your carb intake to 50 to 150 grams per day. There are many foods that are loaded with simple carbohydrates that you should avoid if you are trying to eat a low carb diet. A few examples of foods you should avoid are:

  • White bread
  • White rice
  • Pizza crust
  • Muffins
  • Biscuits
  • Pancakes
  • Hot dog and hamburger buns

6. Eat these foods.

Even if you are choosing a low carb diet, there are many foods that are perfectly okay for you to eat that are rich in complex carbohydrates. These include:

  • Beans
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Brown rice
  • Oats and other whole grains

Conclusion

Eating a diet that is low in carbs has been shown to improve your health and will help you lose weight over and over again. However, that doesn’t mean you have to eliminate carbs altogether. Instead, eat lower amounts of carbs and when you do eat carbs, choose the right ones. Avoid simple carbs that provide your body with almost no nutritional benefits and replace them with complex carbohydrates that are rich in whole grains. This will give your body both the fuel and nutrients it needs for you to live a much healthier life.

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Featured photo credit: Hot Dogs by Thomas Abbs via Flickr via flickr.com

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Brian Wu

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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