Eating fewer carbs can help you lose weight. In fact, low carb diets are probably the best way to get to your target weight.
By cutting down on carbs, you automatically reduce your total calorie intake and also prime your body for fat burning. With fewer carbs available, your body has no choice but to burn more fat for energy.
The trouble is, most of us have been brought up eating lots of carbs – I know I was. Hardly a meal went by that didn’t contain lots of rice, pasta, potatoes or bread.
Because of our emotional attachment to these foods, it can be difficult to imagine a meal without some form of carbs and that can make following a low carb diet hard. No rice, pasta, potatoes or bread? What can you eat instead?
Well, that’s the purpose of this article; to give you some great low carb alternatives to common high carb foods!
Rice is a cornerstone of many types of cooking. Can you imagine curry without rice? Or chili? Almost every Asian meal I’ve ever eaten was accompanied by piles of steaming, tasty, rice.
Rice is a cheap ingredient that many of us rely on because it’s quick and easy to cook. However, it’s also very high in carbs and white rice is very refined which makes it doubly bad if you are watching your carb intake.
So, here is my alternative to rice – cauliflower faux rice. Use this in place of rice in any dish including egg fried rice.
Simply take a head of cauliflower, grate it, and then cook in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain, and season with salt and pepper or maybe a little butter. The texture is similar to rice but it contains next to no carbs or calories. It’s also super filling!
Like rice, pasta is a staple for many of us. It’s also quick to cook, cheap, and very versatile. Giving up pasta can be hard but if you want to cut carbs, you need to eat less pasta, period!
I like to use vegetables in place of pasta as they are very low in calories and carbs but much higher in nutrients and fiber and here’s how I do it…
Instead of pasta sheets, I use thinly sliced zucchini. Just use a sharp knife or a mandolin slicer and cut your zucchini lengthways after chopping off the ends. You could also use eggplant. Use them as normal in your lasagna.
For spaghetti, take some carrots, rutabaga or zucchini and use a spiralizer to cut them into veggie noodles. Cook briefly in oil for a fast pasta alternative. No spiralizer? Just use a knife and do the best you can.
Lunch without sandwiches is almost unimaginable for many of us! They are so convenient and tasty it’s hard to even think of something to eat instead. However, the bread is really only a convenient way to get your sandwich filling into your mouth without getting it all over your hands.
In place of bread, I like to use big salad leaves such as lettuce.
Simply put your usual sandwich filling on a large lettuce leaf, roll it up and enjoy all the taste with none of the carbs and far fewer calories. Easy and tasty too.
Many MANY meals are served with potatoes. They are a vegetable so they are pretty healthy and contain fiber, vitamins and minerals but they are also high in calories and carbs. Cutting out spuds is a good way to get your carb intake down. But, what to have instead?
I like to boil and mash cauliflower as a replacement for mashed potatoes; it’s creamy, tasty, but totally guilt-free. It also takes much less time to cook. Season with some salt and pepper or butter and you’ll wonder why you never tried it before.
If I need alternatives pieces of potato, swede, parsnip, rutabaga, and celeriac are good low carb alternatives.
You can use any of these vegetables in places of roasted, boiled, French-fried potatoes and even make them into chips. You can mash them too. They might not taste quite the same but they are every bit as filling, very nutritious, and so low in carbs you won’t derail your diet.
Low Carb Recipes
Many people are scared about going low carb, I know I was. “What can I eat” they wonder? All you need to do is replace the usual suspects of bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes with these lower carb alternatives. That way you can eat the same meals you normally do but save yourself lots and lots of calories and carbs. It’s easy when you know how!