People don’t usually associate “carbs” with “fat burn”, or at least we never did. One slanderous article on our newsfeed about carbohydrates and we’re instant haters. But carbs can – and should be – your friends. In fact, you need them to help shed fat. Mind blown. Everyone needs carbohydrates in their diets and the right ones will actually help you slim down the extra weight in your middle. So let’s think about adding more “good” carbs to our diets in an effort to help reduce and prevent body fat. This is our favorite.
Good carbs, also known as slow carbs, are rich in fiber so they release energy into the blood stream slowly and help you avoid spikes in insulin and blood sugar. The fiber keeps you feeling fuller longer so you don’t go town on snacks between meals. If you need to kick the bad habit of bread, cereal and other refined carbs for breakfast, oatmeal is here to take their place. Not only does it have protein, but the soluble fiber keeps you feeling full for longer.
“People who eat good carbs like oatmeal have more energy, reduced sugar cravings, lose more weight and even have more regular bowel movements”, says Dr. Jennifer Stagg, a naturopathic physician. But instant doesn’t qualify because it’s been refined and lost most of its health benefits. Steel-cut oats retain the entire grain and that provides ample fiber to get your body moving. Yes. We mean moving waste out and using energy to get it done. The hearty, chewy feel of steel-cut oats helps you to slow down breakfast and feel full.
We know instant oats sound really appealing – they’re instant! But once you make the switch to steel-cut oats you’ll never go back. People are hesitant to try the steel-cut variety because they need ample time to soak. That’s why putting them in a slow cooker before bed – along with almond milk, flax seeds and cinnamon – is the easiest way to make breakfast. Or soak them in a bowl of almond milk overnight in the fridge for a cool refreshing morning meal.
Berries make a great, sweet add-on to oatmeal. There’s no replacement for chocolate but berries are bursting with natural sweetness and you can eat way more of them without worrying about the scale. For example, one cup of slices strawberries is only 50 calories. All berries – blueberries, raspberries and blackberries – are high in polyphenols, micronutrients that combat cellular stress by slowing down and blocking the inflammatory response in the body. “Studies suggest raspberries may actually assist in weight loss because they contain compounds that could increase the production of leptin, the appetite suppressing hormone,” says Dr. Luiza Petre, MD, director of the Medi-Weightloss Clinics.