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Cut Back Your Carbs and Regain Your Energy Levels

Eating less carb-rich foods, with protein, means more sustained energy throughout the day. (Image: juandc/flickr)
Eating less carb-rich foods, with protein, means more sustained energy throughout the day. (Image: juandc/flickr)

Did you know that a common remark people say when they cut back on carb-rich foods is they feel more energetic throughout the day?

A lot of people think that carb-rich food equals energy, but this is not the case in the long term.

If you’re feeling tired and sluggish throughout your day, try substituting starchy or carbohydrate-rich food, such as rice, pasta, and bread, for slower-burning vegetables and fruit. These, along with sufficient protein and saturated fats, will keep your energy levels, and mood, consistent throughout the day.

Potatoes are starches, this means they quickly turn into simple sugars (glucose) (Image:Steve Worsethandetroit/flickr)

Potatoes are starches, which means they quickly turn into simple sugars (glucose)—swap for sweet potato or pumpkin instead. (Image: Steve Worsethandetroit/flickr)

Hints your body is eating too many carbs

  • You wake up feeling groggy and rely on caffeine to get you through the morning, even though you had a reasonable sleep.
  • You crave sweet foods throughout the day, and after meals. You generally have a sweet tooth.
  • You crave starchy foods, such as bread, corn, potatoes, and cereals.
  • You feel tired and lazy after a meal—you would like to take a nap.
When you can't seem to shake the fatigue, even when you get enough sleep- check your carbs (Image:hang_in_there/flickr)

When you can’t seem to shake the fatigue, even when you get enough sleep, check your carbs. (Image: hang_in_there/flickr)

  • You get grumpy and irritable when your blood sugar levels get low.
  • You get hungry soon after you eat, and the food you eat does not satisfy you for long.
  • You tend to hold weight around your stomach.
Are you currently storing fat around your abdomen area? this spells a carb overload (Image:Kyle May/flickr)

Are you currently storing fat around your abdominal area? This spells a carb overload (Image: Kyle May/flickr)

  • You can easily lose and gain weight.
  • You are often controlled by your moods. You sometimes feel very flat or depressed, and sometimes flighty.
  • You find it hard to lose weight, even though you are eating a “healthy” diet by conventional standards.
  • You view carbohydrate rich food, including whole-grains, as the mainstay of your diet.

If you answered “true” to 3 or more of these statements, Doctor Frank Lipman warns are you are hitting carbs a little too hard.

Substitute fast-burning carbs for slow-burning carbs and reap the benefits; avoid fatigue, mood-swings, headaches, and weight gain.

Broccoli has a very low GI,  meaning it burns slow and is a good choice for sustained energy (Image:Micke Licht, NotionsCapital.com/flickr)

Broccoli has a very low GI, meaning it burns slow and is a good choice for sustained energy. (Image: Micke Licht, NotionsCapital.com/flickr)

An education in carbohydrates and starches

This video will surprise you. It explains the ins and outs of carbohydrates, which ones burn slow and which burn super fast.

Starchy foods, such as bread, corn and potato—although they are not sweet—are simply a chain of glucose.

This is why these starchy foods spike your blood sugar levels, and should therefore be eaten sparingly—if you want steadier energy levels.

If you want more energy in your day, start by cutting carb-rich foods from your diet, and break the yo-yo carbohydrate cycle. Instead, turn to low-carb vegetables, protein, and saturated fats as some of your energy source.

Clever substitution will help you on your way; for example, trade wheat pasta for zucchini pasta for a low carb meal full of vitamins and minerals.

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