Low carb living and dieting is a great way to help you get rid of the high blood sugar and extra weight that is causing you all kinds of health problems, and you will find that counting your carbs will be one of the best ways that you can be certain that you are staying true to your low carb meals.
Who’s It For?
There are many people that can benefit from counting carbs, and the truth is that watching what you eat will be something that just about everyone can benefit from.
Just like counting calories will help you to be certain that you aren’t getting a whole lot of fat and useless calories in your diet, so too counting carbs can be a good way to ensure that you are only eating the right amounts of carbs.
After all, carbs are turned into sugar – and from sugar into fat – so carbs are not going to be good for you if you are trying to lose weight.
The low carb diet plan is usually followed by those that have some kind of health problems, such as diabetes or heart problems due to excess weight.
Diabetics need to take their blood sugar under control, as the high levels of blood sugar can cause insulin resistance that can lead to all kinds of problems. It’s important to try carbohydrate counting if you’re going to watch your blood sugar levels, as that is the only way that you can be certain that you will not end up causing your diabetes or health conditions to worsen.
What are the Benefits of Carbohydrate Counting?
There are a number of reasons that you may want to try counting your carbs:
- It will ensure that you can control your diabetes. Seeing as your blood sugar is directly affected by your carbohydrates, counting the carbs you eat will ensure that your diabetes will stay controlled.
In fact, most diabetics are instructed by their doctors to count their carbs and regulate their carb intake, simply because that is the only way that they will be able to keep their blood sugar levels manageable.
- It will help you regulate your glucose levels. You are probably taking medication to help deal with your diabetes, and this medication is designed to regulate the levels of glucose that your body turns to glycogen – also known as blood sugar.
If you dislike taking medications, counting carbs is one of the best ways to get your body adjusted to low carb living – meaning that you may actually be able to stop taking the medication because your body has adjusted to living without too many carbs.
It will be a challenge, but it will be worth it!
Counting carbs is a smart thing to do, and it’s always recommended that you watch what you’re eating – even if you’re perfectly healthy. Seeing as you have a health issue, it’s a much better idea for you to be careful with the food that you eat, as that’s the only way that you will be able to manage it.
It will be a challenge for you to cut back on the carbs, but it will be totally worth it! You will be able to lick your health problem, and you can get your life back to normal thanks to your carbohydrate counting efforts.
What Do I Need for Carbohydrate Counting?
If you are going to start counting your carbs, it’s important that you go about it right.
The first thing that you are going to need for counting your carbs is a meal plan. Low carb meals have to be made with a lot of protein and fiber, but you’re going to have to know which foods you’re going to cook with in order to be certain that you are using the right ones for your diet. Planning the meals ahead of time will ensure that you have everything prepared and ready to cook, which will make it a lot easier for you.
Another thing that you’re going to need is a kitchen scale.
This will come in very handy as you measure out the food that you are going to eat, which is a very important part of counting carbs or calories.
You know that, for example, 1 serving of fruit has 5 grams of carbs, and each serving is exactly 5 ounces of fruit. You will be able to use your scale to measure the fruit to ensure that you are getting 5 ounces. This will make it possible for you to be very precise with your measurements, and you will be able to tightly regulate the food that you will need. The kitchen scale won’t be too expensive, but it will come in very handy as you start carbohydrate counting.
The final thing that you will need in order to begin counting your carbs is an understanding of how many carbs are in each food item.
This is going to take a long time to learn, but you can start studying up on it right now. You will need to check the labels of each item that you find at the supermarket, but you will be able to learn just how many grams of carbs are in each food.
This will ensure that you are putting together a proper meal plan, as that way you can easily start counting the calories in each food item in order to add them up for the total.
You don’t have to memorize the facts, but you can download apps for your smart phone or iPad that will make it easier for you to check up on carbs. If you’re going to count your carbs, it’s important to do it correctly!
How to Count Carbs
Counting the carbohydrates in your food is actually quite easy, though it will require a lot of precision. All you will need to do is take the number of carbs in each food item that you are eating, and simply add them up.
This will include any spices or sauces that you will be using, along with any other items that you use (dressing, salsa, etc.). Simply add them all together, and you will have the total number of carbs that you will be eating in that meal.
Add all of your meals together, and you will have the total number of carbs that you have eaten that day.
Say that you are going to make yourself a peanut butter sandwich:
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter have about 6 grams of carbs
- 2 slices of whole wheat bread will have about 25 grams of carbs
This means that you’re getting just 31 grams of carbs for your sandwich.
Now, if you want to add a glass of milk to your meal, this means that you will need to add about 11 grams of carbs to your current total – equaling 42 grams all told. If you add an apple to your meal, you will end up with 59 grams of carbs thanks to the fact that the apple has about 17 grams of carbs.
It’s simple and easy to do!
Obviously this only works if you are eating full servings of things, but it will get a bit more complicated if you start eating half or quarter-servings of food.
This will be the case, however, when you start making larger dishes with the simple ingredients that you have. This means that you’re going to have to break out the calculator and find out exactly how much of each thing that you have eaten, and you’re going to have to do the math to find out how much each serving of an item has – and then how much the fraction of a serving that you ate contains. Mind-boggling, perhaps, but it’s very important!
Things to Remember
It’s very important to remember that counting carbs isn’t going to be as easy as you think, and it certainly isn’t going to be perfectly exact.
You aren’t going to be able to count everything down to the last carb, as that is just way too much work for you. It’s best not to try too hard to count things and break it down too much, but just get it as accurate as you can.
The kitchen scale will make it possible for you to weigh up each of the items you are adding to your food, which can give you a rough count of all of the carbs in the dishes that you are preparing. You can then use your calculator to figure out just how many carbs you at according to the amount of the total dish you ate. It’s not going to be exact, but it will work out just fine if you’re not too particular.
It’s also important that you remember to try as hard as you can to follow the low carb diet plan. Remember that you’re going to have to cut back on your carbs, meaning that you need to stay with the foods on the low carb food list. It’s essential that you stick with these foods, as that’s the best way for you to control your carb intake.
It may be a challenge for you to avoid eating those delicious and tempting desserts that tantalize you, but you’ll need to do so in order to avoid spiking your blood sugar levels.
Finally, don’t give up! Carbohydrate counting may feel quite exhausting and complicated at first, but it will get easier once you get good at it.
You may find that you don’t even need to consult your calculator or your food list, as you will instinctively know exactly how many carbs are in each item and each dish you make. If you continue doing it faithfully, it will get easier as you go, and you will find that your body will thank you as you get your blood sugar levels under control!
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