6 Zero Belly Carbs

It seems we've been obsessed with cutting carbs in order to lose weight Of course protein and fiber matter for losing weight, but healthy carbs can do just the same. In reality, most of the vitamins and nutrients we need to burn fat as well as fiber to keep our stomachs flat are found in carbs. People are typically cutting carbs to lose weight, but typically this is water weight you are losing. So you might be battling the bloat, but you won't see any real results but just cutting carbs. The goal is not to lose water weight but to lose fat. The way to do this is more exercise, clean eating and smaller meals.

Moreover, during a time that you are using up a lot of energy, keeping carbs in your diet - this means grains, fruits and beans - will help you enjoy more of those summer activities without burning out.Here are some carbohydrate-rich foods you should be investing in

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Try these 6 zero-belly fat carbs:

  1. Sweet Potatoes: One of the best slow carbs, these orange, delicious jewels are packed with fiber and health carbs. The magic ingredient here are carotenoids, antioxidants which stabilize blood-sugar levels and lower insulin resistance.
  2. Quinoa: Eating this grain has been shown to burn belly fat most likely due to it containing a complete chain of essential amino acids for muscle building and fat loss. 
  3. Blueberries: One of the most antioxidant-rich food there is, these blue gems fight inflammation like no other. They also contain compounds that actively burn belly fat. 
  4. Oats: They reduce your hunger hormones. Your go-to breakfast should be oatmeal. The magic nutrient is butyrate, a fatty acid that reduces inflammation throughout the body. 
  5. Chocolate: Dark chocolate that is, of course. This fights fat-causing inflammation. Chocolate has belly-slimming properties, not to mention antioxidants. 
  6. Beans: They help convert fat to fuel by simply burning it. Beans are a resistant starch, meaning that they “resist” digestion, sticking around the digestive tract and helping you feel fuller longer. But their fat-burning power goes way beyond that: Beans are high in the chemical butyrate, which encourages the body to burn fat as fuel. 

Here are some more reasons to keep carbs present in your diet during warmer months. 

1. Energy.

Simply, you need carbs for energy. Less carbs means lower levels of glycogen in the body.  We need glycogen as it helps fuel energy in the body.  The key is to choose complex carbs, like whole fruits, whole grains or high fiber foods that will break down slowly and fuel your body over a long period of time. 

2. Portion control.

Eating carbs can also help satiate you and keep you from overindulging during meals or the one too common summer barbecue. Carbs (which turn into Glycogen) can signal the brain that the body is full and satisfied. Have a smaller amount of everything, is better than binging on non-carb alternatives. 

3.  Proper hormone function.

Increasing your daily activity but cutting the carbs from your diet can affect your thyroid and metabolic function. You could be telling your body it is starving, so it wants to as much of that energy as possible.  Inadequate carb intake can also alter levels of hormones like cortisol or testosterone which are ucial to things like muscle growth, muscle recovery, and weight loss.

4. Muscle recovery.

One of the goals of working out is for lean muscle gain. Without the proper carb intake, muscle protein can breakdown and leave you with less energy than when you started. Carbs can also help stabilize insulin and glycogen levele to keep your body energy high the next day too. 

5. Eating carbs doesn't have to mean not eating clean.

When we think of carbs the first thing that comes to mind are bread loaded burgers or hot dog buns. But there are lots of clean, and light carbs that can provide energy without the brewery calories that will weight you down.  Grain or bean salads, or fruit like watermelon, peaches, plums, and nectarines are all considered carbs, but won't be heavy in the summer.