Carbs can be a pretty confusing subject of debate! Every diet plan, diet expert, and fitness trainer will have their own idea of how much carbs are good for you, how much you should or shouldn’t be eating, what type to eat, and more. With low-carb diets, Keto diets, and no-carb diets, you might have no idea how to include carbs in your daily meals. If that sounds like a familiar problem, it may be time to consider the slow carb diet, a new approach to eating carbs that might just solve your issue!
What is the Slow Carb Diet?
The Slow Carb Diet focuses on “slow carbs”, essentially the fiber-rich carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables, nuts, and seeds that take your body longer to digest. It takes low-glycemic foods and includes them in a diet that is rich in lean proteins and healthy fats, with the goal of providing you the best, most well-rounded diet possible, one that includes just enough carbs (and the fiber from those carb foods) to keep your body healthy.
Focusing on the GI of Food
The GI, or glycemic index, of food describes the “net carbs” that they provide—or, simply put, grams of carbs minus grams of fiber. For example, a medium-sized carrot contains 6 grams of carbs, including 3 grams of sugar. However, it also contains 1.5 grams of fiber. When you subtract the total fiber from the total carbs, you get 4.5 grams of net carbs per medium-sized carrot. With the Slow Carb Diet, that’s what you’re focused on—not the total carbs each food has, but what the net carbs are.
Changing Your Mindset
Remember, carbs aren’t inherently bad. They’re your body’s primary source of energy, and they’re vital for people who are active and regularly engaging in physical activity. Diets that completely eliminate carbs often make it more difficult to train hard because fats are more difficult for your body to turn into energy. So get over the mindset that carbs are bad. Instead, think of them as just one more resource you can use to fuel your body. Used correctly, they can be an amazing source of nutrients and vital to your overall health.
How to Plan Your Slow Carb Diet
It’s really quite simple: all you have to do is include a handful of slow-carb, fiber-rich foods into your diet—one or two servings at each meal—and cut all fast-carb, low-fiber foods completely. Basically, you should look for the fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds that contain the highest fiber-to-carbs ratio, and include those in your meals. Vegetables are obviously the best option, but the other foods are also vital to well-rounded nutrition. Make sure to get lots of lean protein and healthy fats, and with a balanced intake of all the food groups, you should have no problem getting healthier.
Is the Slow Carb Diet a Weight Loss Diet?
Yes and no! Yes, in the sense that you’re cutting out a lot of the refined sugars and no-fiber carbs that make weight loss so difficult. You’re trimming all the candies, cookies, baked goods, treats, and extras that lead to weight gain, and you’re focused on eating only healthy, nutrient-rich foods. When you do that and follow a balanced diet, you’ve got the recipe for amazing weight gain. However, it’s also NOT a weight loss diet, in the sense that it’s not going to reduce calorie intake on its own. You have to reduce your portion sizes and eat less of all foods—carbs, proteins, and fats—in order to have the caloric deficit that leads to weight loss.