If you haven’t already discovered, all carbs are not bad carbs. As a matter of fact, you can actually slim down by eating these 15 good carbs.
Seriously, you can literally shave pounds by grubbing on just carbs—but don’t get it twisted. You gotta make sure you’re eating the right ones. Add these carbs choices to your weekly diet and keep your body burning fat all day—no gimmicks.
Barley is a natural appetite suppressant and bulking agent that can push waste through your digestive system. It contains 6 grams of soluble fiber that has been linked to lower cholesterol and regulated blood sugar.
2. Whole-Wheat Pasta
Whole wheat contains all three parts of the wheat kernel—the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. Whole wheat is high in the minerals iron, magnesium, and selenium and is rich in B vitamins which are important for a healthy nervous system and energy metabolism (aka fat burning).
Legumes consist of peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas, all of which are great foods for losing excess belly fat. In a four-week study, researchers found that eating a calorie-restricted diet with four weekly servings of legumes aids weight loss more effectively than the same calorie-restricted diet without them. Those who consumed the legume-rich diet also saw improvements in their “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels and their blood pressure.
4. Whole-Wheat Bread
Notice a trend here? Just like with whole-wheat pasta, you’re getting all three parts of the wheat kernel with WWB, including fiber to help with that the feeling of being full (which of course makes you eat less and poop more). It may be worth spending some extra bread (pun intended) on the good stuff, often found in the freezer aisles as most breads in the sandwich aisle are filled with that high fructose corn syrup garbage and can a blend of both whole and enriched wheats (which you don’t want).
5. Black Beans
Beans are a great source of protein and fiber. They help regulate your blood sugar as well as retain and/or build muscle depending on your weekly exercise. One cup of black beans has 12 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber. Black beans are also rich in folate, a B vitamin that benefits muscle growth, and copper, which strengthens tendons.
Oats are filled with carbs, but the release of those sugars is slowed by fiber, and because oats also have 10 grams of protein per half-cup serving, they deliver steady, ab-muscle-friendly energy. And that fiber is soluble, which lowers the risk of heart disease.
7. Chocolate Milk
Researchers have determined that the ideal protein load for building muscle is 10 to 20 grams, half before and half after your workout. One cup of chocolate milk contains 8 grams of protein. Consider adding chocolate milk to your daily diet to turbocharge your metabolism and keep you burning calories all day.
A bloated stomach can make even the tightest abdomen look a bit—well—fat. Bananas help fight against this unwanted water retention and gas with potassium and other bloat-fighting bacteria. A medium-sized banana contains about 36 grams of good carbs. Their low glycemic index means carbs are slowly released into your body, preventing sugar crashes and spurring the process of muscle recovery. Bananas are rich in glucose, a highly digestible sugar, which provides quick energy, and their high potassium content helps prevent muscle cramping during your workout.
One study found that women who ate a banana twice daily as a pre-meal snack for 60 days reduced their belly-bloat by 50 percent.
Contrary to what many might think, cherries are not berries. They are actually tiny fruits with their own pits. Much like peaches or plums. Cherries are phytonutrient-rich and give you the best benefit when served tart.
A University of Michigan found that rats fed tart cherries showed a 9 percent belly fat reduction over rats fed a standard diet. Moreover, researchers noted that the cherries alter the expression of fat genes.
Apples are one of the very best sources of fiber and contain more than 10% of your daily intake of vitamin C.
A Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center study found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber eaten per day, belly fat was reduced by 3.7% over a five year span.
11. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are incredibly versatile and are high in fiber, vitamins A, C, and B6. They are considered slow carbs—carbs that are digested slowly and increase satiety. Carotenoids, antioxidants which stabilize blood-sugar levels and lower insulin resistance, are found in sweet potatoes and help prevent calories from being converted into fat. Oh, and if you were are one of those people who like to call sweet potatoes yams, you might want to check out this great article by Kitchn.
In addition to warding off prostate, breast, lung and skin cancers, “little trees” as I used to call them, can also help in eliminating excess belly fat.
Broccoli contains a phytonutrient called sulforaphane that increases testosterone and fights off fat storage. It’s rich in vitamin C, a nutrient that can lower levels of cortisol during stressful situations. Other vegetables like broccoli are called cruciferous-vegetables and are also excellent carbs for your core. These include Chinese cabbage, kale, cauliflower, arugula and more.
A cup of blueberries has 21 grams of good carbs. These carbs are loaded with polyphenols which are chemical compounds that prevent fat from forming.
A University of Michigan study found that rats that ate blueberry powder as part of their meals lost belly fat and had lower cholesterol, even when they ate a high-fat diet. It’s theorized that the catechins in blueberries activate the fat-burning gene in belly-fat cells. In another study at Tufts University, people who regularly consumed catechins increased their belly-fat loss by 77%.
14. Greek Yogurt
Protein, calcium, and probiotics, are just a few of the nutrients packed into yogurt of the Greek assortment. Greek yogurt has all the makings of the ideal weight loss food. Supplementing your diet with a combination of vitamin D and calcium (the two ingredients found in abundance in yogurt), can help you double your weight-loss results.
Spinach is a leafy somewhat majestic vegetable rich in thylakoids—compounds that promote weight loss and help curb cravings. This green is also packed with proteins that help build muscle mass that increases the amount of calories that can be burned at rest. Just one cup of steamed spinach has as much protein as a medium hard-boiled egg.