I was on a Health & Fitness forum last week and someone started a thread titled, “Has anyone been able to cure their carb addiction?”
. I clicked on it to share my experience but not before reading through people’s responses. A few of them stood out because I could relate!
Why cut down on carbs? Because excess carbohydrates consumed are converted into fat. And a lot of carbohydrates consumed (most of the time) are refined, processed, high in sugar and/or just done so in excess.
One of them went along the lines of, “Carbs are a huge staple in my home. I can’t give them up”. She mentioned bread and, I think, rice.
My plan is to post a video on my YouTube Channel (–>Click here to subscribe<--) but until then I decided on this write up.
|Lol, an old picture from 3-4 years ago
I’m Nigerian. I grew up eating a plateful of rice with one piece of meat or chicken. I remember being told I had to finish my rice before being given my meat/chicken, which was the prize, haha! Rice, yam, eba, you name it. We love our carbs in Nigeria.
So I’m sure it’s a surprise to many that I can go days without eating any of the above and not feel deprived. I won’t say I don’t care for carbs anymore, that would be a barefaced lie. What I can honestly say is, I don’t depend on carbs and I still have the energy to work, work out and teach 4 spin classes per week (more work). FYI I eat “good” carbs during the week eg sweet potatoes, plantain (some might argue about plantain but it works for me), brown beans, etc. Watch my Food Diary series HERE for more of an idea of my eating habits. I do have days when I only crave carbs and not the good ones (which happened recently!) but now short lived, thankfully.
How Did I Get Here?
1. Slowly Cut Down My Carb Portion and Replaced With Protein (chicken, meat, fish) And Vegetables
For example, when I made fried rice, I used less rice (half the usual portion) and more vegetables and prawns. I did the same for yam, potatoes, etc. If the meals didn’t usually include veggies, I added them or had an extra piece of meat/chicken to fill the void Quick Note: Protein fills you up!
I did this for close to a year before I moved on to the next step… I was very resistant to more changes but I’m glad I didn’t stop here.
*I’m going to post a video on this topic where I’ll share more on my experience*
2. Changed My Breakfast from High Carbs To High Protein
I used to have 5 oatcakes (oat biscuits) post workout, because “I deserved them after working so hard” (ha!) and then a huge bowl of porridge oats (!!!) for breakfast once I got to work!! And I wondered why I wasn’t able to shift the little, but extra, weight around my middle!
My friend, Keris of Fitter London, challenged me to swap my oatcakes AND porridge for a protein bar. Imagine my alarm! But I rose up to the challenge
I started off with having the protein bar and a banana post workout, I took out the banana after a week. I was surprised I didn’t feel hungry after having the protein bar and I wasn’t tired!
|This wasn’t the bar but it’s close enough
The best bit was within 2 weeks, people started commenting on a difference in my physique. 2 weeks?! Now, remember I wasn’t overweight at this point but there was a visible difference.
*I later changed to cooked breakfasts but again, I’ll discuss more in a video.*
3. Cut Out Carbs Completely In Some MealsAt this point, I was used to eating protein rich foods so taking this step was easy. Eg I had salmon and eggs for breakfast. And sometimes, I’d have a large portion of fish or chicken for dinner, and add a little stew or soup.
|Yesterday’s dinner… I had one more piece of fish
You must remember that I aim to eat very well on Monday through Friday. On Saturday & Sunday, I treat myself. This way I don’t feel deprived and I’m able to treat myself reasonably. I’ve noticed that my treats have become healthier as the months and years have gone by. Once I mentioned to a friend I was treating myself and she laughed saying, “My healthy days are worse than your treat days”.
So the moral of the story is:
MAKE GRADUAL CHANGES, YOUR MIND & BODY WILL ADJUST TO THEM.
If I did it, you definitely can!
PS If you have any blog/video requests, send me an email: info @ adura-o.com or tweet me @Adura_O
Photo Credit: Skinny Chef