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How to Cut Back on Carbohydrates Without Feeling Hungry

written by: Stephanie Michael • edited by: Rhonda Callow • updated: 5/22/2011

If you're trying to follow a low carb diet it can be hard to cut back on bread, rice, and cereals without a diverse and filling substitute. It's also important to understand the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates. Here are a few foods that do a great job standing in for star

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    For me, cutting carbohydrates completely out of my diet leaves me feeling hungry and dreaming of bagels so I prefer to cut back on simple carbohydrates while making sure to eat plenty of complex carbohydrates, as well as fiber and protein. So what is the difference between simple and complex?

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    Simple vs Complex

    Simple carbohydrates are easily converted by your body into glucose making you feel hungry sooner and giving you less energy per calorie. Simple carbohydrates include white bread, white potatoes, and white rice. Complex carbohydrates are usually found in the healthier counterparts of simple carbohydrates. Foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes all have complex carbohydrates as well as many of the other nutrients your body needs. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest so they keep you feeling fuller longer. Beans and some fruits and vegetables are also packed with fiber and help maintain a healthy digestive track. Learn more here.

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    Beans, beans, the magical fruit...

    Considered nature's health food, legumes, lentils, and beans top the list in super complex carbohydrates that will keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day. The best part is that this versatile family of foods can be cooked using the spices and flavors you love. You can use beans in soups, salads, side dishes, and of course in chili. Some beans like soy beans can be enjoyed by themselves by simply steaming them and tossing with a little salt. The best part is that beans are also low in fat and packed with protein, fiber, and many vitamins and nutrients.

    A great way to have a quick meal or snack readily on hand is to cook a large pot of mixed beans together with a packet of chili seasoning and a can of diced tomato. My favorite mix includes black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, and lentils. If you feel creative add peppers, carrots, celery, or sweet potatoes. You can simmer it all together on the stove or leave it in a crock pot on low all day. I usually add cooked lean meats like chicken, turkey, or lean ground beef in the bowl as I'm serving. By keeping the bean mix “vegetarian” you can store it much longer than you would be able to if you added meat to the pot.

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    The incredible edible egg

    Eggs are another great food that's filling, easy to make, and low in carbohydrates. They are full of protein and are easily digested. Most people believe the myth that eggs are bad for you, that they cause high cholesterol, or that you should only eat the whites of an egg. While the yolk does contain some fat it is not a significant amount and most doctors now agree that eggs are beneficial and should be included into a nutritious diet.

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    Eat more greens

    Salads that include dark green leafy lettuces as well as fibrous foods such as carrots and cabbage can be eaten with little to no guilt. As long as your using a low fat salad dressing you can go ahead and enjoy seconds and thirds. I like to keep salad ingredients on hand for lunch and dinner as well as an occasional in between snacks. The green leafy foliage is also full of fiber and many other vital nutrients.

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    Make sure to drink plenty of water.

    Water is probably the most important substance we consume. It keeps all of our bodily functions moving including digestion. By making sure you are drinking plenty of water you will ensure your body is working at top condition and that the foods you eat are being easily digested and that the nutrients from those foods are then carried easily to your cells. Drinking more water before and during meals can also keep you from overeating. Some dietitians say that when you feel yourself getting hungry try drinking eight ounces of water and waiting 30 minutes. Sometimes you may find that you were thirsty, not hungry.

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    You don't have to give up bread and pasta to get on track with your daily diet. Its as easy as cutting out simple carbohydrates, eating more filling foods like beans and fresh produce, and drinking plenty of water. Small steps lead to big changes so don't feel like drastic diets are the only options.

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    Sources:

    Nutrition facts for Beans, kidney, mature seeds, sprouted, raw, http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2324/2

    Nutritional information of Egg, whole, cooked, scrambled, http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/120/2

    Fruits and veggies more matters, http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/?page_id=115&gclid=CJnjjNW3jpwCFR7yDAodVBs2Zg