It's confusing, isn't it? Cut carbs to lose fat. Just enough, not too many, and eat the right kinds. In the right balance. But as many vegetables as you can, and only a certain amount of fruit. But don't starve, because you'll spike your stress hormones which will lead to fat gain. So, how do you find what's best for you?
I'm afraid the answer IS complicated, and it depends on the individual. That said, when I start looking at a client's nutrition and start making changes to get their results moving, these are some of the things that I adjust. So, this can be a good place for you to start, as well.
Restrict processed foods. Duh. At this point, if you've ever read my blog before, you know this.
For breakfast, pick a protein, a little healthy fat, THEN add a splash of carbohydrate. I like 2 eggs, a slice of avocado, some spinach maybe, and half a banana OR a half cup of berries (or small handful of dried fruit). If you are having oats / cereal, AND fruit, AND flavoured yogurt, you are going to be having sugar cravings ALL day and your dinner will lead you into crunchy, starchy snack-attacks into the evening. Get that blood sugar balanced from the beginning.
Every 3-4 hours or so, have a balanced snack.
When choosing the carbs in your lunches and dinners, load up the vegetables. Starchier vegetables like sweet potato and squash are sufficient, you don't also need bread or pasta (in fact, if fat loss is a goal, keep all DOUGH-like carbs as a once-weekly indulgence). When adding starchier vegetables, be sure the portion is smaller than the size of your fist.
Do not CUT CARBS altogether. Although the amount that you can cut depends strictly on the individual, you need them. Your body needs them, your brain needs them. Not only that, but if you have had an emotional connection to food in the past and / or experience stress, you will be messing with your hormones too much that it can really work against you. You do not want to spike the stress hormone cortisol, leading to fat gain, and you do not want to lead to that empty, hungry feeling that will cause you to binge.
If you are cutting carbs down, you should feel satiated and be comfortable. You should still include them without feeling that they are the thing making you feel overfat. This is an unhealthy relationship with carbs AND food, altogether, and you are probably ready to work with a professional to decipher what approach is best for you. Everybody has a way to get to their goals swiftly and comfortably, it's a matter of finding the right balance for the individual.
We want you to succeed. We want you to feel your best, and to be at your healthiest and happiest body composition. Please don't hesitate to ask us your questions, and we'd be happy to help you fine-tune your individualized approach.