POPSUGAR Celebrity

Beat Your Carb Craving With These Easy Tricks

Mar 12 2015 - 4:15pm

The following post was written by Julie Upton, MS, RD, cofounder of Appetite for Health [1], who knows that it isn't always easy to avoid those enticing carbs. Thankfully, she's provided us with 12 suggestions for smarter ways to give in to those cravings.

Have you been passing on potatoes, skipping spaghetti, and banning bread in an effort to get those fab abs you've always dreamed of? Well, here's some tasty news: these favorite foods aren't the diet disasters you may have believed they were.

Sure, you'll lose weight on a diet that cuts carbs, but that's because you're cutting calories. Any plan that scales back on calories, whether it's Atkins, Mediterranean, or Paleo, will help you peel off pounds. But the real key here — what will help improve your chances for long-term success, according to studies — is whether you can stick with it. For most carb-loving women, a diet that permits potatoes, pasta, and bread is an eating style that can last a lifetime.


How can you have your carbs and eat them, too? Try these tricks.


Nutrition Numbers: A medium potato (5.3 ounces) has just 110 calories, so it won't make a dent in your daily calorie budget. (Plus, it is an excellent source of both vitamin C and potassium, is rich in B-vitamins, and chips in two grams of fiber.)

Slimming Strategies
Potatoes are thought of as a diet don't because of how we eat them — as high-calorie French fries, potato chips, and mashed with butter and gravy. To make a skinnier spud:


Nutrition Numbers: Pasta is higher in protein than other carbs because it's made from durum wheat, a variety of wheat that packs in more of the satiating nutrient. There are six grams of protein per two ounces of dry pasta or about one cup cooked and 210 calories. Due to its protein content, pasta also has a lower glycemic index than other carbs, so it doesn't cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels that can spike appetite. For example, most pasta varieties cooked al dente will have a GI value in the 40s to 50s compared to a GI of 99 for English muffins.

Slimming Strategies
Italians know that pasta isn't fattening — they eat a lot more of it and are much less likely to be overweight or obese. According to the International Pasta Organization [2], Italians eat 57 pounds of pasta per person per year compared to 19 pounds per person in the United States, but only about 10 percent of Italian women are obese versus 36 percent of American women [3]. Pasta is wrongly targeted as a diet disaster due to the company it keeps — buttery, meaty, and cheesy sauces — as well as the ginormous portions we eat. To slim down your spaghetti:

World Obesity Rankings [4]
BMI Statistics [5]


Nutrition Numbers: An ounce of bread (a slice or small roll) has about 80 to 100 calories. Whole-wheat or seeded varieties have more protein, fiber, and fat to keep you fuller longer but also contain more calories.

Slimming Strategies
Bread may be one of the most highly craved carbs, but there's no reason to banish it from your diet. Simply figure out healthier ways to enjoy it:

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