Low-carb doesn’t have to be boring.

As mentioned in last week’s Greenville gym post, there are many creative low-carb substitutes for carb-heavy classics.

Rest assured, you don’t have to vow to ban bread from your diet for the rest of your existence. It’s all about balance. Flexible dieting is the most sustainable dieting route, meaning that you should structure in “bad” eating bouts to satisfy carb cravings. Suffice it to say, cheat day is a must!

Non-cheat days, however, stick to structured, mindful eating. This doesn’t mean Plain Jane eating. You can still enjoy your favorite, flavor-packed meals, but with a waistline-friendly twist!

  1. Swap cauliflower for mash potatoes.
    Steam some fresh or frozen cauliflower. Add some butter or a butter substitute (ghee is highly recommended!). Add a little sea salt. Then, puree in a food processor or blender. To make it even better, try adding roasted garlic. Yum!
  2. Swap squash for hash browns.
    Breakfast isn’t breakfast without this classic side dish. Summer squash (the football-shaped yellow kind) mocks the taste of potatoes when cooked, but is light on the carbs. Grate the squash, mix in an egg as a binder, shape into patties, and fry them in olive oil.
  3. Swap oatmeal and cottage cheese for pancake mix.
    Mix together half a cup of old-fashioned oatmeal, a quarter cup of low-fat cottage cheese, two eggs, and a dash of vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whip up in a blender until smooth. Cook the mixture like a regular pancake. Bam!
  4. Swap mixed vegetables and/or black beans for pasta salad.
    Try black beans (or other legumes), diced tomatoes, and chunks of ham, tuna, chicken, or hard-boiled eggs for a protein rich, carb-light pasta salad rendition.
  5. Swap kale chips for ALL chips.
    There’s a plethora of kale chip recipes out there. Satisfy the craving for something crisp and crunchy with this healthy, nutrient-rich snack.

What are your favorite low-carb substitutes?

Need help finding a suitable, balanced diet plan? Greenville health club offers nutritional and weight loss counseling from certified experts that can help you create a complete nutrition program to complement your Greenville athletic club fitness and weight loss goals.

If you are in, or anywhere close to a bodybuilding community, odds are you’ve heard this question, or variations on this question: Are you hitting your macros? 

But what’s it mean?

And how exactly does one hit their macros?

But first…what is a “Macro”?  

Here’s the formal definition: A macronutrient is any of the nutritional components of the diet that are required in relatively large amounts: protein, carbohydrate, fat, and minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and phosphorous.

Macro dieting, or “flexible dieting,” is all the trend these days. While it may seem like just another fad diet, its principles are actually well-rooted in science and well-established (especially in bodybuilding arenas).

It’s simply a method of dieting that revolves around hitting daily macro nutritional intake targets, while ignoring what you eat to hit those targets. Ice cream, donuts, fast food…no matter. Just as long as you’re hitting your macros.

To ensure you’re staying true to your macros, you organize your daily meals to provide you with a particular supply of protein, carbohydrate, and fat, depending on your Greenville gym fitness goals (lose fat or build muscle). Essentially, it’s a type of calorie counting (a gram of protein and carbohydrate both contain about 4 calories, and a gram of fat contains about 9).

According to this dieting theory, it doesn’t matter which foods you consume to hit your designated macros. And it works.

But when should you consider this form of dieting?

If you want to lose weight while also maintaining as much lean mass as possible, you need to do more than just maintain a caloric deficit diet, including:

  • Eating adequate daily protein to maintain muscle.
  • Eating enough carbs to provide your muscles with the glycogen stores necessary to keep up with your training intensity.
  • Eating enough healthy fats, which play a major role in hormone synthesis.

Macro dieting involves striking the appropriate balance of these nutrients, to send you down the path to sculpted, lean mean success.

And while, yes, you can eat whatever you want to hit your macros, remember this: “You are what you eat.” Eat excess junk food and you will surely develop vitamin deficiencies and put yourself at greater risk for disease (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) Stick to this mantra: All things in moderation. Being fit and healthy extends far beyond your physical appearance. Treat your insides well, too.

Have questions? Consult our nutritional experts at the Greenville health club.