Cutting out Carbs and Sugars

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Eliminating these two types of foods can be the key to better health, even if doing so may be tricky to accomplish.

Anyone going back to a Caveman Diet will reap many associated health benefits. However, getting to that point can involve several hurdles that can trip up those who are unprepared.

One of the biggest barriers to successful Paleo dieting is the need to eliminate carbs and sugars. That’s because giving them up is hard.

Your body quickly becomes accustomed to these nutrients, and their addictive nature leads to cravings and uncomfortable withdraw symptoms. Trying to avoid them without having a plan in place is a recipe for disappointment.

The first step has to be to cut out the obvious. Most of us know that pastries, cookies, candy bars and sugary/salty vending machine snacks are probably bad for us anyway. Not only do they deliver empty calories, they’re pretty much all sugar and carbs.

So dump ‘em—even if they’re free for the taking in the break room. Contrary to rumors, those calories do, in fact, count.

The next step is a little harder. It requires the complete elimination of white flour and white rice, replacing such simple carbohydrates with whole grains.

Hard as this may seem, it has become a lot easier now than it was a few years ago. Many sushi restaurants now use brown rice as a response to health concerns, while other eateries have added a “healthy dining” section to their menus.

Next, look to fruits, vegetables and nuts for your daily carbohydrate intake. Complement them with dark, green leafy vegetables as side dishes instead of potatoes or corn.

Then it gets trickier. Truly eliminating sugar and carbs almost requires a magnifying glass—to read the Nutrition Facts labels while researching foods sold in supermarkets.

Plenty of foods have hidden sugars that aren’t immediately apparent; they can only be found by scouring food labels. Many a well-meaning dieter has been foiled by foods that wouldn’t seem to contain the sweet substance.

Once all that’s done, there’s just one more critical thing to remember: Don’t expect your body to make this easy—it will fight for its dependency.

Withdrawal symptoms can include headaches, lethargy and lightheadedness, as well as skin irritation and emotional reactions. It may be necessary to change eating patterns, particularly for those who are used to eating sugar and carbs at particular times of day.

Remember that the benefits to this approach range from weight loss to improved health. The best approach is to make it a gradual process, like exercise.

Come up with a plan to wean yourself away from sugars and carbs slowly, in stages, and your odds of sticking with it will greatly improve.

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Lex Cavemen

LEX is the scientist. He is obsessed with understanding why and how the world around him works the way it does.

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