When it comes to fixing your diet and trying to eat healthy, what is the first thing you do? Most people try out a new fad diet, while others follow intermittent fasting. Regardless of the method, almost all decide to cut out the most central food in the Filipino diet - rice. But, is removing rice from your diet the solution to reach your fitness goals?
Carbs like rice have gotten a pretty bad reputation in the diet industry, with some even calling them carb-age. But, there are several misconceptions about carbohydrates that many aren’t aware of. Most of the whole foods that are diet-friendly are actually carbs! Though they do have a lower number of carbohydrates per serving, fruits and vegetables are primarily made up of carbs and micronutrients. Carbohydrates are a great source of energy and fuel. This is why those who reduce their carb intake greatly tend to feel more lethargic and when doing daily activities.
So if you’re trying to diet and shave off a couple pounds, what are you supposed to do? Instead of vowing to live a carb-free life, focus on the quality of the carbohydrate-rich foods that you intake. Try to eat less processed foods and refined carbs, and opt for whole foods and complex carbohydrates. The problem with most refined carbs, like white bread and white rice, is that they have been stripped of their nutrients and fiber. Complex carbs, like brown rice, quinoa and wheat bread, contain more nutrients and fiber which allow you to digest your food more slowly, making you feel fuller for longer.
Does this mean that white rice is bad for you? Not necessarily. Though white rice has been processed, it has also been fortified with a lot of nutrients that have been removed! So you don’t have to sacrifice the beautiful white rice that you’re used to if you still want to pursue a healthier lifestyle. The biggest difference between fortified white rice and brown rice is the amount of fiber that is in the grain. Both are great options, but brown rice has a couple less calories and is a better option if you want to stay satiated for longer.
Another strategy is portion control. Be mindful of how much you intake and try to regulate that amount over time. One cup of white rice (200g) is around 240 calories, while a cup of brown rice is 216 calories. This cup of white rice is equivalent to 1.75 bottles of beer, 150g of pasta and 700g of steamed broccoli. As you can see, the volume of veggies you can eat is way more than other forms of carbohydrates - this is great if you eat in high volume! So if you’re the type that needs to eat a lot of food to feel full, try to swap some of that rice for veggies.
If you still have trouble with these routines, a fool-proof way to ensure that you’re staying on track is to follow a healthy recipe! REBEL Eats has a ton of great recipes which are quick, affordable and nutritious. The best part is that each recipe comes with a detailed list of the calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein content.
You can download the REBEL App for free to start your journey today.