Do you think that CARB is a four-letter word—and do you believe that to stay slim, you need to swear off high-carb foods forever?
If so, I have happy news for you. Yes, you may need to keep your carb count really low if you’re trying to lose weight. But once you hit your target weight, you can start inviting high-carb foods back into your life. The trick is to know what your personal carb type is.
Take the Carb Quiz
To find out what your personal carb type is, check out this recent episode of Dr. Oz and take the Carb Quiz. When you’re done, you’ll know which of these three groups you fall into:
- The Carefree Carber: You can eat carbs all day, every day, and never gain an ounce—and your friends hate you for it!
- The Carb Craver: Once you start eating carbs, you can’t stop. In your world, there’s no such thing as one handful of popcorn or potato chips. As soon as you take that first bite, you know you’re going to eat the whole bag.
- The Carb Collector: This is your type if it seems like every carb you eat goes right on your hips or your belly.
Eating for Your Carb Type
Once you know your carb type, you can use this knowledge to determine which carbs are right for you. Here’s how it works.
If you’re a Carefree Carber, you can eat carbs fearlessly and stay slim. But here’s what I want you to remember: Good health isn’t just about the numbers on your scale!
Empty carbs like chips and doughnuts starve your body of the nutrients you need, aging you fast and putting you at risk for disease—so even if they don’t put pounds on you, they’re bad news. Instead, I want you to indulge in nutrient-packed carbs like sweet potatoes, beets, and blueberries. In short, don’t count carbs; count nutrients.
If you’re a Carb Craver, you’re actually addicted to carbs. As I explain on the Dr. Oz episode, we have dopamine receptors in our brains, and switching these receptors to “on” makes us feel pleasure. Compared to other people, carb cravers like you need extra stimulation to get that reward. That’s why once you start reaching for carbs, you can’t stop.
In this case, I have a great solution for you: resistant starches. These special starches fill you up more than other types of starch, nuking those cravings.
If you’re a Carb Collector, you’re probably paying for a lifetime of eating simple carbs like bread and sugar—a diet that threw your metabolism out of whack, making it easy for you to put on pounds. On the other hand, it could just be that you got unlucky in the gene lottery.
Either way, I want you to focus on high-protein carbs such as quinoa, which will give your metabolism a boost. In addition, high-protein carbs keep your blood sugar low, which in turn will keep your body from laying down fat.
Even within each carb type, no two people are exactly alike—so play around with your carb intake until you figure out what works best for you. I recommend keeping a food journal, in which you can track your carb intake (and the types of carbs you eat), your weight, and any symptoms like bloating or skin breakouts. Jot down some quick notes each night before you go to bed, and within a few months, you’re likely to spot patterns.
Also, be aware that your body may change as you age. For instance, if you’re a Carefree Carber in your twenties, you may discover that you turn into a Carb Collector in your thirties. Keep an eye out for changes in your weight and your belly size, and tweak your carb intake accordingly.
All it takes to become “carb smart” is a little insight into your carb type and your own body. So do your detective work, and then move carbs off your enemies list and back into your life!
Keep thinking Big and living BOLD!