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If you’re trying to eat better or lose weight but don’t want to worry about measuring or counting calories, you might find it helpful to try a no flour, no sugar diet. While nutrition experts agree that there are no good or bad foods, those that contain refined white flour and sugar are usually higher in calories and less nutritious. Clearing out white breads, white pasta, sweets and desserts and replacing them with whole foods makes it easier for you to make healthier choices.
The thought of eliminating all flour and sugar might seem too restrictive, but there are many options available for your meals and snacks. Breakfast might be the most challenging, since many traditional breakfast foods like sweetened cereals, bagels and muffins are made from flour and sugar. Eliminating these refined foods allows you to fill up more on higher protein whole foods, which actually fuels your body better, and often at a lower calorie cost. Good flour and sugar-free breakfast options include a vegetable omelet with a side of fruit, cottage cheese with vegetables and fruit, or oats with fruit, nuts and a scoop of plain yogurt.
If lunch is usually a sandwich, rethink the bread and try slices of lettuce to wrap your sandwich in instead, or skip the sandwich and go for a hot meal. Leftovers like grilled meat or fish with a large side of vegetables and a small serving of brown rice make for a quick and easy lunch. Many whole grains are not flour-based, so try quinoa, farro or wheat berries as the base for a salad. Top it with fresh or grilled vegetables, and toss your grain salad with a healthy olive oil-based dressing and some herbs for flavor. Stock up on raw vegetables, hummus, rice cakes and natural peanut butter for snacks.
Flourless dinners are easy if you focus on a large serving of vegetables, combined with a lean protein like chicken, fish or tofu. If you want a starch, try a sweet or white potato, or a small scoop of brown rice. Since regular pasta is made from flour, switch to rice or buckwheat noodles, which are similar but not made from wheat flour. You can still top them with meat and sauce, or experiment more with seasonings like ginger, soy or hoison sauce, and vegetables for these noodles.
Benefits of Avoiding Flour and Sugar
You may find that you lose weight on a no flour, no sugar diet not only because you’ll eliminate so many higher calorie processed foods, but also because the whole foods you eat as a replacement are higher in fiber and protein and more filling, so you may crave fewer sweets and desserts. Foods that have no added sugar or refined flour also tend to have a lower glycemic index, which means they won’t spike your blood sugar and leave you hungry soon after eating them 2.
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