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Part 3: Complex Carbohydrates

When we overindulge in carbohydrate-dense foods like rice, pasta, couscous, and bread basket offerings, excess fuel is stored in the muscles as glycogen. You might be surprised to learn that each gram of glycogen in the muscles also stores around three grams of water, which contributes to extra fluid retention, says Shira. When you reduce your carb intake, it tells the body to burn the surplus fuel and, in turn, eliminates this excess fluid.

With that said, all carbs are not the enemy! Appropriately portioned complex carbohydrates are an essential part of Shira's plan since they help fuel the body and keep hunger at bay. Go for complex carbs that will help you feel satisfied with smaller portions.

Shira's Top Picks:

  • 1/3 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/3 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 cup black beans, cooked
  • 1/2 cup lentils, cooked

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