Carbs are the body’s preferred energy source. They provide structure for our cells and work to keep us healthy, focused, and full. Yet, as the saying goes, too much of a good thing can be bad, and carbs are usually the first thing we cut when trying to lose weight. Keep in mind that carbs are critical to keep your body functioning properly and should never be completely eliminated from your diet (which is nearly impossible to do). However, if you are looking to eat a little less, you don’t have to be hungry in the process. Instead, use these great ways to feel full while losing weight and enjoying the classic dishes you love.regina george is butter a carb GIF

1. Find lower calorie options

Pasta comes in all shapes, sizes, and nutrient contents. Make sure you read food labels to determine what your actually consuming. Then, browse your local grocery store for better options. Look for choices that include high protein contents, high amounts of fiber, and added vegetables. You might be surprised just how many calories you can save simply by switching brands, and you may naturally eat less due to the satiating effects of protein and fiber.

2. Diet OptionsImage result for pre-cut zoodles

With little to no carbs, items such as Shirataki noodles are great options. They look like traditional noodles, but you can eat entire bags and still not reach the carb content of a single serving of pasta. Admittedly, they take some getting used to as they come packaged in water. However, they easily absorb cooking flavors and taste great!

3. Vegetables!

Vegetables such as zucchini, squash, cauliflower, and even carrots can all be used to replace starchy carbs. You can mince, chop, and spiralize them yourself, or you can find conveniently cut options already in the store! Replace noodles, make pizza crusts, create fries and chips, or switch up your mashed potatoes. The options are plentiful, and they all taste great! Plus, using vegetables will ensure you’re meeting your daily needs for vitamins, nutrients, and fiber. You’ll be losing weight, feeling amazing, and enjoying the foods you eat!

As you can see, dieting doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t have to be miserable and hungry. Instead, find healthy alternatives to your favorite foods, and know that it’s okay to splurge every once in a while! Search your local grocery store for healthy, convenient items that fit your lifestyle, make mindful swaps of the foods you eat daily, and the pounds will shed off before you know it!