Carb. This nasty four letter word has for too long been associated with gluttony and weight gain. It’s both the ultimate comfort food and the reason why we shudder at the thought of chewing on a bread roll. Anyone that has sacrificed hearty bowls of pasta for celery sticks, listen up.
The Carb Lovers Diet, written by nutritionist Frances Largerman-Roth and Health magazine editor Ellen Kunes, maintains that the secret to long-term weight loss is a diet rich in non-refined carbohydrates.
“For 20 years diet experts and the media have spread the word that carbohydrates are bad for our health, raise blood sugar levels and make us fat,” says Largerman-Roth. “So called healthy diets have supported protein rich plans such as Atkins and South Beach and totally shunned potatoes, bread and pasta.”
Carbs are stars
The Carb Lovers Diet revolves around eating foods rich in resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that isn’t digested in our small intestine, leaving us feeling fuller for longer.
Calorie consumption is naturally curbed as the starch acts as an indigestible, filling fiber. Eating around 15 grams of resistant starch a day also triggers a fat burning enzyme in the body, increasing your metabolism. It’s a balanced diet where you learn to eat a healthy amount of good fats, protein and fibre.
“We want people to eat normally and get the right carbs back onto their plates for good,” explains Kunes.
When people do eat carbs, they tend to eat the wrong kind. Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pasta, are super junky and immediately converted into glucose, leaving you feeling hungry again two hours later.
The carb calculator
Sticking to the plan could have you losing up to eight pounds in 30 days. This is no pasta party. In the initial ‘detox’ phase, calories are restricted to 1,200 (average weight loss is six pounds) and gradually increased to 1,600 a couple of weeks later. Men on the plan should add 500 calories on to each phase. Portion control is a big part of the plan’s success, as is one’s ability to get over their innate fear of carbs.
“There has been such a carbs backlash but important research shows that people who ate the most carbs (in countries such as Japan) weighed the less overall and vice versa,” says Largerman-Roth.
On the Carb Lovers Diet people finally get to eat what they crave — stars include green bananas, oatmeal, sourdough bread and more — just minus the guilt.