‘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 Largeman-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 Largeman-Roth. “So-called healthy diets [Atkins and South Beach] have supported protein-rich plans and totally shunned potatoes, bread and doughnuts.” And yet …
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 fiber. “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 right for you
Sticking to the plan could have you losing up to 8 pounds in 30 days. This is no pasta party. In the initial ‘detox’ phase, calories are restricted to 1,200 (average weight loss is 6 lbs.) 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 Largeman-Roth. On “The Carb Lovers Diet,” people finally get to eat what they crave — stars include green bananas, oatmeal and sourdough bread — just minus the hunger pangs. And the guilt.