Ease of Following
The Carb Lovers Diet Promise
Eat all the carbs you want, lose weight, feel and look great!
About the Carb Lovers Diet
The word “carbs” sends shivers down any dieter’s spine. Carbs have always been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons, considered the number one enemy of weight loss. Honestly, they’ve got a reputation darker than Ramsay Bolton, and that’s saying something! But what if carbs are not as bad as they’re painted out to be? What if they’re just misunderstood and judged? You know, another Severus Snape? Well, the Carb Lovers Diet developed by Ellen Kunes and Frances Largeman-Roth of the Health magazine proves exactly that. It dispels the myth that carbs are always the bad cops and claims that if chosen carefully, carbs can actually help you shed those unwanted pounds.
It might be breaking news to most of you, but carbs can actually be good for you! (Yes, we did just say that. Did your world just turn upside down?) The theory of the Carb Lovers Diet is that some foods that are high in carbohydrates can boost your metabolism as they contain resistant starch2 and increases the rate of fat burn in the body, thereby reducing body fat, especially fat around the gut3, and increasing lean muscle mass.
According to the Carb Lovers Diet, the good news is that you can lose up to 10 pounds in 28 days by following the diet, of which 6 pounds can be lost in the first week alone. Of course, this is provided you follow the diet strictly. The great news is that you can keep off the weight loss forever!
How Does the Carb Lovers Diet Work?
Carbohydrates are usually shunned in many diet plans; however, the Carb Lovers Diet emphasises the importance of low-carb foods. The diet claims that instead of making you obese, low-carb foods actually help to burn abdominal fat, which is the most stubborn fat and most difficult to shed4. Sounds too good to be true? Well, it isn’t, because this diet really does exist and can work wonders. So say goodbye to low-fat diets!
A completely “carb free” diet is not something that you should be aiming at. Carbs are necessary for the functioning of the body and the key to a well-balanced diet5. The idea is to make the right choice between “good” carbs and “bad” carbs. Introducing the correct kind of carbs into your meal plans is essential. Whole grains including brown rice, bran cereal, and beans, are good carbs that will not only melt away belly fat6, but also help to keep you energetic throughout the day7. Other foods like white bread and sugary foods are the unhealthy carbs that you should ideally be shunning!
The high fiber foods recommended by the Carb Lovers Diet plan keep you satiated for longer periods of time8 and control the blood sugar9 and cholesterol levels10. The idea of the Carb Lovers diet is to include at least one resistant starch food into your meal plan daily, as the resistant starch helps to digest your food slowly and helps to keep away the “hunger pangs”11.
Like any organized diet plan, the Carb Lovers Diet has two phases. The Kick Start Plan, that helps your body attune yourself to the diet’s requirements, is the first phase of the diet which lasts for 7 days. In this phase, you must consume meals not exceeding 1,200 calories per day and four meals in a day. In the second phase or the Carb Immersion Plan, you can eat up to five tiny meals a day, but your daily calorie consumption must not exceed 1,600 calories. If this sounds a little grueling, don’t fret yet, because once a week, you can have a “treat day” where you can indulge in your Lindt, open a bottle of “Bud” and enjoy a couple of glasses of the finest “Chardonnay”!
The Carb Lovers Diet may let you have your fill of healthy carbs, but it also emphasises the importance of exercise. A regular workout routine along with the diet plan can double the benefits of not just this diet, but most other diets as well12. It is recommended that you do weight training 2-3 times a week and on the rest of the days, you can take up physical activities such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling. An exercise routine will not only help you lose weight, but also help you keep fit and keep your heart healthy13.
The Rules of the Carb Lovers Diet:
- You must include at least one resistant starch food or “CarbStar” in every meal.
- In each meal, 25 percent of the calories should be from resistant starch and the remainder of the calories should be from lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats or MUFAs.
- Tempting as it may be to overindulge, you must keep your portion sizes in check.
- Include your favorite foods in moderation to make life easier by avoiding cravings.
- Stock up on resistant starch foods and create your “power pantry”.
There are certain that could help you speed up the weight loss process and help you burn plenty of calories when on the Carb Lovers Diet, such as:
- Eat Cooled-Down Foods: On cooking, food absorbs water and swells up, becoming larger in size. Hot foods are very easy to digest as they break up very easily. On the other hand, when you allow foods to cool, the starch in the food re-crystallizes and is converted to resistant starch that is not easily digested by the body14. Cold food contains double the amount of resistant starch when compared to hot food.
- Use Pepper Instead of Salt: Pepper not only has curative properties15, but it also contains capsaicin that boosts your metabolism16 and strengthens the digestive system17. Pepper is a healthier option than salt, so load up on that pepper!
- Sleep Well: Increase your sleeping hours and ensure a good night’s sleep, because lack of proper sleep stimulates the release of the hunger hormone, ghrelin18 that makes you overeat and consequently, put on weight.
- Drink Green Tea: Drinking plenty of green tea helps to lose weight very quickly as it helps in burning calories very fast19.
What Is Resistant Starch?
As you’ve probably already guessed, resistant starch is the hero of this carb-laden epic. Resistant starch is essentially starch or carbs that are resistant to digestion. These are not absorbed by the body but passed on to the large intestine undigested, without raising the blood glucose levels and keeping you feeling satiated.
Resistant starch can have huge health benefits including lower blood sugar levels, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced appetite and digestion20. Resistant starch is also considered as a powerhouse for weight loss21.
Foods such as whole grains, brown rice, bananas, corn and legumes are high in resistant starch.
Complex Carbs vs. Simple Carbs
Complex or “good” carbs are food that are not processed or refined and exist in their natural form. Since they are in their natural form, they have high fiber content and are rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals, meaning that they’re the good cops in your diet. Foods that are rich in complex carbs are not digested easily and so do not cause fluctuations in the blood sugar that are the cause of hunger pangs and cravings, and at the same time help to keep you feeling satiated22. Vegetables, legumes, whole fruit, potatoes, and whole grains are some great examples of healthy carbs.
Simple or “bad” carbs, on the other hand, are refined or processed to the point that their natural nutrients and healthy fiber are removed. These foods are generally high in preservatives and additives such as added flavors and artificial colors. Simple carbs are very easy to digest and are broken down very rapidly by the body into glucose. This raises the blood sugar level in our body which leads to increase in appetite and overeating. Eating plenty of simple carbs can lead to diseases such as obesity23 and diabetes26 and decreases the cholesterol level and triglycerides in the body27.
Disadvantages of the Carb Lovers Diet
- Unrealistic Weight Loss: The weight loss of 6 pounds that the diet promises in the first weeks seems unrealistic and may be mainly weight loss due to water weight. Losing more than 4 pounds of fat (minus the water weight) in a week is quite improbable and unhealthy.
- Low Calorie Diet: The diet plan advises the consumption of 1,200 calories in the first phase, which may be quite restrictive especially as the diet also recommends that you follow an active exercise routine along with the diet plan. This daily calorie allowance may be quite low for those who have an active lifestyle and may cause fatigue or deprivation in the first phase of the diet.
- Long-Term Advice: The diet plan does not give any recommendations of what you should do after the 30 day period. The diet is not too restrictive and can be continued for a longer period of time than the prescribed one month. However, there is no recommendations of what is to be done in the maintenance phase, how to manage calories and exercise in this period.
- Confusing Diet Plan: The Carb Lovers Diet can sometimes be confusing about what carbs are good or bad, as it recommends eating processed foods such as corn flakes and potato chips.
Common Myths and Misconceptions About Carbs
You Will Lose Weight If You Cut Carbs out of Your Diet
You may lose weight if you cut back on the carbs you consume, especially processed carbs such as white bread, pasta, and sweets, and replace them with the whole grain variety. Further, if you replace the carbs with proteins, you may lose more weight as it takes more energy to burn proteins than carbs28. However, you should not eliminate carbs entirely from your diet. If you eliminate an entire food group, your body will end up craving for that food and inevitably, end up bingeing. It is a great idea to include complex carbs into your diet and this will help to avoid unhealthy cravings.
The Type of Carbs You Eat Does Not Matter
It is a known fact that foods rich in complex carbs are better than foods that contain simple carbs. It is recommended that you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and whole grains should constitute 25 percent of the food that you eat. Choose “healthy” carbs that are rich in fiber or protein such as legumes and beans that keep you full for longer times while you are consuming lesser calories.
Your Body Doesn’t Need Carbs
Carbs are a very important nutrient that is required by the body to give it energy and keep it working, as mentioned earlier. Carb-rich foods provide the body with glucose which is an essential component that supports physical activity and basic body functions.
The Best Way to Cut Back on Carbs Is to Stop Eating Them
It is possible to cut out the carbs from your diet and replace them with vegetables and proteins for a few weeks; however, this is not sustainable in the long run. Instead, you can eat healthy carbs and whole grains in moderation. Get rid of all the processed and refined grains and products from your pantry and replace them with healthy, whole-grain varieties.
You must keep your portions in check and you can include small quantities of healthy fats into your diet. Eat small meals frequently so that you don’t get hungry and end up bingeing on unhealthy foods.
All Carbs Come from Bread, Pasta, or Other Food Made with Grains
Carbohydrates come in many forms such as starches, fibers and sugars, and are found in many foods such as milk, potatoes, sugary drinks, and cookies. Some of the best sources of healthy carbs are foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes and whole grains.
Carbs Are Bad for You
Carbohydrates are a vital part of your diet and can provide a host of benefits. Carb-rich foods contain several important nutrients that are required by the body like fiber, B vitamins, folic acid, and iron which is required for overall health and well-being.
Whole grains, fruits and vegetables have plenty of fiber that helps you feel full and you eat fewer calories29. This will help in weight loss. Fiber-rich carbs also help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and help to improve the digestive system30. Of course, the key is choosing the right kind of carbs that are good for you.
Low or No Carb Diets Are Very Good
Low-carb diets can actually be harmful if not followed properly. Without carbs, your body will not be able to break down fats properly and produce chemicals called ketones, which may result in a condition called ketosis that can cause kidney stones, gout, colon cancer, heart disease, kidney disease and high blood pressure31.
Phases of the Carb Lovers Diet
The Carb Lovers Diet has 2 phases:
- Carb Lovers Kick-Start Plan
- Carb Immersion Plan
Phase 1: Carb Lovers Kick-Start Plan
The Carb Lovers Diet begins with the 7-day Carb Lovers Kick-Start Plan which is quite a strict stage. In this phase, it is recommended that you limit your daily calorie consumption to around 1,200 calories per day. You can eat 4 small meals in a day during this phase. This stage eliminates bloating and lets you lose up to 6 pounds in one week.
Phase 2: Carb Immersion Plan
The phase 2 of the Carb Lovers Diet begins after the first week of the Kick-Start Plan. This is a 21-day phase where you must restrict your calorie consumption to around 1,600 per day and you can have five small meals a day. In this phase, you have a greater choice of foods.
Once a week you are allowed a “treat day” where you can have chocolate, apple pie, two glasses of wine or 2 light beers.
Who Is It For?
- If you are an athlete or follow an intense exercise schedule, then the Carb Lovers Diet is for you, as one of the benefits of the diet is that you get a lot of energy which allows you to exercise without feeling exhausted.
- If you are a diabetic, then a high-fiber and diet rich in complex carbs such as the Carb Lovers Diet is good for you as it helps to keep the blood sugar levels under control and aids the body to use the glucose in a more effective manner.
- This diet is also good for you if you are overweight or obese as eating fiber-rich foods and eliminating high-fat foods help to boost heart health and reduce cholesterol levels32.
Who Is It Not For?
If you have any medical problems or you are on any medications or if you have had an inactive and sedentary lifestyle, then it is better to check with your doctor or medical practitioner before starting the Carb Lovers Diet.
The Carb Lovers Diet is quite straightforward and promotes healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. Who wouldn’t love to lose weight by eating humanity’s favorite food group? And the best part? No guilt! With this diet, you will be able to eat your favorite foods as long as you keep your calorie consumption in check and follow the diet plan.
The diet advocates eating generous portions of “healthy” carbs, which is a good weight loss strategy, but you must always keep in mind that even if the food is healthy, eating large quantities of anything can lead to weight gain. The winning formula to effective and permanent weight loss is to restrict calories, follow a regular exercise routine and moderate the good carbs. Along with the healthy carbs, your meals should contain lean meats, vegetables, healthy fats, and low-fat dairy.
So now you can say “Hurray to Carbs” without the guilt!
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4220782/[/note]. Eating foods that contain resistant starch suppresses appetite1https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnme/2012/478043/
- http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899900714003323/24. Examples of simple carb foods are fruit juices, pastries, white bread, sweetened beverages, white pasta, and white rice.
What’s on the Menu?
- Fruits: Bananas and apples
- Vegetables: Sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, cucumbers, mushrooms, onions, peppers, broccoli, yam, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, endive, leafy greens, radishes, scallions, snow peas, squash (green or yellow), tomatoes, and watercress
- Whole Grains and Whole Grain Products: Whole wheat bread, pasta, cereals, granola bars, brown rice, oatmeal, pearl barley, rye bread, pumpernickel bread, polenta, bulgur wheat, and shirataki noodles
- Dairy Products: Yogurt, cheese, eggs, Greek yogurt
- Meat: Chicken
- Other Foods: Chocolate and potato chips
- Beverages: Green tea, water, sugar free drinks, sugar free seltzer, club soda, diet soda, coffee (sugar free, hot or iced), and tea (sugar free, hot or iced)
- Legumes: Navy beans, black beans, cannellini beans, black-eyed peas, broad/fava beans, butter beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, Lima beans, pinto beans, soy beans, and split beans
- Seasonings: Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, hot pepper sauce, vinegar (any type), soy sauce, bouillon, lemon or lime, sugar substitutes, herbs and spices (all kinds)
Before you rejoice with abandon at the presence of foods like chocolate and potato chips on the list, ensure that it they are consumed in very limited quantities as they are very poor sources of carbs.
What’s off the Menu?
- White bread
- Low-fiber cereals
- Sugary foods: Cakes, pastries, cookies, muffins, ice creams, biscuits, soft drinks, sugar, and lollies
- White rice
Advantages of the Carb Lovers Diet
- Diet Includes All Food Groups: All the food groups are present in the Carb Lovers meal plan that gives the body all the nutrients it requires. Most foods recommended by the diet are rich in vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to health.
- Flexible Diet: No one likes having the freedom of making decisions taken away from them. This diet scores in that aspect as you can make adjustments to the foods that you can eat as per your personal preference as long as it is according to the food guidelines of the diet. This also ensures that you won’t feel deprived as you can add your own favorite food at every meal.
- Good for Carb Lovers: The Carb Lovers Diet obviously encourages consumption of carbs and if you love carbohydrates like Jaime loves Cersei, then you’re looking at the right diet! It reduces the feeling of deprivation that occurs when carbs are completely eliminated from the diet. Carbs are the fuel of choice for the body and by following the Carb Lovers Diet you can avoid the tired and lethargic feeling that surrounds you like a shroud when carb-less. The diet also encourages eating good carbs, especially resistant starch that is essential for good health, as it promotes the feeling of fullness and discourages eating unhealthy carbs.
- Good for Vegetarians and Vegans: Most diets often ignore the minority of vegans and vegetarians. Thankfully, the Carb Lovers Diet is quite easy to follow and since it includes several food groups as part of the diet plan, it can easily be followed by vegetarians and vegans and also those that are on low-fat, gluten-free or low-salt diets.
- Encourages Exercising: The one big plus of the Carb Lovers Diet is that it encourages regular exercise and keeping fit as part of the weight loss plan. The diet plan encourages you to follow an exercise routine that includes both cardio and strengthening exercises that will help to tone the body and build muscles, while also improving metabolism and burning calories.
- Healthy Diet: The Carb Lovers Diet is a healthy diet as it helps to control the blood sugar level25https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1663443
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