Carbohydrates can be a part of a healthy weight loss plan when consumed in moderation and from nutrient-rich sources. It’s important to differentiate between different types of carbs:
- Complex Carbohydrates: These are found in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. They provide essential nutrients, fiber, and sustained energy. Including complex carbs in your diet can support weight loss by promoting satiety and providing necessary nutrients.
- Simple Carbohydrates: These are found in processed and refined foods like white bread, sugary snacks, and sugary drinks. Consuming excessive amounts of simple carbs can lead to blood sugar spikes, cravings, and weight gain. Limiting or avoiding these sources is beneficial for weight loss.
Types of Carbs to Avoid to Lose Weight
It is generally advisable to avoid the following types of carbohydrates to lose weight:
- Refined Grains: Such as white bread, white rice, and refined pasta.
- Sugary Foods and Beverages: Foods and drinks high in added sugars, such as soda, candy, pastries, and sweetened cereals.
- Sugary Snacks: Snacks like cookies, cakes, and sugary chocolate bars.
- Fried Foods: Fried foods like french fries, fried chicken, and fried snacks.
- Sweetened Beverages: Sugar-sweetened drinks like soda, fruit juices, energy drinks, and sweetened coffee beverages.
- Highly Processed Snack Foods: Packaged snacks like chips, crackers, and snack bars.
These kinds of carbs have a lot of calories that can make you gain weight and raise your blood sugar levels.
What are the Side Effects If You Cut Carbs Completely?
Cutting out carbs completely from your diet is not a good approach, as carbohydrates play important roles in providing energy and supporting various physical functions.
Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the body, especially for the brain and muscles. Completely eliminating carbs can lead to:
- Feeling of Fatigue
- Feeling of Weakness
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Decreased Athletic Performance
Top Complex Carb to Eat to Lose Weight
Complex carbohydrates provide important nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are generally digested more slowly than simple carbohydrates, leading to a gradual release of energy and a feeling of fullness.
Brown Rice: One of the key advantages of brown rice for weight loss is its high fiber content. Fiber helps keep you feeling full for longer periods of time, which can prevent overeating and snacking between meals. Additionally, brown rice has a lower glycemic index compared to white rice, which means it doesn’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels that can lead to cravings and overeating.
Benefits of Brown Rice
- Good for weight management
- Good for Heart Health
- Keep blood sugar level low
Quinoa: Quinoa is a nutritious whole-grain food that can be helpful for weight loss. It is packed with both fiber and protein. A cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. The fiber content in quinoa helps keep you feeling full for a longer time, reducing the craving to snack on unhealthy foods. Additionally, the protein in quinoa supports weight loss by promoting muscle growth and repair.
Also, quinoa is believed to have certain properties that may support an increase in metabolism.
Benefits of Quinoa
- Helps increase metabolism
- Burn belly fat
- Improve gut health
- Keep blood sugar level low
Barley: Barley is one of the whole grains popularly known as “JAU” in India. 100 grams of barley contain 17 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein. It is also a great source of magnesium, phosphorous, and manganese.
Benefits of Barley
- Helps in Weight Loss
- Help in Digestion
- Blood Sugar Control
Oatmeal: Oats are a well-liked and healthy whole grain that can assist in weight loss. They are packed with fiber and protein, which are both important for managing weight. Just one cup of oats provides 13 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, which can help you feel full and satisfied. The fiber in oats aids digestion and promotes regular bowel movements, while the protein helps to maintain and build muscle mass.
Millet: Millet, also known as “BAJRA” in India, is a nutritious grain that can be beneficial for weight loss. Millets are rich in complex carbohydrates, which provide sustained energy and help you feel full for longer. A cup of millet contains 4 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein, making it a filling and satisfying option. Additionally, millets are packed with important minerals like iron, magnesium, and calcium, which support overall health. Also, millets are low in calories, which makes millets an excellent choice for losing weight.
Lentils: Lentils are a fantastic food for weight loss and appetite control due to their high soluble fiber content. Soluble fiber helps keep you feeling fuller for longer, reducing the chances of overeating and helping to burn belly fat. Lentils are not only rich in fiber but also provide a good amount of protein, making them a satisfying and nutritious choice. Additionally, lentils are a great source of iron, which is important for overall health and energy levels during weight loss.
Chickpeas: Chickpeas have a low glycemic index, low glycemic index help prevent spikes in blood sugar, and can contribute to better appetite control and weight management. Chickpeas are an excellent plant-based source of protein and fiber.
People who consume chickpeas have a 53% lower chance of being obese and a 51% lower chance of having high blood sugar levels.1
Benefits of Chickpeas
- Good source of protein
- Help in weight management
- Promote a feeling of fullness
Black Beans: Black beans are rich in soluble fiber, which can help decrease belly fat. A single cup of black beans provides 15 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber. These beans are a good source of carbohydrates that can help you feel satisfied and control your appetite.
A study involving 246 women found that beans and other legumes have dietary properties that are advantageous for reducing body fat, particularly in the lower body, and achieving a smaller waist size.2
These complex carbohydrates are the best carb to eat to lose weight and provide essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are generally digested more slowly than simple carbohydrates, leading to a gradual release of energy and a more sustained feeling of fullness.
Eating nutrient-rich complex carbohydrates in moderate amounts, while controlling portion sizes, can be part of a healthy weight-loss plan.