The Carb Lovers Diet is a weight loss plan that allows dieters to eat the foods they love while still losing weight. The Carb Lovers Diet was created by Ellen Kunes and Frances Largeman-Roth, two registered dietitians, and has been getting buzz since it was published in early 2010.
The Carb Lovers Diet’s premise is that you can lose weight by eating more carbs. This may sound counterintuitive, but Kunes and Largeman-Roth explain that it’s all about choosing the right carbs. Refined carbs like white flour and sugar are out, but “good” carbs like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are in. The goal is to fill up on fiber-rich carbs, which will help you feel full and lose weight.
The Carb Lovers Diet starts the initial seven-day kickstart plan, followed by a 21-day program. People report losing up to 16 pounds over these 30 days. After this, it is recommended that people follow the general diet guidelines without overly restricting calorie intake.
How the CarbLovers Diet Works
Love carbs but want to shed some extra pounds? The Carbover’s diet allows people the freedom to eat the carbs they enjoy while also providing significant weight loss benefits.
The diet focuses on resistant starches (RS) found in certain carbohydrates. These can boost metabolism and help people shed excess pounds, as they are not digestible in the small intestine, which means they do not spike blood glucose levels.
Consuming a source of RS at every meal can unlock weight loss potential by shrinking fat cells, boosting fat-burning, controlling hunger and blood sugar levels, suppressing appetite, and lowering cholesterol.
These resistant starches, or carb stars, are found in brown rice, lentils, whole grain oats, and much more. Enjoy regulated portions of these foods.
Carbs no longer have to be the enemy on the CarbLovers diet, but it is essential to be aware of good vs. bad carbs and how to maintain a balanced diet overall.
- Conduct research to understand what foods contain resistant starch.
- Plan ahead and prep to include a source of RS in every meal.
- Divide the plate into one quarter-resistant starchy carbohydrates and the rest vegetables and lean protein.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Keep calorie intake at 1,200 per day on the initial seven-day kick-start diet.
- On the 21-day diet, keep calorie intake at 1,600 per day.
- Though this diet allows more freedom than conventional diets, it is still important to moderate portion sizes.
The Diet Plan
There are no forbidden foods on the Carb Lovers Diet, but there are three “carb rules” that dieters must follow:
- Eat at least one carb-rich food at every meal.
- Make sure 50% of your daily carb intake comes from “good” carbs.
- Get 25% of your daily calories from fat.
Each meal should consist of one-quarter resistant starch, with the rest made up of vegetables and protein. Some key carb stars (the best RS foods) include:
- Brown rice
- Wholegrain pasta
- Many more
Aim to include one of these foods at every meal. Eating a variety of fresh produce for vitality and fullness is also essential while getting plenty of lean protein. This will also help to sustain energy and strength for exercise.
It is also vital to keep hydrated. Aim to drink 6-8 cups of water daily and drink more when exercising.
This diet is generally affordable due to the relatively low cost of carbohydrate staples and healthy produce. Consider buying in bulk or at local markets for added savings.
Dos and Don’ts
- Find out what carbohydrates have the resistant starch property. These will be key to unlocking the benefits of the Carb Lovers Diet.
- Still moderate portion sizes. A plate should be roughly one-quarter resistant starches, and the rest vegetables and lean protein.
- Follow the formula as closely as possible. Make sure to only consume 1,200 calories per day on the initial seven-day plan and 1,600 for 21 days after that. This is key to losing weight.
- Expect sustainable weight loss without effort. The weight loss in the initial seven and 21 days is mostly water weight. Keep up healthy habits to maintain the weight loss long term.
- Immediately return to unhealthy carbs and sugar after the diet. It is easy to suddenly regain weight this way.
- Expect to eat carbs solely. This diet allows carb consumption but still significantly moderates intake.
- Overeat refined flour, sugar, pastries, or white bread. These carbohydrates do not have the refined starch quality and may lead to weight gain.
Sample Diet Plan
Breakfast: Whole grain cinnamon oatmeal made with water and one banana. Top with a sprinkle of walnuts.
Lunch: Lentil and brown rice salad
Dinner: Spelt-base vegetarian magertita pizza
Tip: When using bananas, always opt for green or unripe bananas. These have the resistant starch property, and ripe bananas only contain normal starch and will not have the same effect.
Health Benefits and Drawbacks of the CarbLovers Diet
- Quick results. Because the diet starts with a strict seven-day regime, people may experience a rapid reduction in belly fat.
- The diet is non-expensive as it does not require accompanying books or dietary supplements.
- It allows people to enjoy the foods they love while still losing weight. Most other diets are considered overly restrictive and unenjoyable.
- Increased energy. Many people report feeling boosted in energy after just a few days on the diet.
- Exercise is encouraged on the CarbLovers diet, which can have a wealth of benefits for the body. Kunes and Largeman-Roth recommend 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking, five days a week.
- You can regain weight quickly if you return to regular eating habits after the first two phases of the diet.
- Suddenly eating a lot of high-fiber carbs can cause bloating. Adjust to a higher fiber intake slowly.
The Bottom Line: Is the CarbLovers Diet a Healthy Way to Lose Weight?
The CarbLovers diet offers rapid, short-term weight loss and tips for more sustainable weight management. It is easy to follow and allows people to eat the foods they love while restricting calories.
Those following this diet may lose up to 16 pounds over the 30 days. There are many other benefits of following the CarbLovers diet, including reducing blood glucose levels and a lower chance of type 2 diabetes.
Eating wholegrain carbs can also help maintain hunger and curb pesky food cravings.
However, it is essential to remember that this diet is an excellent start to a long-term healthy diet. People should not try to continue this diet longer than the 30-day plan.