Is The Carb Lovers Diet For You?
Carbs are the most recent bad guy in the weight loss world, but is depriving yourself of all carbs such a great idea? Not according to the Carb Lovers Diet, which promotes eating “good carbs” full of resistant starch with every meal. Could eating bread, pasta and even potatoes with the promise of weight loss be the best thing since sliced bread, or is there a catch? Read on for our review of The Carb Lovers Diet to find out if it could work for you on your weight loss journey with Phen Caps.
The Carb Lovers Diet Rules
The main principle of the diet is that you can eat more carbs, but only as long as you pick the right ones.
Ellen Kunes and Frances Largeman-Roth, authors of The Carb Lovers Diet and editors for Health magazine, claim that you’ll drop up to eight pounds in 30 days by combining everyday healthy foods with “carb stars”: foods rich in resistant starch, such as lentils, garbanzo beans and brown rice. The type of starch contained in these “carb stars” resists digestion in the small intestine, which allows it to pass through your body without breaking down into glucose (blood sugar).
Kunes and Largeman-Roth claim that resistant starch:
- Promotes fat-burning, especially in the abdominal region
- Helps keep blood sugar levels in check
- Increases lean muscle mass
- Works as an appetite suppressant
The Carb Lovers Diet starts with the strict 7-day “Carb Lovers Kickstart Plan,” where your daily calorie limit is set at 1,200 and you must eat four small meals each day. This part of the plan aims to eliminate bloating and claims to allow you to lose six pounds in one week.
Once you have completed the first week, you follow this with the 21-day “Carb Immersion Plan,” wherein you eat five daily meals and your calorie limit is set at 1,600 per day with more flexibility with food choices.
Once a week you’re also allowed a special treat of chocolate, apple pie, 2 light beers or 2 small glasses of wine.
There are 5 specific rules for the Carb Lovers Diet:
1. Eat at least one resistant starch (“carb star”) at every meal.
2. About 25% of the calories at each meal should come from a resistant starch. The other 75% should be composed of lean protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables.
3. Keep an eye on portion sizes.
4. Avoid deprivation by including your favorite foods in moderation.
5. Create a “power pantry” with a ready stock of resistant starch foods.
The idea is to increase your intake of resistant starches from the current average 4.8 grams per day to a more desirable 10-15 grams per day.
Exercise is an important part of the Carb Lovers Diet because it allows you lose weight faster. The book includes a dumbbell workout that you should do 2-3 times each week. On the days that you don’t weight train, the authors recommend partaking in some aerobic exercise such as walking or cycling.
The Carb Lovers Diet Meal Plan
Each meal should include a “good” resistant starch such as: green bananas, uncooked toasted oatmeal, legumes, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta (preferably cooked al dente) or potatoes that have been cooked and cooled.
The rest of your plate should contain lean meats, low-fat dairy, good fats, fruits, and vegetables. The diet particularly recommends apples, broccoli, cucumbers, Greek yogurt, steak, salmon, eggs, chicken, cheese, chocolate, and green tea.
While you can have any food in moderation (even potato chips!) while following the Carb Lovers Diet, refined starches like white pasta, white rice, white bread and low-fiber cereals are discouraged.
This is a typical daily plan for the 7-day Kickstart Plan:
|Breakfast||Kashi TLC chewy granola bar and 1 green banana|
|Lunch||Chicken Pita Sandwich|
|Snack||¾ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt + 2 teaspoons honey + 2 tablespoons rolled oats|
|Dinner||Sautéed Salmon and Parmesan Potatoes|
The Carb Lovers Diet Review
Like any diet, the Carb Lovers Diet has both benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of the most important pros and cons of the Carb Lovers Diet:
Some of the best parts of the Carb Lovers:
- Allows dieters to eat carbs and therefore stops feelings of deprivation & lethargy that often occur when carbs are cut out completely.
- Resistant starch has been shown to increase satiety and decrease unhealthy snacking on bad carbs such as white bread, donuts and ice cream.
- The diet can work for everyone: vegetarians and vegans, as well as those on low-salt, low-fat, and gluten-free diets.
- The diet encourages exercise, which is an important part of any good weight loss plan. By encouraging both cardio and strengthening exercises the diet also ensures that followers will tone their bodies and build muscle, as well as improving metabolism and burning calories.
- No food is completely banned and the diet also allows for weekly treats within the calorie limits.
Some downsides of the Carb Lovers Diet:
- The 6lb weight loss promised in the first week seems excessive and is likely water weight, as losing more than 2lbs of fat in one week is near impossible.
- The 1200 calorie introductory rate may be overly restrictive, particularly considering the diet recommends that you exercise every day. While the calorie limit of 1200 is often used as a general figure for dieters to follow, this is the minimum amount and so if you are very active, taller or have more weight to lose, 1200 calories per day could be too low and may lead to feelings of tiredness or deprivation.
- The diet gives confusing advice as to what carbs are considered good or bad
- The book doesn’t provide long term advice as to what the dieter should do after the 30-day period. There is no guidance for how to enter the maintenance phase or how to manage calories and exercise after weight loss.
Overall, we see this diet as a promising alternative to the many low-carb diets that limit the consumption of carbs, often down to levels which are well below the recommended daily amount. The Carb Lovers Diet promotes the consumption of good carbs that are full of fiber and whole grains, which will keep you feeling full longer as well as providing much needed energy.
The diet book itself also contains many recipes and encourages dieters to make foods from scratch rather than relying on processed foods, which will provide a good basis for healthy eating in the long term.
The main flaw of this diet is the promises it makes based on what might be seen as the miracle properties of resistant starch. Although resistant starch is an important part of a healthy eating plan, weight loss on the Carb Lovers Diet is more likely attributable to the low calorie limit and daily exercise.
The most successful diets are ones that you can stick with and make part of your lifestyle. While the Carb Lovers Diet promotes healthy eating, plus encourages exercise and allowing yourself an occasional treat to avoid feelings of deprivation, some of the claims it makes about weight loss suggest it is not designed as a long term way of healthy eating.
Phen.com recommends a balanced lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise that you can do now and forever. With the addition of Phen Caps as a weight loss supplement, your weight loss goal is more than achievable AND sustainable.
Are you a carb lover? Have you ever tried this diet? If so we’d love to hear your feedback!
Kunes, E., & Largeman-Roth, F. (2011). The Carb Lovers Diet: Eat what you love, get slim for life! Birmingham, Ala.: Oxmoor House.
Wait, M. (2019, February 18). CarbLovers Diet Review: What Are Resistant Starches? Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/diet/a-z/carb-lovers-diet.