In recent years, carbs have become the bad guy in the journey to weight loss, 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 to eat more carbs, but only as long as you pick the right ones; the diet claims that you’ll drop up to 8 pounds in 30 days by combining everyday healthy foods with ‘carb stars’ – foods rich in resistant starch, such as lentils, garbanzo beans, brown rice and certain other carbs. This type of starch resists digestion in the small intestine, passing through your body without entering your bloodstream and breaking down into glucose (blood sugar) like other foods. The authors of The Carb Lovers Diet book, Ellen Kunes and Frances Largeman-Roth, editors of Health Magazine, claim that resistant starch promotes fat-burning (especially abdominal fat), helps to keep blood sugar levels in check, increases lean muscle mass and 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’, where 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.
The 5 Rules of the Carb Lovers Diet:
- Eat at least one resistant starch food - called ‘Carb Stars’ - at every meal.
- 25 percent of the calories from each meal should consist of resistant starch, with the remainder from lean protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables.
- Watch portion sizes.
- Avoid deprivation by including your favorite foods in moderation.
- Create a power pantry, where you have a ready stock of resistant starch foods.
By following the suggested meal plan you will increase your intake of resistant starches from the daily average of 4.8 grams up to 10 to 15 grams, therefore you’ll be eating up to three times the daily average.
Exercise is an important part of the Carb Lovers Diet, because it allows you to see better results and lose weight faster. The book includes a body toning workout involving the use of dumbbells that you should do two to three times each week, and on the days that you don’t do weight training it is recommended that you do some form of aerobic exercise such as walking or cycling.
The Carb Lovers Diet Meals
You can have any food in moderation, even potato chips. But refined starches, like white pasta, white rice, white bread, and low-fiber cereals, are discouraged. Sources of resistant starch include green bananas, uncooked toasted oatmeal, legumes, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta (preferably cooked al dente), and 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.
This is a typical daily plan whilst following the 7-day Kickstart Plan:
The Carb Lovers Diet Review
- Allows dieters to eat carbs and therefore stops feelings of deprivation that often occur when carbs are cut out completely; carbs are the body’s fuel of choice so those following the Carb Lovers Diet can avoid the typical lethargy dieters feel without this source of fuel.
- Promotes the importance of eating good carbs through the emphasis on resistant starch, essential for good health and shown to promote feelings of fullness and discourages eating bad carbs such as white bread, donuts and ice cream.
- The diet can work for everyone; aside from eating a resistant starch at every meal, you can choose what foods to eat, so this plan could work for 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.
- The weight loss of 6lbs promised in the first week seems excessive and is likely to be mainly water weight, as losing more than 2lbs of fat in one week is near impossible.
- The 1,200 calorie introductory rate may be overly restrictive, particularly considering the diet recommends that you exercise every day; while the limit of 1,200 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, this amount 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, such as endorsing eating processed foods such as potato chips.
- The diet doesn’t provide long term advice as to what the dieter should do after the 30-day period; while the diet is not overly restrictive and could be followed for longer than a month, there is no guidance for how to enter the maintenance phase and how to manage calories and exercise following this period.
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. By contrast, the Carb Lovers Diet promotes the consumption of good carbs, 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 contain 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 attributed to the low calorie limit, especially in the first week, and the focus on exercising every day.
Here at Phen.com, we believe the most successful diets are ones that you can stick with and make part of your lifestyle, and 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 seem to suggest it does not view itself as a long term, healthy way of eating. We would like to see more of a focus on creating a healthy eating plan that promotes a more realistic rate of weight loss within the time frame, in addition to a healthy approach to eating and exercising that is sustainable in the long term. Phen.com recommends a balanced lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise that you can do now and forever, and 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!