New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


You Can Eat Your Carbs, and Lose Weight Too!

Obesity is one problem many Americans deal with on a daily basis. It drives people to try fad diets, diet pills, and surgery. Unfortunately, these are often just temporary solutions and once people stop following the diet or taking the pills they find that the weight just comes back and they can’t understand why.

Extremely low carbohydrate diets, like the Atkins work so well because they force the body to breakdown stored sugars as a result of a sharp decline in carbohydrate intake. This is not healthy for the body because it leaves large gaps in your overall dietary intake. One important gap, for example, is dietary fiber, which is found in carbohydrates. Upon starting an extremely low carbohydrate diet weight sheds off quickly. However, when people return to eating the way they did before sudden carbohydrate reduction all the weight lost comes right back.

In order to lose weight and keep it off, it is best to make a gradual change in eating habits that are permanent instead of starting a diet that won’t last and deprives your body of necessary foods. It is important to remember that carbohydrates are necessary foods because of the dietary fiber they contain.

Research done at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom found that on average, people who ate carbohydrates with their meals consumed 150 -200 calories less the following day. Carbohydrates eaten during a meal signal the brain to release chemicals that give the body feelings of fullness. In 2003, the World Health Organization concluded that dietary fiber was the only dietary component that had convincing evidence showing a protective effect against weight gain and obesity. It has also shown benefits in reducing colon cancer.

So what particular carbohydrates contain healthy dietary fiber? Foods containing whole grains offer the most benefits, such as whole grain bread, pasta and cereals. Brown rice, sweet potatoes, beans and bananas are also filled with dietary fiber. Many cereal manufacturers are already using more whole gains, so you may have already started eating better without even knowing it!

People who include good carbohydrates in their diet have less of a tendency to fall off the diet wagon. Their bodies don’t feel like they are being deprived of foods they crave. This enables them to make a lifestyle change in the way they eat instead of just going on a temporary diet, making their weight loss permanent.