As January rolls around, there are plenty of Britons who are launching their weight loss journey – in a bid to begin their New Year’s Resolutions. From the Keto diet to Paleo living, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. But, what food groups should you eat – and limit – for the best weight loss results? Some people decide to stay away from carbs in an effort to get trim – but could this actually be hampering your chances of staying slim in the long-term?
New research by YouGov has highlighted that more than a third of people, in a survey of 2,103 adults, have followed a low-carbohydrate diet in order to try to shift the pounds.
However, the study – dubbed the Big Carb Survey – saw two thirds of respondents claim that they had heard that low-carbohydrate diets were better for losing weight.
So, it this really the case?
According to Slimming World, who commissioned the research, dramatically cutting down on carbohydrates isn’t something slimmers should necessarily do.
Rather, the slimming brand discussed how this food group can help to give dieters the health and balance that they need in a diet, in order to reach long-term weight loss.
What’s more, the company’s top nutrition expert insisted that low-carbohydrate diets should be avoided all together – should you want to maintain a slimmer figure.
Dr Jacquie Lavin, Head of Nutrition and Research at Slimming World said: “There is a deep-seated misconception that people should avoid carbohydrates when they’re trying to lose weight, and as a nation we’re bombarded with anti-carbohydrate messages.
“Yet the truth is, carbohydrates play an important role both in a healthy diet and in sustainable weight loss – and the current carb confusion is fuelling the UK’s obesity problem.
“A diet to aid weight loss needs to be healthy and balanced.”
She added: “It should give people the freedom and flexibility to enjoy a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat, and importantly it needs to be sustainable for the long term – without deprivation or cutting out whole food groups.
“As our research shows, low-carb diets are hard to follow. So if you want to lose weight this new year, and keep it off, avoid low-carb diets.”
Dr Lavin went on to explain how the Slimming World diet plan allows participants to still enjoy fibre-rich carbohydrates – such as pasta and potatoes.
“For decades at Slimming World we’ve promoted the importance of filling up on low energy density foods – including starchy and fibre-rich carbohydrates such as pasta, potatoes and rice – because you can eat large amounts of these foods for relatively few calories and feel fuller and more satisfied while losing weight,” she said.
The NHS has also addressed the topic of losing carbs for weight loss, discussing how not all carbohydrates are the same.
A statement from dietitian Sian Porter on the NHS website read: “Carbohydrates are such a broad category and people need to know that not all carbs are the same.
“It’s the type, quality and quantity of carbohydrate in our diet that is important.
“While we should reduce the amount of free sugar in our diet, we should base our meals on starchy carbs, particularly the higher fibre varieties.”
The Slimming World Food Optimising diet plan comprises of three categories of food.
Slimmers can tuck into unrestricted amounts of Free Foods, such as pasta, fish, vegetables and lean meat, but are encouraged to satisfy their appetite while reducing their overall energy intake.
They can also enjoy a certain amount of Healthy Extras – which include cheese, milk, and wholemeal bread.
Finally, those on the diet plan are allowed a limited amount of Syns – a category which covers alcohol, sugar, and saturated fats.
READ MORE: Slimming World vs Weight Watchers: Which is the best diet plan for fast weight loss?
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