After decades in the dog house, potatoes, bread and pasta are back on the menu with an exciting new diet that promises dramatic weight loss without sacrificing the pleasure of carbohydrates.
The secret lies in a special form of carbohydrate called resistant starch*.
In last week’s Mail, we introduced the concept of resistant starch. Studies are beginning to show that this compound — found in common and readily available foods — is a great boon for weight loss (and your overall health) as it doesn’t get absorbed into the bloodstream in the small intestine like other foods.
Instead, as it passes through the system, it creates a chain reaction, shrinking fat cells, preserving muscle, stoking your metabolism and making you feel fuller for longer.
Resistant starch is found in bananas (a green banana has 12.5g of resistant starch but a ripe one 4.7g), oats, beans, lentils, potatoes, pasta and rye bread. The most effective way to harness its power is to consume at least 1g with every meal and to eat ten to 15g a day.
Last week, we introduced the Carb Lover’s Diet, with a seven-day kick-start plan, which promises dramatic weight loss in a week by maximizing intake of resistant starch and keeping calories to 1,200 per day.
Once you have kick-started the seven-day plan, the Carb Lover’s Diet eases back slightly into a less restrictive 1,600 calorie-per-day regime, which maximizes resistant starch intake, but allows you to indulge in delicious treats, snacks and puddings, while still losing weight. The Carb Lover’s Diet 21-day plan allows large portion sizes, suggests two snacks a day (instead of one) and allows the occasional treat.
Ellen Kunes and Frances Largeman-Roth, who devised the diet, found that people who stuck to it lost weight (6lbs over three weeks, on average), without feeling deprived and, significantly, could adapt the principles to make this a delicious and effective diet plan for life.
HOW THE DIET WORKS
- Consume at least 10g of resistant starch a day.
- Ensure resistant starch fills a quarter of your plate — the remaining three quarters should be lean meat and low-fat dairy products, fruit and vegetables.
- Keep a detailed food diary.
- If you exercise a lot and start to feel hungry, double your snacks.
- If you’re not losing weight, cut out one snack each day.
- If weight loss stalls, go back to the seven-day kick-start diet.
- Choose one meal from this list of breakfast, lunch and dinner options each day and two snacks, to maximize your resistant starch intake and weight loss.
Apple and almond muesli. Stand 50g/2oz rolled oats in a bowl with 120ml/4 fl oz milk for ten minutes then add 1 chopped apple, 2 tbsps flaked almonds and 2 tsps honey.
Banana nut porridge. Cook 50g/2oz oats with water and top with sliced banana, 1 tbsp chopped walnuts and a tsp cinnamon.
Blueberry oat pancakes with maple yogurt. Blend 100g/3.5oz rolled oats, 125g/4oz low-fat cottage cheese, two large eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract, then stir in 125g/4oz blueberries. Drop 2 tbsps of the mix on to a non-stick pan and cook for three minutes each side. Serve with 180ml/6fl oz low-fat yogurt mixed with 1 tbsp maple syrup. Serves two.
Cornflakes (50g/2oz) with low-fat milk and berries (125g/4oz).
Broccoli and feta omelette with toast. Cook 175g/6oz broccoli florets in non-stick pan for three mins, add two large whisked eggs, 2 tbsps crumbled feta cheese and ¼ tsp dried dill and cook for three to four minutes. Serve with two slices toasted rye bread.
LUNCHES AND DINNERS
Choose from any of the meals in the seven-day kick-start plan or try one of these delicious dishes:
Greek lentil soup with toasted pitta. Cook two chopped celery stalks, two chopped carrots, one chopped onion, two crushed garlic cloves, 2 tsps dried oregano, salt and pepper in 1 tbsp olive oil for five mins. Add two litres/3.5 pints water and 200g/7oz dried lentils and simmer for 15 mins. Puree until smooth, drizzle with lemon juice and serve with toasted wholemeal pittas (serves four).
Thai peanut noodles. Cook 250g/8oz wholewheat linguine, adding 500g/1lb broccoli florets and 150g/5oz shelled frozen soya beans during the last minute of cooking, drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add 120ml/4fl oz peanut satay sauce and toss to coat. Add 200g/7oz bean sprouts, one large grated carrot, ½ thinly sliced red pepper. Top with 1 tbsp chopped dry-roasted peanuts. Serve with lime (serves four).
Bacon, pear and gorgonzola pizza. Bake a wholemeal pizza base and spread with 75g/3oz low-fat ricotta cheese mixed with 1 tbsp honey. Top with 25g/1oz low-fat mozzarella, 1 sliced pear, 50g/2oz ham and 4 tbsp walnuts and cover with 25g/1oz mozzarella and 2 tbsp gorgonzola. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with 50g/1lb broccoli florets and 250g/8oz salad in 6 tbsp low-fat balsamic vinaigrette (serves four).
SNACKS YOU CAN HAVE TWICE A DAY
Eat two of these low-calorie, resistant-starch-rich snacks a day:
Antipasto Platter: Arrange 12 black olives, 8 tablespoons of marinated
artichoke hearts and ½ a sliced, roasted pepper.
Pistachio and Dried Cherry Crostini: Mix 2 tbsp low-fat cottage cheese with 1 tsp honey, 2 tsp chopped pistachios and 2tsp dried cherries. Serve on 2 rye crispbreads.
Brie and Apple Slices: 1 sliced apple and 25 g (1oz) brie.
Fig and Flax Yogurt: Mix 120 ml (4 floz) natural low-fat Greek yogurt with 1 tsp honey, 3 chopped dried figs and 1 tsp ground flaxseed.
Greek Yogurt with Marmalade and Walnuts: Combine 120 ml (4 fl oz) natural low-fat Greek yogurt with 2 tsp 100 per cent fruit orange marmalade and 1 tbsp walnuts.
Honey-Curried Yogurt Dip with Carrots and Broccoli: Mix 120ml (4 floz) natural low-fat Greek yogurt with 1 tsp honey, ¼ tsp curry powder and ¼ tsp salt; serve with 125g (4oz) carrots and broccoli florets.
Hummus with Feta and Dill: Top 4 tbsp hummus with 1 tbsp feta and ¼ tsp dried dill; serve with 150g (5oz) cucumber.
Salmon and Cream Cheese Bites: Spread 2tsp low-fat cream cheese on one slice toasted pumpernickel bread; top with 15g (½ oz) smoked salmon and 2tsp chives.
They may seem indulgent, but these resistant-starch-rich treats can be one of your two daily snacks.
Banana ice cream: Peel, slice and freeze a banana, then blend it with
3 tbsp semi-skimmed milk and 1 tbsp walnuts. (4g resistant starch).
Dark chocolate and oat clusters: Heat 2 tbsp peanut butter, 2 tbsp
semi-skimmed milk and 4 tbsp plain chocolate chips in a pan for three
minutes and stir in 75g/3oz rolled oats. Drop 8 balls on to a baking sheet
and set in the fridge for ten mins. (1.7g resistant starch in 2 clusters).
Maple brown rice pudding: Mix 300g/10oz cooked brown rice, 120ml, 4fl oz semi-skimmed milk, 3 tbsp maple syrup and ½ tsp cinnamon in a bowl and microwave on high for six to eight minutes. Top with 4 tbsp sliced almonds. (Serves 4, 1.3g of resistant starch per portion).
ESSENTIAL CALORIE-ZAPPING TIPS FOR CARB LOVERS
These tricks will help you zap away a few hundred extra calories a day…
- Cool your food: Cooking causes starch to be absorbed in water and swell, breaking up to become more digestible. But as a food cools, the starch recrystallises back into resistant starch. So a cold boiled potato has twice as much resistant starch as a hot one.
- Get more sleep: When you don’t get enough sleep, levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin rise and the satiety hormone leptin dips. This causes your body to pile on belly fat.
- Use pepper instead of salt: Pepper contains capsaicin, which speeds metabolism.
- Drink green tea: It’s a metabolism booster and several cups a day can boost fat-burning by up to 17 per cent (in one study, participants who drank caffeinated green tea every day over a four-week period lost weight — those who didn’t drink green tea gained weight).
- Exercise: Taking regular exercise will help you lose weight more quickly.
*Maninis Gluten Free Miracolo Pane Country Oat Bread Mix is made with resistant starch offering 8 grams of fiber per serving. Try it today!
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