When it comes to losing weight, slimmers may opt for a more structured plan like the intermittent fasting – which recently saw one woman lose 6.5 stone – or they may choose to cut food items out of their diet. From bread right down to fruit, it’s not uncommon for dieters to ditch certain food groups which tend to contain higher calories. In order to lose weight, a calorie deficit is needed, with healhline.com recommending women eat 1500 calories to lose one pound of weight a week, while men eat 2000. So it’s no surprise those wanting to lose weight will stay clear of calorific food items. However, nutritionist Lily Soutter says that by cutting out foods typically seen to be high in calories, slimmers could actually be avoiding food items that speed up the weight loss process.
Lily is a London nutritionist, who specialises in workplace wellness and the tools needed to make practical, sustainable and positive dietary changes regardless of a busy schedule. She has frequently appeared on ITV’s This Morning with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Lily revealed that many people tend to give up on carbohydrates, as they’re thought to lead to weight gain.
Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches and fibres found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products.
Although often maligned in modern diets, they are important to a healthy diet, and Lily says the popular trend of “no carbs before Marbs” might not actually be beneficial for weight loss.
She said: “There is a common misconception that carbohydrates make us fat, but in reality overconsumption of any food group will lead to weight gain.”
According to Lily, weight gain from carbohydrates has a lot more to do with what dieters pair it with rather than the food group itself.
She continued: “If we combine our carbohydrate source with too much fat, for example fried chips or pasta with a heavy cream sauce, the overall calorie content of the dish increases and this is what can lead to weight gain.
“Carbohydrate containing foods are our only source of fibre, and the European Food Safety Authority suggest that including fibre rich foods as part of a healthy balanced diet can improve weight maintenance.”
Fibre has been credited for weight loss. Soluble fibre, which is found in fruit, vegetables, oats and pulses, helps to slow down the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed by the body and can help to lower cholesterol.
Insoluble fibre is generally found in bread, pasta, rice and vegetables. It helps to keep food moving through the gut, helping to prevent constipation, and is vital for a healthy digestive tract.
According to healthline.com soluble fibre can reduce belly fat, with one study linking a 10g increase in daily soluble fibre intake to a 3.7 per cent lower risk of gaining belly fat.
Meanwhile insoluble fat adds bulk to the diet and makes people full.
In order to make the right choices when it comes to carbohydrates, Lily advises dieters to choose whole grains.
“When opting for starchy carbohydrates, choose whole grains which have their fibrous outer bran layer left intact. Most of the goodness is found in this bran layer which means that whole grains can contain 75 per cent more nutrients that their refined counterparts.”
Some of the healthiest whole grains include: whole oats, brown rice, whole rye, buckwheat, quinoa and bulgur.