The best carbohydrates for weight loss and toning
Updated: May 17
This ancient grain is one of the world's oldest superfoods. Research suggests that eating fibre-rich, barley-based foods — even for a short time — can stimulate hormones in the gut that help regulate appetite and metabolism keeping you fuller for longer.
From the family of legumes, chickpeas are prevalent in protein and fibre which actually give them a very low glycaemic rating which can prevent overeating by balancing your blood sugar levels.
One study found that adults who ate at least 30 grams of fibre per day lost almost five pounds in a year, without making any other changes to their diet. A medium pear packs six grams of the stuff — more than most fruits, including apples.
This powerhouse grain contains nearly twice as much fibre as its peers, but it's also a complete protein — meaning, you can skip the saturated fats in, say, a steak and still get the amino acids your body needs to build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.
They're rich in soluble fibre, which has been shown to reduce the deep, visceral fat that can plump your waist and put you at increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
Just one of these tasty root vegetables contains about 27 grams of carbs. They've been shown to increase levels of the hormone adiponectin, which helps regulate blood sugar, so your metabolism works more efficiently. Sweet potatoes are also fat-free and have fewer calories and less sodium than white potatoes.
Whole wheat pasta
Research suggests that eating whole wheat pasta over white pasta has been linked with people of a lower body mass index when eaten under a calorie controlled diet.
A half cup delivers about four grams each of protein and fibre — so already, peas keep you feeling full — but the legume is also an excellent source of zinc, which has been linked with higher levels of the satiety hormone leptin.
Oats are complex carbohydrates that are not only super filling but are also very low on the glycaemic index. Just steer clear of instant oatmeal with added sweeteners. Instead, use cinnamon, almond butter, or a teaspoon of coconut sugar for flavour.
Making the switch from white to brown rice will do your body a whole lot of good. Since white rice is stripped of most of its nutritional value, eating brown instead will give you a healthy dose of fibre, magnesium, and vitamin B-6, all whilst filling you up.