We knew there had to be some perks to dieting (apart from losing weight, of course) and we think we've just found them. 10 of them to be precise.
If you’re anything like us, then the thought of living your life on a carb-free diet is about as welcome as stubbing your toe. So we’ve been doing some digging and figured there must be some way or another to have your carbs, and eat them too, even when you’re on a diet.
And we’ve found that yes, there is such a thing as good carbs for weight loss!
Here are 10 ‘good’ carbs that won’t ruin your diet, but will actually enhance it. From slow-release-energy wholegrains, to fruits and vegetables, these are great carbs for weight loss. Full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and all sorts of fat fighting ingredients, we think you deserve to know about them. But shh, don’t go telling just anyone, they’ll all want some!
Have you ever tried a carb-free diet? How did you get on? Let us know in our comments section below.
We always seem to be preaching to you about the benefits of oats. But they really are so good for you!
Oats are a saviour for dieters, especially if you're the sort of person that finds themselves reaching for snacks by 11am. The key here is that oats release energy slowly, keeping you full and satisfied right up until lunchtime, and will do far more for you than a bowl of cereal or piece of fruit.
And you shouldn't just think of oats in terms of a breakfast food, these clever little grains make an amazing breadcrumb substitute. Finely chop them with a knife or in a blender, and transform your meatballs, fish cakes and chicken fillets.
Beans are brilliant for regulating your digestive system, helping you feel healthier and better in yourself.
And these little beans really are your secret weapon in your fight against fat. Not only do they lower cholesterol levels, but they also regulate your sugar levels, helping to stamp out those troublesome cravings for a bar of something sweet!
Quinoa means 'mother of grain', and truly, this light, fluffy food is the mother of all grains.
Cooked like rice, it's high in protein, low in carbohydrates and contains all nine (yes, nine!) essential amino acids which are simply amazing for your skin.
Quinoa is rightly known as a superfood, it's gluten-free, and just jam-packed with vitamins and minerals like magnesium, calcium and B6. Oh and did we mention Gwynnie and Jen An are huge fans of the stuff? We're sold.
Try making our quinoa, feta and broccoli salad.
One of the main deal-breakers when it comes to dieting has to be the lack of hearty dishes. Quite frankly, there are so many meals that could just do with a nice bit of bread and butter to mop up the leftovers.
Say hello to whole grain bread. Considered a 'good carb', whole grain bread hasn't lost any of its goodness in the milling process. A chunky slice of the brown stuff is nothing but good, honest grains, packed with vitamins, minerals, and free of added sugar or fat.
Bulgur is pre-cooked wholewheat and is a slow-release energy-providing carbohydrate, fibre-rich and comes with all the goodness that wholegrains offer. It's a great way to fill out a less-than-inspiring salad.
Try our bulgur wheat salad recipe.
Yes! Veggies are carbohydrates too, especially sweet root veg like carrots, parnips and beetroot.
Colourful, leafy vegetables like broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, and celery all contain minerals and antioxidants though which are great at combating diseases associated with weight gain.
Basically, as many of these carbs, the better!
Not getting the idea yet? Wholegrains are good for your diet, and you'd better believe it!
Switch all that white rice in your cupboard for bags of the whole grain stuff. It's thought that at least 11 of its key nutrients are lost in the process of making white rice.
The brown version is truly one of the healthiest foods in the world, and will add some sustenence and texture to any old meal, from a salad to a chilli con carne.
Barley isn't eaten half as much as it should be, it's so, so good for you!
It feeds the healthy bacteria which live in the intestine, keeping your digestive system healthy, and is super high in soluble fibre, which helps the body metabolise fats and cholesterol.
All in all, it's a carbohydrate lover's best friend.
Try our hearty root and barley soup recipe.
You might have overlooked these, but fruit falls in to the carb category too.
Not only is fruit full of vitamins and antioxidants, but it's perfect for satisfying those sugar cravings. Try and avoid dried fruit though because it tends to be much sweeter than fresh fruit.
Unfortunately Terry's Chocolate Orange doesn't count.
And just when we thought we'd have to forget our spaghetti bols and our prawn linguines...you can eat pasta on a diet. As long as it's whole grain, which releases energy slowly, and has retained all the goodness of the grain.
Brown pasta, how glad we are that you came into our life.
If you want to cut out carbs completely, check out our carb swapper, telling you what to replace all the bad carbs with to provide filling, nutritious meals.
Where to next?