10 Delicious Starchy Carbs You Can Still Eat & Lose Weight

Here are 6 starchy carbs that you can eat as part of a healthy eating plan and STILL lose weight.
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Carbohydrates are often vilified as a dieter’s worst enemy but carbs are a fundamentally important part of any meal.

In fact, carbs are our body’s best energy source, the glucose helps balance out our sugar levels and the fibre is great for our digestive system.

One of the biggest problems people have with carbs is they’re eating the wrong type – a.k.a. refined white carbs instead of healthy wholegrain carbs.

Plus, we often tend to fill up on too many carbs and get our portion sizes wrong. Here are 6 starchy carbs, as well as how much of them you can eat and still lose weight.

6 starchy carbs you can eat - and how much you should eat - and STILL lose weight

How much carbs should you eat in any meal?

  • Pasta: two dried handfuls
  • Rice: two dried handfuls
  • Potatoes: one fistful
  • Apple: one
  • Bread: two slices
  • Oats: half a cup size

Other tips on how to eat carbs

  • Cooled or cold cooked pasta digests more like like a healthier fibre, prompting a safer, more gradual rise in blood sugar compared to hot pasta. 
  • Not eating enough carbohydrates can lead to a low mood, which in turn can trigger binge eating. 
  • Drinking green tea while eating carbs may be a good diet strategy as it helps boost your metabolism and lower your body’s glucose levels.
  • Some studies show that having a high-protein breakfast and carbs at night can help with weight loss.
  • Natural resistant starches like lentils, peas, beans and oatmeal help keep you fuller for longer.

10 carbs to eat and still LOSE weight!

1. Quinoa

This seed is considered to be complete protein! Lower in calories than most other types of grain and rice, quinoa is high in fibre and has good levels of vitamins and minerals. Quinoa can be mixed with vegetables and served as a side dish, or used as a flour substitute in certain types of cooked dishes.

Check out this Thermomix warm Mexican quinoa salad.

2. Brown rice

Mexican Stuffed Chicken with Rice

Brown rice is a wholegrain, and very nutritious as it contains large amounts of fibre, B vitamins and minerals such as iron, selenium and magnesium. The fibre in brown rice helps to keep the digestive system healthy and will keep you feeling fuller for longer (always a good thing when it comes to weight loss!).

Check out this brown rice recipe of Mexican Stuffed Chicken.

3. Oats

Overnight Apple Oats and Peanut Butter_2

Rolled oats digest slowly, are packed with fibre and have little impact on your blood sugar. Oats are also a great source of manganese, selenium, vitamin B1, dietary fibre, magnesium, protein and phosphorus.

Thanks to their high fibre profile, oats are also great for clearing the junk from your digestive system. That sounds like enough reason for them to be our new favourite carb! Check out this Overnight Oats recipe for your next breakfast.

4. Pasta


When eaten in a low-GI diet, can actually help you lose weight! If you’re not sold on eating pasta, try wholemeal pasta or brown rice pasta and see if that works better for you.

In the mood for pasta? Try this Pasta with Slow Cooked Ragu Sauce.

5. Couscous


Couscous is low in calories and has very little fat. It is low in dietary fibre but high in vitamins and minerals such as calcium and potassium.

There are many couscous recipes on our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge like Dukkah Chicken Couscous.

6. Wholemeal bread

sweet potato loaf

Yes, you CAN eat bread while trying to lose weight! Unlike white bread, it’s made from a more unrefined flour, is higher in fibre and has more vitamins and minerals.

It also is much lower on the GI index than white bread, meaning eating wholemeal will leave you feeling fuller for longer and less likely to raid the cake tin half way through the morning. See here our picks for the best wholemeal breads at the supermarket.

7. Buckwheat

5 budget friendly weeknight dinners with just 5 ingredients

Buckwheat is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, and full of vitamins and minerals. How do you eat it?

You can use buckwheat as a flour in baking or pancakes or porridge for breakfast or as a savoury lunch or dinner in the form of buckwheat noodles (soba is the Japanese name for buckwheat). Try these Soba noodles with salmon to get on your shredding journey.

8. Broccoli


Not what you thought would be on this list right? Broccoli is a carb (a low one at that) and we eat this without thinking we’ll gain weight because it’s green and considered a vegetable? Correct. Carbs are not simply white bread and white pasta. They come in a variety of forms and health!

Broccoli is a great non-starchy carb containing many nutrients such as folate, soluble and insoluble fibre, vitamins C and A, and calcium, which are needed for numerous functions in the body. Chicken, Cashew and Broccoli Stir Fry anyone!?

9. Barley

Eating barley will keep you feeling fuller than eating other types of grains. Barley cannot be eaten raw, but can be added to soups for extra bulk and is particularly good when substituted for rice in a risotto dish.

You can incorporate barley into your breakfast, lunch or dinner as an oat substitute or rice alternative. Check out this Breakfast Barley with Banana and Seeds on our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.

10. Sweet potato

sweet potato brownies health benefits chia seeds coconut sugar cacao

Another fibrous carb, sweet potato is packed full of vitamins, and minerals, particularly beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A once consumed. Not to be confused with the white potato, 80g of sweet potato counts towards 1 of your 5-a-day, unlike white potato which does not.

Here are 7 sweet potato recipes for you to dive into!


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