There is a common misconception that if you’re trying to lose weight then you have to give up foods high in carbohydrates. While carbohydrate-rich foods can be energy-dense, it is a matter of energy in versus energy out when it comes to weight loss, rather than forgoing whole food groups. Low carb diets do have their place, but they are just one diet strategy and are not for everyone. So, if you’re a potato, rice or bread lover, we’re here to show you how these foods can fit in with your weight loss goals!
The humble potato often gets a bad rap, regularly labelled the bad guy of vegetables due to its high carbohydrate levels. But potatoes have many health benefits, not to mention just being darn tasty!
Contrary to popular belief, white potatoes are actually lower in carbohydrates and energy than their sweet potato counterparts plus more protein and potassium per serve. Meanwhile, cooked and cooled potatoes contain resistant starch which is great for our gut bacteria.
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 celery sticks chopped
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 500g lean beef mince
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbs butter
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Cook mince in a fry-pan until browned. Then add in the stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire, herbs, carrots, celery and peas.
- Simmer until the liquid thickens (10mins approx.)
- Cook potatoes in the microwave until soft, then mash with butter and cracked pepper.
- Grease a ceramic dish and add in the meat mixture. Top with mashed potato and bake in the oven for 30mins or until the potato is golden.
Nutrient stats: 946kJ energy, 17g carbs, 22g protein, 4.6g fibre
White rice is a refined grain, meaning it has had a lot of its fibre and nutrients removed in the milling process, so it’s best to choose wild rice or quinoa as much as possible for their higher nutrient and fibre content. However, white rice can still be included occasionally as part of a balanced diet.
Serving size is key to ensuring it fits in with your weight loss goals. Limit to one cup cooked and serve with plenty of veggies to increase fibre content and help keep you fuller for longer.
- 2 cups cooked long grain rice
- ½ cup green peas
- 1 capsicum diced finely
- 1 tin baby corn, cut into 1cm pieces
- 2 spring onions chopped
- 2 tbs soy sauce (salt reduced)
- 2 short cut bacon rashers diced finely
- 1tsp olive oil
- Heat olive oil in a pan. Add vegetables and garlic, cooking until softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add bacon to the frypan and cook until crispy.
- Add cooked rice and vegetables to the pan, along with soy sauce.
- Stir for 5 mins until heated through and serve.
Nutrient stats: 1850kJ energy, 20g protein, 80g carbohydrates, 11.5g fibre
Bread & Wraps
Bread simply isn’t the baddie that a lot of social media makes it out to be. When it comes to weight loss, including fibre rich foods such as bread helps keep us fuller for longer, so choosing high fibre varieties is key.
Choose wholemeal and wholegrain breads and wraps. These contain more antioxidants and nutrients such as B group vitamins, zinc, iron, magnesium than white varieties. Also, be mindful of portion sizes. Choose small wraps or sandwich sliced bread rather than bigger portions.
Tortilla Stack & Salsa
- 3 low carb wholemeal wraps, e.g. Helga’s lower-carb wraps
- 250g lean pork mince
- 400g tin black beans drained
- ½ packet taco seasoning or your choice of spices
- ¼ cup shredded cheese
- 1 avocado
- 1 red onion
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 200g tin corn
- Cook mince in a fry pan and drain off any excess oil.
- Add taco seasoning and black beans, stirring until heated through.
- Spray a baking dish with olive oil spray and lay down one of the wraps.
- Cover the wrap with ½ the mince mixture then add the second tortilla and repeat.
- Add the third wrap to the top and sprinkle with cheese.
- Cook in the oven for 5-10mins until the cheese is golden and crispy.
- Combine the salsa ingredients.
- Cut the tortilla stack into 6 and serve with the salsa.
Nutrient stats: 1615kJ energy, 22g carbs, 24g protein, 9g fibre
When it comes to weight loss, avoiding whole food groups or following fad diets rarely result in long term success. Eating a wide variety of foods, and managing portion sizes is key to losing and keeping weight off in the long term.
If you’d like to learn more about how to optimise your physical and mental health with food, explore our latest online nutrition programs. The self-guided courses were developed by Fuel Your Life’s Accredited Practising Dietitians and focus on improving your life, work performance and mental health. For more personalised nutritional advice, chat with one of our experienced dietitians and get started today.