Carb-Healthy Diet: 9 Get-to-Goal Strategies That Really Work

These sneaky tricks to eating a carb-healthy diet may help to speed up weight loss.

Losing weight takes time and patience. However these sneaky tricks, courtesy of the CarbLovers Diet book, may help to speed up the process.

1. Automate eating.
Some people can lose weight while enjoying lots of variety in their food choices, while others discover that variety only stimulates their appetite. Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, calls this the buffet effect (you know, where you just...can't...stop eating because there are so many options?).

There's some evidence that backs up this theory: when researchers at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offered study participants M&Ms in 10 different colors, they gobbled up 77 percent more candy than when offered just seven colors. In another study done by the same researchers, participants consumed 55 percent more jelly beans when they were offered 24 varieties of flavors versus only 6 varieties.

If you suspect too many different tastes makes you hungrier, try this: Instead of eating seven different breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks each week, you may want to try alternating among just two or three of them. Dieters who have tried it say they actually appreciate having to make fewer decisions and feel fuller faster.

2. Control portions with frozen meals.
Replacing two or more dinners a week with frozen meals can be helpful when it comes to portion control: since these kinds of meals are already portioned for you, there's no guessworkand no chance you'll be tempted to have seconds or thirds. Use this list of recommended dinners as a guide.

3. Cool your food.
If you enjoyed cold pizza or spaghetti for breakfast in college, now's a good time to get back in the habit. Cold foods are thought to help you to burn more fat and fill up on fewer calories. Cooking actually reduces the amount of resistant starch in a food because it causes the starch to absorb water and swell, breaking up the starch and making it more digestible.

As a food cools, however, the starch recrystallizes back into resistant starch. This is why a cold boiled potato has twice as much resistant starch as a hot one. Eating cold, high-resistant starch foods may fill you up faster, so you don't need to eat everything on your plate. It will also provide you with an extra metabolism boost.

4. Choose less-ripe fruit.
As fruit ripens, starch turns into sugar. This is why a green banana has 12.5 grams of resistant starch, whereas a ripe one has just 4.7 grams. Bottom line: The less ripe your fruit, the more resistant starch it will containand the more fat you'll burn.
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Last Updated: July 28, 2010

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