Why Eating More Potatoes and Pasta May Help You Lose Weight Faster


When people consider dieting to lose weight, they generally think about cutting down on junk foods and carbs.

A few of my coworkers are currently trying a keto diet, which means they are avoiding things such as potatoes, pasta, bread, candy, and beer, to name a few.

I’m a big believer in exercising and eating well instead of following a diet plan, but they seem to think it will help them lose weight.

One study, though, has found that if you eat potatoes, pasta, and rice, you can lose weight quicker than by limiting your calorie intake.

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Yes, you read that correctly. Those foods you have been told not to eat a lot of could actually help you lose weight.

Researchers from Leeds University found that potatoes, rice, and pasta fill people faster so that they tend to have fewer cravings for junk food and end up eating less in general.

“A lot of people give up on diets because they feel hungry between meals,” Dr. Nicola Buckland said of her study. “Our research shows eating low energy density foods can help overcome that problem.”

Other low energy density foods that have the same effect are fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meat, fish, eggs, and beans. All of these are full of water, protein, and fiber and therefore usually have fewer calories per bit.

The volunteer-based study consisted of 78 overweight women who were placed into two different groups.

In the first group, 37 women ate low energy density foods for 14 weeks. On average, they lost 12 pounds, 13 ounces after the study.

Forty-one women were in the second group and they were placed on a diet that restricted their calorie intake to 1,400 calories per day. These women only lost 7 pounds, 4 ounces during the same 14 weeks.

The volunteers who ate less energy-dense foods for breakfast and lunch also reported that they ate 1,057 fewer calories for dinner. This group also felt less hungry and had fewer cravings.

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“Someone would have to eat around  250 grams of carrots to consume 100 calories or 20 grams of chocolate,” Buckland said. “But the greater volume of carrots is likely to make you much fuller.”

Dr. Jacquie Lavin responded to the study and said, “We might think we need to be overly strict when we’re losing weight by reducing portion sizes right down, but this approach ultimately leaves us feeling more hungry.”

Excuse me as I help myself to a giant bowl of pasta!

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith