The Swedish government recently released a report, commissioned by the Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment, that advised people in their country to eliminate carbs if they want to lose weight.
However, experts say that this plan is best for short-term and not long-term weight loss. “If you are worried about your weight, then eliminating carbohydrates for a short period can help,” says Jonas Lindblom, the report’s project director.
American dieticians agree. “Low-carb diets may jumpstart your weight loss in the short-term, but it doesn’t last in the long-term,” says Rebecca Scritchfield, R.D., a Washington, D.C.-based weight loss expert. She cautions that ditching bread and potatoes entirely may actually curb your weight loss efforts in the long run. “Starting a low-carb diet leads to weight cycling and yo-yoing, which is potentially harmful to your metabolism overall," she says. "That’s because when you lose weight, you’re losing muscle and fat, but when you gain it back, you may be gaining only fat."
So how do you keep the weight off? Scritchfield recommends ditching the diet completely and sticking with daily American dietary guidelines, which say you should fill your plate half-full with fruits and veggies, a quarter-full with starches (carbs) and a quarter-full with protein at every meal.
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