Should I Avoid Carbs to Lose Weight?
Before answering the question above, we must first understand the physiology of weight loss. The concept that drives weight loss is negative energy balance (energy out more than energy in), which means you must burn more calories than you consume in order to lose weight.
Some studies found that restricted carbohydrate diets are associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, indicating that the practice of restricting carbohydrates should be recommended cautiously. Also, a rapid weight loss of 1-3 kg within the first few days of low carbs diet is due to the depletion of glycogen and water stores, causing this diet to appear encouraging.
Imagine your plate divided into two quarters and one half; and this is how much proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables you should be having with every meal. The recommended portions for a healthy meal are one fist size of whole grains (e.g. brown rice), one palm size of protein (e.g. chicken, meat, fish, legumes, etc) and two cupped hands of non-starchy vegetables and fruits.
As a Malaysian, our staple food includes carbohydrate-rich food such as rice, noodles, chapatti and many more. Thus, it is impractical to avoid them completely.
1. SACN (2015) “Carbohydrates and Health”.
2. Accurso et al. (2008) “Dietary carbohydrate restriction in type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome: time for a critical appraisal”
3. American College of Cardiology (ACC). (2019). Scientific Session: Abstract 1123-310. Retrieved from
4. Sports Dietitians Australia. (2009). Retrieved from
T.S, Dietitian, Private Hospital