Why Rice Cakes (And Other Low-Fat Carbs) Won’t Make You Skinny

rice cakes and yogurt

It’s generally wise not to get too invested in diet trends, and the low-fat, high-fiber (and carb) diets of the past two decades are proof. The fat-phobic diets of the 80s and 90s encouraged millions of people to get skinny on a diet of rice cakes, fat-free yogurt and low-fat cookies, but today’s prevailing wisdom is that sugar and carbs are why Americans are more obese than ever. Yes, yes, we know: Lots of people still insist that weight loss simply comes down to calories in, calories out. But there’s mounting evidence that high-carb diets seriously throw off our hormones and spur more fat storage than eating fat does.

We’ve written about the whole idea that high-sugar diets are very likely the culprit for obesity and diabetes before. Dr. Natasha Turner has explained how diet impacts hormone balance here, which impacts weight loss, and she’s also given us tips for how to tame high-carb diets for better weight loss here. And our favorite advice of hers may have been to have more sex and less sugar to lose weight.) But if you want a quick visual explanation for why you should put down the rice cakes and get a more balanced diet, here’s an interesting infographic to demonstrate:

why carbs make you fat

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    • Mark Demma

      I’ve been heavy off and on all my life, but I got REALLY big after I was at home for a few months recovering after surgery. I’m not sure how much I got up to because the scale stopped at 300. I had done a very low calorie (700 a day) diet before, but that never seemed to work to keep weight off. And I don’t think my body could have handled that again after the surgery. I spent a lot of time searching the internet trying to research diets and came across the whole paleo / primal / low carb gig and decided to give that a try. Having grown up in the 80s when the whole low fat fad got into full swing, it took a lot of convincing that it was OK to eat saturated fat and cholesterol. When I got down to 160, my doctor was “concerned” about what I told him I ate, but he said he couldn’t argue with my bloodwork numbers, which were better than any of his other 40 something patients, and he said I had the blood pressure of a 20 year old, so I should “keep doing what I’m doing”.

      It’s great you are sharing this information, Briana. We’ve been fed all this bad information about “healthy whole grains” for so long and it has nothing to do with health, but rather to sell the products of agribusiness. I’m so glad more folks are discovering that the demonization of fats was just completely wrong.

    • Kelsie Rokhamer

      So true, I used to fluctuate between 280-315 lb, I’m now down to 200! :) It was tough, but if I can do it anyone can. Now, I always check out this review website before buying any products in weight loss – http://www.foryourweightloss.com . My personal favourite is The Diet Solution Program because it really helped me through the psychological issues of my weight loss.

      Kelsie x