top of page

Best Complex Carbs For Weight Loss

A picture of a healthy bowl of complex carbs

There is no such thing as bad carbs but if you are watching your weight or trying to lose weight, there are better carbs than some.

These carbs are often called complex carbohydrates, referred to as "complex carbs." Which are a type of dietary carbohydrate found in foods like whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and some fruits.

Unlike simple carbohydrates (sugars), complex carbs consist of longer chains of sugar molecules, which take more time for the body to break down and convert into glucose, the body's primary source of energy. This slower digestion and absorption process results in a more sustained release of energy, helping to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

In the context of weight loss, complex carbs can play a crucial role. When you consume complex carbs, they provide a feeling of fullness and satiety, which can help control appetite and reduce overall calorie intake. This can be particularly beneficial when trying to create a calorie deficit for weight loss.

Additionally, the steady energy release from complex carbs can help prevent energy dips and cravings, making it easier to adhere to a balanced and sustainable diet. However, it's important to focus on whole, unprocessed sources of complex carbs, as refined or processed sources can lack essential nutrients and fiber, potentially hindering weight loss efforts if consumed in excess.

When it comes to picking the best complex carbs for weight loss, it's essential to focus on options that provide sustained energy, promote feelings of fullness, and offer valuable nutrients without causing rapid blood sugar spikes.

Here are some of the best complex carbs for weight loss:

Whole Grains:

A picture of a loaf of whole grain bread

Opt for whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, oats, barley, and whole wheat pasta. These grains are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, providing long-lasting energy and promoting satiety.


A picture of beans

Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. They help control appetite and keep you feeling full, making them valuable for weight loss.


A picture of vegetables

Non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, cauliflower, and bell peppers are low in calories but high in fiber and essential nutrients. They can be a significant part of a weight loss diet, as they provide volume and nutrition without excess calories.


A picture of fruit

While fruits contain natural sugars, they are also packed with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Berries, apples, pears, and citrus fruits are particularly good choices as they are lower in sugar compared to some tropical fruits.

Sweet Potatoes:

A picture of sweet potatoes

These provide complex carbohydrates, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. They have a lower glycemic index compared to white potatoes, which means they have a milder impact on blood sugar levels.


A picture of oatmeal

Oats are high in soluble fiber, which can help regulate appetite and promote digestive health. Opt for plain oats and add your choice of toppings like berries, nuts, and seeds.

Amaranth and Buckwheat:

A picture of buckwheat

These less common whole grains are nutrient-dense and gluten-free, making them suitable for a variety of dietary preferences.

Remember that portion control is essential when consuming complex carbs for weight loss. While these carbohydrates offer numerous benefits, overeating any type of calorie-dense food, even healthy complex carbs, can hinder weight loss efforts.

It's also crucial to incorporate a balanced diet that includes a variety of food groups, along with regular physical activity, for effective and sustainable weight management.

Benefits of Complex Carbs

Eating complex carbohydrates offers a wide range of health benefits due to their nutritional content and slower digestion.

Here are some of the key advantages of including complex carbs in your diet:

Sustained Energy

Complex carbs are digested more slowly than simple carbohydrates, resulting in a gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream. This provides a steady and sustained source of energy, helping you feel alert and energized throughout the day.

Appetite Control

The fiber in complex carbs promotes feelings of fullness and satiety, which can help control your appetite and reduce overall calorie intake. This can be particularly beneficial for weight management and preventing overeating.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Complex carbohydrates have a lower glycemic index (GI) compared to simple carbs, meaning they have a milder impact on blood sugar levels. This can be helpful for individuals with diabetes or those looking to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Digestive Health

The fiber in complex carbs aids in digestion by promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. It also supports a healthy gut microbiome, which has numerous health benefits.

Nutrient Density

Many complex carb sources, such as whole grains, legumes, and vegetables, are rich in essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients are important for overall health and can help prevent chronic diseases.

Heart Health

A diet high in complex carbs, particularly from whole grains, has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. The fiber helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and the nutrients support a healthy cardiovascular system.

Weight Management

Complex carbs can be an integral part of a balanced and sustainable weight loss or maintenance plan. Their ability to control appetite and provide lasting energy makes them valuable for those seeking to manage their weight.

Stable Mood and Cognitive Function

Complex carbs can contribute to stable mood and cognitive function by providing a consistent supply of glucose to the brain. This can help improve concentration and overall mental well-being.

Long-Term Health

Consuming complex carbs as part of a balanced diet is associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, and obesity.

In the quest for sustainable weight loss, the choices we make about what we eat play a pivotal role. While many diets and weight loss plans promise quick fixes and magical solutions, the truth is that achieving and maintaining a healthy weight requires a balanced and informed approach.

One key element of this approach is embracing complex carbohydrates as a valuable ally on your weight loss journey.


bottom of page