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Does Rice Make You Gain Weight?

If someone is looking to lose weight, the first piece of advice they usually hear is to stay away from rice as it will make them fat. However, does rice really deserve the malnutrition it gets? First, let’s clear up some facts!

Rice is the staple food of our country and a rich source of carbohydrates, neither making you fat nor unhealthy. However, it has a bad reputation as people see it as the primary cause behind various health ailments, including and among many other ailments. The question now is whether rice is the real culprit for weight gain. Or is it the way people consume? Let’s find out!

Rice and Weight Management​

According to research, rice is a critical part of a balanced and nutritious diet. It is low in fat and sugar, easy to digest, gluten-free and a good source.

In addition, some types of rice, which is one of the energy-dense foods, are a storehouse of other beneficial nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium and iron.

Rice is a high carbohydrate food that provides energy to the body. The fiber in rice helps regulate digestion, and the protein helps build and repair tissues.

Here’s how rice helps maintain optimal weight:

  • The amino acids in rice help break down the fat content stored in the body.
  • The B vitamins in rice play a vital role in fat metabolism and prevent bloating and mood swings.
  • Eating rice helps balance hormone levels that are critical in reducing belly fat.
  • Rice also helps regulate leptin resistance, preventing a person from overeating and gaining weight.
  • Studies show that certain rice varieties have prebiotic benefits that are suitable for gut bacteria and ultimately help achieve optimal results in shape, size and immune function.

Brown Rice vs White Rice

A typical health discussion is about the healthier choice between brown and white rice. What type of rice is more nutritious, brown or white?

Brown rice is unpolished, which means it contains more fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals and has high antioxidant properties. On the other hand, brown rice has some anti-nutrients, such as phytic acid, which can be reduced by increasing the soaking time and temperature. Additionally, its high fiber content can make it difficult for people with intestinal issues to digest.

Heavy processing often removes the nutritious layer of white rice, resulting in vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Because white rice is refined, excessive consumption can lead to obesity and other chronic health problems. However, when it comes to weight loss, it is neither positive nor harmful for weight loss. Make sure you eat the right amount for your job and lifestyle.

Does Rice Make You Gain Weight?

Weight gain depends on the portion of the food consumed, not the type. All foods benefit health in some way, but quantity can negate the benefits.

Similarly, rice can cause you to gain weight when you consume more than you need. Rice, which is a high-carbohydrate food group, has a slightly high glycemic index of 64. As a result, it can raise blood sugar and affect insulin function.

Note: Rice is one of the energy-giving foods that helps to lose weight when consumed in sufficient proportion and in the right combination. In addition, adding brown rice to the daily diet lowers overall cholesterol levels and keeps a person feeling full for a long time. As a result, it will help you lose weight. However, the foods and amount of consumption consumed with rice can significantly affect your weight loss journey.

Healthy Tips to Include Rice in Your Diet

Simply put, rice can be a famous part of a balanced weight loss plan. Here is a list of effective ways to safely use rice in your daily diet without hindering your weight management.

Practice Portion Control

Rice is healthy but has calories. That’s why it’s important to adjust portion control according to your body’s needs so you don’t take in too many calories. The correct serving size is ½ to 1 cup, which typically has 200 calories. It may vary depending on the type of rice you choose.

Pair with Vegetables

Often rice is labeled as a ‘bad’ food because of its high glycemic index. This means that the rice will be digested quickly, leading to spikes in blood sugar. Therefore, you will soon feel hungry and consume more calories. Combining it with vegetables that are high in fiber and low in calories will help manage this spike in blood sugar.


Sustainable weight loss should be the perfect combination of regular exercise and a balanced diet. If you’re trying to lose some weight, you don’t have to give up your favorite foods like rice.

In summary, rice, which is a versatile food, does not make you gain weight or can help you lose weight. It is the whole meal or the added food sources that affect the process.

When you can monitor portion size and type of rice and cook in healthy ways, you don’t need to cut rice out of your diet to meet your weight loss goals.

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