For most people, how many carbohydrates they eat will determine whether they are gaining, maintaining or losing weight. Limiting your carbohydrate intake is probably your best weight loss option.
Figuring out what your Carbohydrate Sweet Spot is for Weight Loss can be confusing. We all need to eat nutritious carbs like fruits and vegetables for good health. We want to cut back; however, on the empty calorie carbs like breads, pasta, rice and processed high carbohydrate foods such as soda, cake and cookies. In addition, we have to take into account how active we are. If you’re sitting behind a desk all day you should obviously be eating less carbohydrates then someone doing manual labor all day.
Carbohydrate Guide for Weight Loss:
Fifty (50) to one 100 grams per day is a good range for most people who are moderately active to lose weight. There are about 4 calories per gram of carbohydrates so that would put you in the 200 to 400-calorie range. If you are more active then the average person, then go with 100 grams. If you’re less active, try 50 grams. These 50 to 100 grams is a pretty safe range that will keep you losing weight steadily while keeping you out of ketosis.
If you go below 50 grams per day you will most likely wind up in ketosis. A very simple explanation of ketosis is when your glycogen (carbohydrates) stores are very low your body will produce ketones for energy. Ketones are some of the fuel created from the breakdown of fat stores. It is important to note, ketosis is not necessarily a bad thing. People like Dr. Atkins (The Atkins Diet) think it is the ideal way for the body to burn fat. I think it is ok to go into ketosis for short periods of time but it is an aggressive approach to weight loss. Sometimes when I’m fasting, I will let myself slip into a mild ketosis state to burn some extra fat calories.
One hundred (100) to 150 grams per day is a nice range for most people to maintain their weight. Four hundred (400) to 600 calories of carbohydrates are a good place to be. You can enjoy all your favorite fruits and vegetables with an occasional over indulgence while maintaining your ideal weight.
I spend most of my life in this range. It lets me enjoy my life while keeping my weight under control. Whenever I overdo it and put some weight on, I will cut back to the 50 to 100 gram range.
One hundred and fifty (150) to 300 grams a day is entering the danger zone for most people. Once you start eating 800 to 1,200 calories a day in the form of carbohydrates you will most like be slowly and consistently gaining weight. Unfortunately this is the range I find most people fall into who are trying to lose weight but are failing. The only way you can go that high with your carbs is if you are very active and burning calories all day long.
Once you start eating over 300 grams a day you have officially entered the danger zone and will most likely wind up overweight with an increased risk for a number of health issues like obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Overboard exercises or extreme endurance athletes can get away with eating over 300 grams per day but not the average person.
I do believe that Cutting Carbs is your best weight loss option, as long as you make the most of the carbohydrates you eat by choosing fruits and vegetable. In addition, and importantly, make sure you’re getting adequate amounts of protein and healthy fat in your diet.
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This is the strategy I teach my personal training clients to have a 20-something body, regardless of their age.
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Best – Mike Cola