Best Weight Loss Option: Cutting Carbs

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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Best – Mike Cola


About Mike Cola

Mike Cola has well over 50,000 hours of hands-on personal training experience. He started his own personal training studio in1989, Mike Cola Fitness, which is located in New York.Connect with Mike @ Google+

17 Responses to “Best Weight Loss Option: Cutting Carbs”

  1. I think cutting carbs is the safest and quickest option of losing weight. But too much for too long can be a worry cause its still a important macro nutrient and the body does need it. Ketosis also makes your body go very acidic which isn’t good for long term health.
    As you say using fasting like Eat Stop Eat with a cheat every now and then which is like cycling the carbs is a good way out.
    I plan a big cheat day on saturdays I find that balance everything out.

  2. Hey Raymond,

    It’s snowing in NYC right now and my whole family and I are having a cheat day.

    Thanks for the comment

    Best – Mike

  3. Just finished the book Why We Get Fat. Cutting the carbs is the reason we get fat and probably why we develop a lot of other diseases (heart, diabetes, etc.). Pretty interesting read. You can get all the carbs that you need from vegetables and a little fruit and be totally healthy.


  4. I agree with you, cutting carbs is the fastest and easiest way to take control of weight. And it works with all people, it is proven method and I like to use it when I putt on weight. I also control my fat consumption, I don’t eat fat food except a spoon of olive oil on a salad, avocado and fat from fish.

  5. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the great blog.

    Do you distinguish between carbs and net carbs for the purposes of weight loss, maintenance, and weight gain?


  6. I think it’s also important to consider whether your carbohydrates are coming from simple or complex carb sources.

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Cutting carbs, especially bad ones, is a great weight loss strategy. I find that periodic refeeding is important though to avoid ketosis and ensure that you have adequate energy to perform high intensity exercising.

  8. @ David

    For most people cutting carbs is the easiest and healthiest way to lose weight.

    Thanks for the comment.

    @ Rumi,

    I think it is a proven method to lose weight, as well. Whenever I gain weight it’s from eating too many carbs.

    Thanks fro checking out my blog.

    @ Anton,

    I don’t look at net carbs too much. Most of my carbs are in the form of fruits and vegetables so the fiber is pretty high.If anyone does not know what Net Carbs are check out the link.

    Thanks for the comment.

    @ Srdjan,

    My favorite types of carbs are vegetables.

    Thanks for the comment.

    @ David,

    I only like to dip into ketosis for a short period of time every now and then.

    Whenever I feel that my carbohydrates are too low I just have a high carb day.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Best – Mike

  9. I would agree that cutting carbs would help you loose fat,but there are a lot of other ways to arrive at the same end result

  10. I agree with what you’re saying about cutting out the carbs and it really comes down to not eating, or eating less processed foods, which is where most of the carb gain comes from.

    Not that this is a hard and fast rule, but to get my mind right for eating better, I try to say away from anything made with white floor or white sugar, food or drink.

    Just following this one rule can eliminate 90% of the junk some people eat.


  12. I also reflect cutting carbs is the safest and swiftest choice of losing weight. But I also get confused with people who go off some meals and even take fruits like lemons in order to cut weight. Do you think it is healthy? I have seen many who do this but continue gaining weight as much as they don’t take some meals! What is wrong with that? Anyway your post is educative and I would like to look forward to it!

  13. Hi i am a 30 year old male who weighs 118kg.I have just started on the Weigh – less programme. I want to know if it is healthier to substitute the low GI breads with brown rice cakes. I also want to cut the ‘bad’ carbs out. I do find it quite hard to beat feeling hungry. Is there something about spacing of meals that is important? Please help

  14. Hi Oscar,

    Try to cut out all empty calories. Low GI Bread and Brown rice cakes don’t give you much nutrition. Eat a lot of vegetables instead of bread and rice cakes.

    Best – Mike

  15. Hi Terry,

    Keep eating a lot of vegetables and a couple of fruits a day.

    Best – Mike

  16. Really very nice article. I like to read it. Cutting carbs is one of the nice options available for losing weight but should be use in limit. As per my opinion one should go for fasting or prepare the proper diet plan. Thank you very much for sharing this post here with us.

  17. I was on a higher protein diet and I can vouch that it was very effective.

    The interesting thing was that if I did indulge in too many carbs, I really didn’t feel very well.. I guess that was my body’s way of telling me I didn’t need them.