So you’re on a diet and you’re looking for an easy way to lose weight? Thanks to new research, we now have an answer: It depends.
The study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, tracked the diets of over 10,000 adults in the U.S. The participants were asked to log everything they ate and drank for one week. They also were asked to fill out surveys about their physical activities and habits.
After crunching the numbers, the researchers determined that the ideal daily carb intake for people who want to lose weight is between 125 and 150 grams. What’s more, the participants who consumed more than three times the amount of carbs recommended (more than 450 grams per day) were almost three times as likely to be overweight as those who followed the guidelines.
For comparison, a standard bagel has about 30 grams of carbs. A cup of white rice has about 22 grams of carbs. A chocolate bar has about 37 grams of carbs. A cup of spaghetti has about six grams of carbs. A medium-sized apple has about five grams of carbs.
That’s a lot of food. Which begs the question: How many carbs should I eat per day to lose weight? To find out, we’ll take a look at how the researchers calculated the number and what it means for you.
How They Calculated the Number
To figure out the ideal daily carb intake for weight loss, the researchers looked at the results of over 10,000 adults who participated in the Health ABC study. This is one of the largest studies of its kind, tracking the health and lifestyles of middle-aged and older adults. The participants’ diets were assessed over a seven-year period and their weight was tracked over time.
The researchers looked at several factors, such as age, gender, race and socioeconomic status. They then used this information to determine an ideal daily carbohydrate intake. Specifically, the researchers wanted to see how many carbs an average person needed to lose weight, keeping all other factors constant. They also wanted to know how many carbs were in common amongst people who were losing weight and people who were not.
To do this, the researchers first calculated an average weight for each individual in the study. They used this and other information to determine a healthy weight for each person based on their age and gender. To determine the average weight, they took the total weight of everyone in the study and divided it by the total number of people (which is equal to the number of participants in the study). So for example, if there were 100 people in the study and the average weight was 70 kg (154 pounds), then everyone in the study would weigh 70 kg, on average. This is similar to calculating the average car for a car dealership that sells a variety of makes and models.
The researchers defined a satisfactory dietary pattern as one that provided adequate calories with a diet high in fiber and low in saturated fat. To ensure that the diets followed this pattern, the researchers developed a scoring system that assessed whether the participants were meeting the US government guidelines for each food group. They used this scoring system to determine the participants’ adherence to the diet. Based on this scoring, the researchers were able to categorize the participants into three groups:
- Group 1: Adherents (n = 2955, 66% of total)
- Group 2: Non-adherents (n = 1326, 28% of total)
- Group 3: Concerned (n = 465, 10% of total)
What Does This Mean for You?
If you’re looking to shed some pounds, there are a few things you need to keep in mind: