Now that you’re on a diet, it’s time to figure out how many carbs you should be eating. Most diets promote going low-carb, meaning you should eat fewer than 40 grams of carbs per day. However, that isn’t sustainable for everyone. Some people need more carbs; others need less. Why? The carbohydrates in your food provide your body with fuel, which enables you to perform and thrive. What’s more, consuming carbs has been found to help improve your mental faculties. That’s certainly a good thing, because who knows how much weight you could lose if you weren’t overweight to begin with!
Here’s the catch: While most people think of carbs when it comes to dieting, these foods provide your body with lots of nutrition, making it difficult for the body to function without them. For instance, the vitamins and nutrients in carbs help build new cells and flesh, which enables the human body to heal from infections and ailments. Additionally, the minerals in carbs are essential for keeping your body healthy and functioning at its best. In other words, if you want to lose weight, you need to look into cutting back on your carbs first.
What Are Carbohydrates?
You may be familiar with the term ‘carbs’ if you’ve ever shopped for groceries. These are the carbs in your food that provide your body with energy. There are two basic classes of carbs: Simple and Complex.
The first type are the simple carbs: These are the sugars, starches, and other carbohydrates that the body easily converts into energy. Examples of simple carbs are table sugar, brown sugar, and honey. While these are all very popular in part because they taste delicious, they’re ultimately harmful to your waistline.
The second type are the complex carbs: These are the grains and other foodstuffs that contain more fiber and nutrients than simple carbs. Complex carbs are more satiating than simple carbs and also provide your body with more fuel, so it can function at its best. Some examples of complex carbs are lentils, beans, and bulgur wheat. When your body digests these foods, it breaks them down into energy that your cells can use. Your body uses the carbs more slowly than the cells, so you feel fuller longer. When you eat complex carbs, you fill up quicker, which can help with weight loss. There is also evidence to suggest that some complex carbs may help improve your mental faculties, which is great news if you’re looking to lose weight but also want to maintain your mental health.
How Many Carbs Should You Eat?
As you now know, eating fewer carbs will help you lose weight. However, figuring out how many carbs you should eat to lose weight is tricky. Your body needs carbs to function, but too many carbs will make you fat. It’s all about finding the right amount. Here’s the thing: Every person is different, which means what works for one person may not work for the next. What’s more, your body responds differently to various foods. Some foods may cause you to gain weight, while others may help you to shed it. You need to find out what causes you to gain weight and work towards fixing that. Once you do, you’ll be able to figure out how many carbs you should eat to lose weight.
There are three basic rules to follow when it comes to counting carbs:
1. Always Eat Real Food
The first and most crucial rule when it comes to getting back on track with your diet is to always eat real food. This means that you should be eating foods that come from plants or animals and prevent you from gaining weight. For example, when you eat eggs, you are encouraged to eat the egg white and avoid the yolk, as the yolk has a lot of carbs in it. If you’re not sure where to start, visit a local food pantry or restaurant, which usually has good nutritionist and dietician on staff, and ask them for suggestions. They will be able to give you an honest assessment of what kinds of foods are filling you up and what kinds of foods are leaving you wanting more. For instance, many people find that white rice leaves them hungry, while others find that quinoa fills them up. By learning why certain foods make you feel full and why others leave you wanting more, you will be able to determine how many carbs you should be eating and what kinds of foods you should be avoiding. Remember: Real food doesn’t mean manufactured foods that are filled with preservatives. You should be avoiding these types of foods as well because they won’t contribute to healthy living.
2. Count The Carbs, Not The Calories
The next rule you need to remember is to count the carbs, not the calories. As you now know, carbs are important for your health and wellbeing, so it’s important not to underestimate how many carbs you’re eating. This is especially important if you want to shed off the pounds. When you eat a food containing carbs, your body will immediately calculate how many calories it should be consuming and store the calories as fat. However, your body doesn’t do the same with carbs, so if you want to lose weight, you need to make sure that you’re not over estimating the number of carbs that you’re eating. Some foods are more densely packed with carbs than others, so it’s important to know the amount of carbs in each food you consume. For example, a peach is a fruit that is mostly made of water. Even though it has high fructose corn syrup in it, which is a type of carbohydrate, it only has four grams of carbs in it. On the other hand, a cup of white rice has over 20 grams of carbs in it. When you eat foods high in carbs, you will cause your blood sugar to spike, which can cause premature aging and weight gain. To keep things in check, try choosing healthier options whenever you can and ensure you are including a lot of vegetables with your meal. Some vegetables contain a lot of carbs, while others are low in carbs and can help in the fight against obesity. For example, spinach has over 10 grams of carbs per cup, while the brussel sprout has only one gram. When you choose vegetables that are low in carbs, you’ll be giving your body the fuel it needs to stay healthy and functioning at its peak. When your body doesn’t get the nutrition it needs, it will begin to deteriorate. You don’t need that.
3. Don’t Go Below 20 Grams
The third and final rule you need to remember when it comes to counting carbs is to not go below 20 grams. Your body needs carbs, but too many carbs will cause you to gain weight. If you are already following a diet that promotes low-carbing, ensure that you are staying above 20 grams. Some people may need more than 20 grams of carbs to maintain their health, while others may need less. Find out what your body needs and work towards meeting those needs. It’s all about individual differences. Some people, for example, need more potassium than others. It’s a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure and muscle contraction. If you are not getting enough potassium in your diet, it may be causing you to gain weight even though you’re following a diet that promotes weight loss. Your doctor may be able to prescribe you a pill that contains potassium, or you may need to eat more leafy green vegetables. The point is that by learning what makes you gain weight and find out why you are put in that position, you will be able to establish a baseline for healthy living. Then, you can begin to establish goals and work towards improving your life through nutrition.
If you want to see how many carbs you need to eat to lose weight, use these formulas:
- Your Weight (in kg) x 2 for basic needs (the weight of an average person)
- x 1.2 for medium needs (the weight of a person between the average and the heavy people)
- x 1 for heavy people (the weight of a very large person)
Once you have your baseline established, you can begin to see how much you should eat to lose weight. Remember: Everyone is different, so you may need to experiment to find what works best for you. For example, some people find that eggs help them to lose weight, while others may find that potatoes make them feel fuller. Whatever the case may be, find out what makes you fat and work towards fixing that. You’ll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle in no time!
At the end of the day, everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for the next. Additionally, various foods have different effects on the body. Some foods may cause you to gain weight, while others may help you to shed it off. You can begin to understand what kinds of foods make you gain weight and which ones leave you feeling fuller by using these guidelines, but ultimately, you must discover what works best for you and your body.