If you want to lose weight, it’s likely that you’ll consider a low-carb diet, which is a good idea in theory. Reducing the body’s own carbohydrate needs will lead to a decrease in fat reserves. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, eating low carbs is even better at losing weight and maintaining weight than eating low-fat or Mediterranean foods.
But there’s a trap. You have to reduce carbohydrates in the right way. Otherwise, you will do more harm than good to yourself and deprive yourself of pasta and bagels, which sounds like a situation where both sides will lose. We know it’s confusing to be vaguely warned not to eat too much or too little in the carbohydrate sector.
Want to know how many carbohydrates you should eat to lose weight? We interviewed the owners of Jim White, RD, ASCM and Jim White Fitness Nutrition studio. He gave us specific figures.
If his number is lower than you expected, don’t worry. Try those best low carb, packaged weight-loss snacks to get your carbohydrate level down to the level you need.
How many carbs should I eat to lose weight?
For people who weigh 150 pounds, White recommends 150-200 grams of carbohydrates a day, compared with 200-250 grams for men. The rest of us will have to do a little math to measure our perfect carbohydrate levels. According to American dietary guidelines, carbohydrates should account for 45-65% of your daily calorie intake, which is why low carbohydrate diets are classified as those with less than 45% of your calories coming from carbohydrates. So if you eat 2000 calories a day, it’s less than 225 grams of carbohydrates.
It’s a good start, but White defines a low carbohydrate diet as less than 125 grams a day, as long as you notice the carbohydrates you’re reducing. Don’t just focus on how your carbohydrate levels increase or decrease to make you look, think about how they make you feel. You want to find the best fuel point to keep you energetic rather than sluggish.
“A lot of people drop their carbs but also drop other macronutrients such as protein and fat,” White says. “This can cause many deficiencies, slow down metabolism, and decrease energy levels impacting overall health.”
Where to cut carbs
Being attentive also means choosing which carbohydrates to reduce selectively. Simple carbohydrates, such as soda and white bread, can increase blood sugar and fast forward hunger, so you should cut back on those complex carbohydrates you cut before. Complex carbs exist in whole grains and vegetables, known as “dietary starch”, which can stably release energy. However, even these healthier choices can be added up, so pay attention to low carbohydrate choices: half a cup of sweet potatoes contains 21g of carbohydrates, and a typical piece of germinated bread contains about 15g.
So if it’s not clear, we’ll tell you straightforwardly: there is no universal carbohydrate consumption that can achieve the best weight loss effect. It’s different for everyone, and it’s strategic.