Reducing carbohydrate intake is one of the best ways to lose weight. A low-carb diet can help reduce your appetite, increase satiety and burn fat.
You may ask, how many carbs you should eat for weight loss?
The fact is, there is no uniform standard.
Some people can achieve great weight loss results by eating 100 grams of carbs a day. However, others may need to reduce carbohydrate intake more strictly.
For individuals, the optimal carbohydrate intake depends on age, gender, activity level, personal preference, eating habits and current metabolic level.
Does Cutting Out Carbs Help You Lose Weight?
A low-carbohydrate diet greatly reduces the level of insulin in your blood.
Insulin is a hormone that carries glucose (converted from carbohydrates) into cells.
One of the main functions of insulin is to store fat and encourage the kidneys to store sodium [*]. That’s why a high-carb diet can cause excess water in the body.
When you control your carbohydrate intake, your insulin level decreases. As a result, your kidneys excrete excess water. [*]
Therefore, during the first few days of a low-carb diet, you may find that your weight drops fast. It is actually water weight.
After you lose the excess water, the fat stored in your body really starts to burn.
Studies have shown that low-carbohydrate diets are particularly effective in reducing abdominal fat. Abdominal fat is the most dangerous fat and is closely related to many diseases.
How Many Carbs To Eat A Day To Lose Weight?
If you can simply remove the most unhealthy carbohydrate sources from your diets, such as refined starches and sugars, you can quickly improve your health.
However, to enjoy the full benefits of a low-carb diet including weight loss, you may need to limit your carbohydrate intake more strictly.
Remember, the amount of carbs you should eat for weight loss depends on your age, gender, activity level and most especially your current metabolic rate.
Let’s take a look at the effect different ranges of carbs intake have on body weight.
(Please note that this section only talks about carbohydrates, not about protein, fat and other nutrients.)
1. 100-150 grams of carbs per day:
This is a moderate carbohydrate intake. It is suitable for those who are active and want to stay healthy and maintain their weight.
It may be difficult to lose weight by eating this many carbs every day, without strictly controlling calories, food intake and appropriately increase the amount of exercise you do.
The carbohydrates you can eat include:
- All vegetables
- A few fruits and nuts
- A moderate amounts of healthy starch, such as potatoes or sweet potatoes
- Healthy grains, such as oats and quinoa.
2. 50-100 grams of carbs per day:
When your daily intake of carbohydrates is reduced to about 50-100g, it can help most people achieve their goals of fat and weight loss.
You are unlikely to see a noticeable weight drop in the short term. However, in the long run, you will be happy with the results on both your weight and overall health.
Here are foods you can eat:
- Lots of vegetables
- A few fruits and nuts
- A minimal amount of healthy starchy food such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, oats or brown rice
3. 20-50 grams of carbs per day:
Reducing carbohydrate intake to 20-50g a day can have a very significant impact on your metabolism.
If you need to lose weight fast or want to correct a slow working metabolic rate, then strictly controlling your carbs intake allows you to achieve your goals in a short period of time.
When eating less than 50 grams of carbs a day, your body will enter a nutritional ketogenic state called ketosis.
Your liver will begin to produce ketone bodies to provide energy for your brain and various organs.
At the same time, your appetite will be greatly reduced and your body will begin to burn fat.
What carbs can you eat?
- Plenty of low-carb vegetables
- Some low-carb fruits such as berries and avocado
- Some low-carb nuts and seeds, such as flax seeds, chia seeds and almonds
The main source of carbohydrates should come from vegetables (especially green leafy veggies), low-carb fruits and seeds.
Avoid other sources of carbs including root vegetables with high starch content, vegetables like potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc. or grains such as oats, quinoa and corn.
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How To Reduce Carbohydrate Intake Safely?
Everyone’s physical condition is different. It is important to do some self-experimentation to figure out what amount of carbs intake is best for you.
You can start with 100-150 grams of carbs a day for two weeks to see if there is a positive result. Then you can lower your carbs intake from that. This experiment can help you find what works best for you.
When you decide to reduce your carbohydrate intake, the following tips can help you get started:
- Eat “good” carbs such as whole grains, high-fiber vegetables or beans.
- If you are craving, eat low-carb snacks like full-fat cheese, plain Greek yogurt or low-carb nuts and fruits.
- Eat more vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, lettuce or broccoli.
- Replace regular milk with almond milk or coconut milk.
- Replace wheat flour with low-carb flour such as almond flour or coconut flour.
- Replace sugar with healthier sweeteners such as stevia or erythritol.
- Eat more high-protein foods such as egg, chicken breast, seafood or lean beef.
- Eat more healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil.
- Avoid fried foods.
- Avoid all sugary drinks.
- Avoid “bad” carbs such as white bread, cakes, biscuits or other processed foods.
How many carbohydrates you should eat daily to lose weight depends on your age, gender, amount of exercise, metabolic rate, etc.
However, there is one thing for sure. If you stay away from junk foods that are full of sugar and unhealthy carbs, while eating more vegetables, proteins and healthy fats, you will see a great improvement in your overall health.
Additionally, reducing carbs has a positive impact on your weight. You can do some self-experimentation to figure out the right amount of carbs for you.
If you have health problems or are taking certain medications, it is best to consult your doctor before making any major dietary changes.