Do you want to lose weight and burn fat? If so then you should consider how much carbs per day to consume. Fun Fact: One large white potato has 58g of carbs. That’s more than the daily total allowed on Keto and Atkins. If you want to lose weight on low-carb diets it’s important to turn your body into a fat-burning machine. This is done by going into a state of ketosis. Your body then gets energy from fat stores and “ketone” proteins. This differs from the normal process of food carbs and stored blood sugar. The key to losing weight on low-carb diets is to drop carbs to a low level.
Going low-carb can be tougher for people who are on a high-carb diet. For example, it’s common for people to get up to two-thirds of their calories from carbohydrates. This can lead to weight gain. The types of carbs you consume can also cause you to gain weight. That includes options like white sugar and refined grains. These foods not only can cause you to gain weight but also boosts the risk of health conditions like type-2diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. The key is to focus on low-carb whole foods that are nutrient-loaded.
Do Carbohydrates Cause Weight Gain?
This is a big issue because you’ll want to know whether or not you should even consider going on a low-carb diet. They’ve been trending in recent years. Last year Google reported the Keto diet was the top trending diet in terms of searches.
That said, low-carb diets have only been around for about half a century since the Stillman Diet was launched in 1967. Many health experts explain that carbs aren’t “bad.” For example, the human body gets energy from carbs, protein, and fats.
One issue about low-carb diets is they haven’t been around that long. The keto diet was developed in 1923 but wasn’t even designed for weight loss. It was originally used for diabetes and epilepsy patients. This compares to others like the Mediterranean Diet that’s been around for thousands of years.
According to many experts, the issue isn’t really about carbohydrates themselves. It’s other issues like the ‘quality” of the carbs. For example, bad options include:
- White bread/noodles
- White rice
- White flour
The main issue with these foods is that they’re simple carbohydrates. They provide quick energy to your body but can also trigger other issues. They include blood sugar spikes, inflammation, and higher risks of diseases like type-2 diabetes and heart disease. Those are bad things.
On the other hand, it’s better to focus on complex carbohydrates. These are foods with a low “glycemic index.” They include options like whole wheat, vegetables, fruits, and full-fat dairy. These foods longer to get into your body’s bloodstream, which is a plus.
There are many high-carb foods not allowed on diets like Keto and Atkins that are loaded with nutrients. They include:
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat
- Sweet potatoes
These foods are generally considered superfoods due to the high nutritional value they offer.
How Much Carbs Per Day for Weight Loss?
This is a loaded question. As noted, health experts usually argue that carbohydrates themselves don’t cause weight gain. That said, if you don’t eat the “right” kinds you’ll be more likely to put on weight. That includes options like sodas, white bread, and wheat-based baked goods.
Your carb intake can also cause weight gain. For example, one cup of brown rice, a big white potato, or whole mango all have about 50g of carbs. They’re superfoods. That said, if you eat lots of them and aren’t exercising, you’ll start putting on weight and fat.
Low-carb diets can help to lose weight by reducing carbohydrate intake. The programs differ in the daily total carbs that are allowed. For example, a standard Keto and Atkins diets allow 50g of carbs.
This is actually on the low end versus experts’ recommendations. They usually suggest dropping carbs to 50g to 150g to lose weight. These figures are still quite low versus the Standard American Diet (SAD), which could be up to 325g of carbs per day.
The irony is that 50g of carbs per day isn’t too low in the world of low-carb diets. For example, Phase 1 of Atkins and South Beach allow a maximum of 20g of carbs per day. Some modified Keto diets also drop carbs that low. What does 20g of carbs look like? It’s equal to a basic salad with greens/veggies or raspberries/strawberries.
The main goal of this approach is to keep your body in ketosis. It turns your body into a fat-burning machine. Ketosis causes your body to get energy from fat and liver-produced molecules known as “ketones.”
The main goal of weight loss should be to reduce body fat while keeping muscle. Fun Fact: 1 pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. When you put your body in ketosis it’s a hack that causes you to keep getting energy from fat.
Top Low-carb Keto-friendly Foods
Make sure to go with options like olive oil and coconut oil. These are low-carb and high-fat, including omega-3 fatty acids. One of the main benefits of these oils is that they provide a better ratio of omega-3s/6s.
There are many to pick from. These foods are high in various nutrients, including fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They’re also low-carb, so a good alternative to grains. Some nuts to pick from include walnuts, cashews, almonds, and Macadamia. Meanwhile, seeds to picking from include:
3. Fruits (some)
4. Green leafy veggies
You have many options like spinach, collards, and kale. These vegetables aren’t just low-carb but also high-nutrient. You get lots including vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. You also get lots of dietary fiber, which can improve digestion.
Leafy greens can be added to your diet in several ways. They include smoothies, salads, casseroles, stir-fry, sandwiches, and pizza. Spinach & mushroom pizza is arguably one of the best veggie combos.
5. Veggies (most)
Most vegetables are quite low in carbs. The main exceptions are root veggies like:
- White potatoes
- Sweet potatoes
These foods are still loaded with nutrients so you might want to consume them from time to time to get nutrients like Vitamin A and potassium from sweet potatoes.
6. Lean meats and fish/seafood
These are excellent sources of protein and healthy fats. Make sure to go with lean meats and fatty fish to get the best results. It’s also a good idea to pick real meat over processed meats like sausage, bacon, and Spam in terms of how much carbs per day.