It's a very common question I'm always asked... how many carbohydrates should I eat per day to lose weight?
Well, I'm about to answer it in the video below.
Carbohydrates are often blamed for weight gain, but they're just energy.
Carbohydrates are broken down by the body into glucose, which your cells need.
Glucose is the gasoline in your system that you can burn up to move your body and to think.
The question is extremely individualized, and in the video below I plan to help you find your best carb level.
Cool? Let's go!
Tip #1. How Many Carbs:
I recommend starting at 150 grams of carbs per day for weight loss. The best way to get a handle on your current carb intake is to write things down.
For a week, keep a list of all the things you eat. At the end of the week, jot down the carb count in each item. If you're over 150 (and it's easy to get there), start weaning yourself off the carbs, 50 per day.
Also, treat yourself to good carbs. One can of sugary cola contains 46 grams of carbohydrates. You can trade that can of soda for two cups of fresh pineapple and still have 4 carbs to spare! Plus you get Vitamin C and almost 5 grams of fiber.
Tip #2. Types of Carbs:
Simple carbs, such as processed sugars and white flours, are rapidly broken down by the body and can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, forcing your body to work harder to burn up the sugar in your bloodstream.
Have you ever drank a high caffeine, high sugar drink and felt wide awake, only to find yourself really tired within the hour? That's a blood sugar high, followed by a blood sugar crash.
Even caffeine can't keep you awake when your blood sugar drops.
Complex carbs, such as those found in fruits, non-starchy vegetables and whole grains, force your body to work a little harder to extract the glucose.
Complex carbs don't cause a spike, but rather a slow burn that will keep your body and brain powered up.
Tip #3. Carb Timing:
Complex carbs early in the morning will start your engine on a sustainable burn that can keep you going all day. Many people start their day with breakfast cereals, and this can be a great way to add fiber and healthy carbs to your diet.
However, keep an eye on the label of your favorite cereal. Some of them have more simple sugars and carbs than a candy bar!
This will cause a glucose spike, forcing your body to work extremely hard to burn up the sugar in your bloodstream and leaving you hungry and tired all day long.
You'll also need carbs later in the day, particularly around your workout time. Again, focus on complex carbs such as those found in high fiber vegetables, fruits and whole grain breads or brown rice.
You want foods that will keep you comfortably full and provide you with consistent energy throughout the end of your day.
Avoid carbs right before bed. It can be so tempting to treat yourself to a bag of popcorn or open a bag of chips when you sit down to relax in front of the television.
To help you resist the temptation, treat yourself to some sparkling water or a flavored tea. These liquids will fill you up and satisfy your tastebuds without loading up your bloodstream with glucose overnight.
Controlling Your Carb Intake In The Real World
If you eat out every day at lunch, the table can be a carbohydrate minefield! Sandwiches, pasta and that beautiful dessert tray can make it really hard to stick to your plan.
There are a couple of lunchtime standards you can focus on that will help you keep your carb intake healthy. Soup is a great option. Any vegetable-based soup, such as tomato, will fill you up without loading you up on carbs.
Avoid anything based on potatoes or pasta.
Another treat to keep in mind is hummus. This yummy chickpea dip is common as an appetizer on many menus.
Ask if you can have your hummus served with fresh vegetables instead of pita chips, and enjoy a fiber-rich and extremely filling lunch without bumping up your carb intake.
Going out for a nice dinner? Try a glass of champagne! One serving of champagne has one carb. One serving of beer has 13 carbs. If weight loss is your goal, it's probably a good idea to ditch the alcohol altogether.
In addition to filling your cart with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, head over to the canned soup aisle for some delicious, low-carb options that will fill you up. Lean proteins and whole grains also need to go in your cart!
Don't forget the dairy section, but skip the cow's milk. Almond and soy milk have about 1/3 of the carbs found in regular milk.
Cheese and eggs are also very low in carbs but offer plenty of protein. Eggs are a particularly important source of low-cost protein for anyone on a budget.
When working out, I recommend working in a cycle of carb intake.
Once you've weaned yourself down to 150 carbs, start cycling even lower. Spend one day at 100 carbs, the next at 50, and finally go to 0 for a day.
On those lower carb days, bump up your protein and healthy fat intake.
Go back up to 150 for a day and see how you feel. Did going low carb help you feel energized or were you sluggish or maybe have a little headache?
Everyone's carb intake needs are different. The weaning cycle described above can help you determine the best carb level for your daily diet.
Complex carbs come with fiber and other critical nutrients, like fresh produce while simple carbs generally come with chemicals, salt and sugar, like soda, chips and cookies.
Spend some time journaling about your food intake and you can figure your carb intake.
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Transformation Coach/ Pizza Lover