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How Many Carbs Should You Eat a Day For Weight Loss?

Eat This, Not That! logo Eat This, Not That! 7/6/2017 Riley Cardoza

© Shutterstock There’s a right way and a wrong way to go about every diet change and going low-carb is no exception. Make your carb cutting count by sticking to these guidelines.

If you’re trying to lose weight, odds are you’ve considered a low-carb diet, which is a great idea in theory. Cutting back on the carbohydrates your body needs to fuel itself can lead to pulling from fat stores instead. Eating low-carb has even been linked to higher weight loss and maintenance than eating low-fat or Mediterranean-style, according to a study by the University of Exeter Medical School.

But there’s a catch. Isn’t there always? You have to cut carbs the right way. Otherwise, you’ll be doing yourself more harm than good while depriving yourself of pasta and bagels, which sounds like a lose-lose situation to us. We know it’s confusing to be vaguely warned against eating too much or too little in the carb department, so we talked to Jim White, RD, ASCM and owner of Jim White Fitness Nutrition Studios for you. And he gave us concrete numbers.

If his numbers are lower than you were expecting, don’t sweat it. Try any of these 20 Best Low-Carb, Packaged Snacks For Weight Loss to whittle your carb levels down to exactly where they need to be.

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How Much You Need

© Provided by ETNT, LLC For someone weighing 150 pounds, White recommends 150-200 grams of carbs a day and 200-250 for men. The rest of us will have to do a little math to gauge our perfect carb levels. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, carbs should make up 45-65 percent of your daily calorie intake, which is why the journal Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases has classified a low-carb diet as one where less than 45 percent of your calories are carbs. So if you’re consuming 2,000 calories a day, that’s less than 225 grams of carbs.

This is a good place to start, but White defines a low-carb diet as less than 125 grams a day — as long as you’re mindful of your cutting. Instead of just paying attention to how increases or decreases in your carb levels are making you look, consider how they’re making you feel as well. You want to hit a sweet spot of fuel that leaves you energetic instead of sluggish. “A lot of people drop their carbs but also drop other macronutrients such as protein and fat,” White explains. “This can cause many deficiencies, slow down metabolism, and decrease energy levels impacting overall health.”

Where To Cut It

Being mindful also means being selective about which carbs you’re choosing to cut. Simple carbs like soda and white bread can spike blood sugar and fast forward hunger pangs, so you should cut those before cutting complex carbs. Complex carbs are found in whole grains and vegetables and are referred to as “dietary starches” that steadily release energy. Even these healthier choices can add up, though, so keep an eye out for low-carb options: half a cup of sweet potatoes has 21 grams of carbs and a slice of Nature’s Own Double Fiber Wheat bread has 11 grams.

So if it isn’t clear already, we’ll give it to you straight: There is no universal amount of carb consumption for best weight loss results. It’s different for every person, and it’s strategic. Still have questions? Sounds like you should check out these 50 Questions About Carbs — Answered In Five Words Or Less.

25 Unhealthiest Carbs on the Planet: <p>By Christina Stiehl</p><p>Not all carbohydrates are bad, but these are the worst of the worst. Stay away from these supermarket staples next time you go grocery shopping.</p><p>Although carbs have been vilified as the macronutrient group most likely to cause weight gain, they are actually pretty important for your overall health. Your body metabolizes the carbs you eat into glucose, which is essential to fuel your cells, tissues, and organs, especially your brain. Carbs are your body’s most important source of energy, so making sure you get enough of the right kinds is essential for optimal function and all-day energy.</p><p>But there is a difference between good and bad carbs; specifically, unrefined and refined carbs. The former are the fibrous whole grains and produce that keep you feeling full and keeps your energy levels stable. The latter are the carbs that cause your blood sugar to spike then crash, leading to dips in energy, unhealthy cravings, and weight gain. The carbs on this list are the sugary, non-fibrous refined carbs you should stay away from.</p><p>With tons of added sugar, scary sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, and a lack of fiber and other valuable nutrients, these are the worst carbs you can find at your supermarket. If you’re looking to lose weight, stay away from these carbs, and be sure to avoid our list of the <a href="http://www.eatthis.com/worst-packaged-foods-in-america">150 Worst Packaged Foods in America</a>.</p> 25 Unhealthiest Carbs on the Planet

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