In this post, I’ll be tackling the question how many carbs per day to lose weight.
When it comes to controversial fitness subjects, carbs are definitely in the top 3. There’s just so much arguing between who’s right and who’s wrong.
On one hand, we have people who absolutely despise carbs and believe that they are sole reason for why everyone’s so fat and unhealthy. And on the other hand, we have those people who are absolute carb fanatics. These are people who believe that carbs absolutely necessary if you want to lose weight and get healthy.
Personally, I love carbs. I have nothing against people following a low-carb diet, but that’s just me. In my opinion, life’s too short to not be able to eat pizza, pasta, and that ridiculously good looking pie above.
How many carbs per day to lose weight?
Before I answer the burning question on everyone’s mind, let me ask you this: “Are carbs even necessary?”
Well… you may be surprised.
The human body doesn’t need dietary carbs to survive (OMG!!!)
Yes, I know this sounds absolutely ridongculous, but there’s really no physiological need to eat carbs. The human body doesn’t need carbs, but it does need glucose to survive, and if you aren’t eating carbs, glucose can be converted from fats and protein.
Take a look at this article by The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, “Is Dietary Carbohydrate Essential For Human Nutrition“.
In it, researchers state the following:
The currently established human essential nutrients are water, energy, amino acids (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine), essential fatty acids (linoleic and α-linolenic acids), vitamins (ascorbic acid, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, folic acid, biotin, and vitamin B-12), minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron), trace minerals (zinc, copper, manganese, iodine, selenium, molybdenum, and chromium), electrolytes (sodium, potassium, and chloride), and ultratrace minerals
What this means is that the human body only needs water, protein, essential fatty acids (like krill oil), and vitamins/minerals to survive.
I am NOT recommending a zero carb diet
While it’s technically possible to live your entire life without eating a single carb, I am not recommending this at all. I simply wanted to show you that carbs aren’t necessary.
So when someone asks you how many carbs per day, the correct answer is technically zero. But I wouldn’t say it’s best answer.
You need carbs to exercise intensely
When exercising on a diet, I recommend people to perform intense and heavy weight lifting. But to be able to lift with intensity, you need to be consuming at least some carbs.
If you go into each workout carb delpleted, then it’s going to be VERY HARD to get through the workout.
The 5 step blueprint to eat carbs and still lose weight
Okay, so what’s the BEST answer for how many carbs per day should you eat to lose weight.
Well… that’s a difficult question to answer since everyone’s different.
But to help you out, I devised a 5 step blueprint below to help you eat your favorite carbs every day and still lose weight.
1) Watch your calories first and foremost. You calorie intake should be your #1 priority since this is what truly determines whether or not you lose weight. A good formula to calculate your daily intake is 12 cals * bodyweight in pounds.
2) Aim for about 0.8-1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. While you’ll be able to maintain all your muscle mass on as little as 0.5 grams, I recommend 0.8-1 gram since protein is the most satisfying macronutrient.
3) Eat your vitamins. Take a multivitamin (I take this one from ProGrade Nutrition) to cover any potential mineral/vitamin deficiencies.
4) Take 3-5 grams of fish oil (such as krill oil) per day.
5) Fill in the rest of your calories with ANYTHING you want. And yes, by anything I mean carbs. Also, don’t worry about whether the carbs are “good” carbs or “bad” carbs. It honestly doesn’t matter. As long as you watch your calories and take care of your protein, EFA, and vitamin/mineral requirements, you can pretty much eat anything else you want without consequence.
And that’s it.
Follow these 5 steps, and I’ll guarantee you’ll lose weight.
How many carbs per day do you eat? Let me know in the comments below.
Photo credit - Kris Griffon