Carbohydrates are the primary source of usable energy that a human body needs to function properly. Carbohydrates break down into sugars that are eventually converted into energy by our body. Also high carbohydrate foods are enriched with vitamins, minerals and fibers that are essential for physical fitness and overall health. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, if you eat more carbohydrates as compared to the required dose, you will gain weight. By avoiding too much consumption of carbohydrate on regular basis, you allow your body to use the stored body fat for energy. This helps you lose weight by using up the fat you already have. This is why you need to keep an eye on the amount of carbohydrates you are eating in order to lose weight.
For people who want to lose weight fast, there is a common question – ‘How many carbohydrates per day to lose weight?’ Well, this is not an easy question as there are many things to keep in mind. Before you get the answer you need to aware of the fact that there are two types of the carbohydrates – simple and complex.
The first type of carbohydrate is simple sugar composed of one to two units of sugar. Simple carbohydrate includes lactose, fructose, sucrose and glucose which are easy for the body to break down. These types of sugars are available in the common sweets that you consume on regular basis. Simple carbohydrates are found in milk, fruits and sugar. Simple carbohydrates must be avoided if you wish to lose weight as it contains very less nutritional value.
The second type of carbohydrate is the complex carbohydrate composed of hundreds of units of sugars. Complex carbohydrates are found rice, barley, oat, buckwheat, millet, rye, parsnips and potatoes. It has got many essential nutrients that are important for your health. It also contains high amounts of fiber which help in maintaining your weight. So, when you are concerned with how many carbohydrates per day to lose weight, make sure that you are having foods having complex carbohydrates.
It’s ok to eat carbohydrates as long as you are not eating foods having simple carbohydrates or eating too many during the day. To lose weight you need to keep in mind the type of carbohydrates, calories and quality of food you are consuming.
Calculate your carbohydrate requirement:
The US Department of Agriculture and the Institute of Medicine recommends an intake of 130 grams of carbohydrates per day for both children and adults. If you are trying to lose weight, it is advisable to eat fewer carbohydrates. Based from the information presented by Dietary Guidelines for America, 50% of your calorie intake should be from carbohydrates. To know your carbohydrate intake, you need to be first aware of your daily calorie need and then divide that number in half. That’s how many calories should come from carbohydrates. Each gram of carbohydrate has four calories, so divide the number from the first step by four. The final number is equal to the amount of carbohydrates in grams you need each day.
For instance, if the required calorie intake of your body is 2000 calories per day, you must include 250 grams carbohydrate enriched foods in your diet. The calculation goes like this: 2000 divided by 2 is equal to 1,000 and 1,000 divided by 4 is equal to 250.
A general rule to follow is to base the amount of carbohydrates you eat each day with your normal activity level. People who are active or do a lot of high intensity exercises need to eat more carbohydrates as compared to inactive people, while people who tend to gain weight should eat fewer. To sum up, athletes should include 200-250 grams of carbohydrates in their daily diet. For those who want to lose weight or maintain their current weight should include 100-150 grams of carbohydrates in their daily diet. Lastly, for those who want to lose weight fast must include less than 100 grams of carbohydrates in their daily diet.
Carbohydrate diet tips for women:
To lose weight, women should start by having only about 55 grams per meal and have snacks in between. They should focus on eating fruits and vegetables. Carbohydrates should be taken mainly from complex sugar with dietary fiber such as brown rice, wheat bread, bran, etc. For women who just want to maintain their weight they can have about 40 to 60 grams in a meal and some snacks in between.
Carbohydrate diet tips for men:
There are some people who count their carbohydrate intake per day to lose weight. In the beginning you can take about 50 to 65 grams of carbohydrates and have some in-between snacks. They should also avoid drinking soda and beer as these drinks are high in calories.
Balance your carbohydrates intake:
When reducing your carbohydrate intake in order to lose weight fast, be sure to do it in moderation. Never replace carbohydrate with fats and foods that are lacking in nutrients as it will hamper your overall health. Instead make a good judgment regarding good and bad carbohydrates. Include the foods that have good carbohydrates in your diet. Try to avoid taking sugar and anything that have bad carbohydrates. Never forget the point that to lose weight and at same to maintain your health you need to balance between your carbohydrates, calories and regular exercise.
Consult the experts:
The carbohydrate requirement of each and every human being is different. So, if you are planning to cut down on your carbohydrate intake in order to lose weight fast, it is better to consult your nutritionist, dietician or doctor first. This is especially important for individuals suffering from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes or having other health problems. Keep in mind that a proper balance is requires between carbohydrates and other nutrients for your overall health.
To come to a conclusion regarding how much carbohydrates you need to eat to lose weight, there are various factors that need to be taken into account. Factors such as age, sex, height, weight, lifestyle and body type play key roles in deciding the amount of carbohydrates your body needs.
There are some people who believe that carbohydrates are bad for weight loss but this is not TRUE! This is because good or complex carbohydrates contain lots of valuable vitamins and minerals and there are several health benefits also, such as:
- Good for colon health
- Lowers the blood cholesterol level
- Improves muscle contractions
- Helps in physiological functions
- Improves the central nervous system
- Improves the digestion process
- Stabilizes blood sugar level
- Maintains the energy level
List of High Carbohydrate Foods:
Foods containing the high amounts of complex carbohydrates are all bran cereals, apples, artichokes, asparagus, bagel, baked beans, bananas, beans, broccoli, brown bread, brown rice, brussels sprouts, buckwheat, buckwheat bread, cabbage, carrots, cassava, cauliflower, celery, chickpeas, corn, cornmeal, cucumbers, dill pickles, dried apricots, eggplant, garbanzo beans, granary bread, grapefruits, high fiber breakfast cereals, kidney beans, lentils, lettuce, low fat yogurt, macaroni, maize, muesli, multi-grain bread, navy beans, oat bran bread, oat bran cereal, oatcakes, oatmeal, okra, onions, oranges, root vegetables, pastas, peas, pinto beans, plums, porridge oats, potato, prunes, pumpernickel bread, radishes, ryvita crisp bread, shredded wheat, skim milk, soy milk, soybeans, spaghetti, spinach, split peas, sprouts, strawberries, sweet potato, tomatoes, turnip greens, water cress, weetabix, whole barley, whole grain cereals, whole grain flours, whole meal bread, wholemeal spelt, wild rice, yam and zucchini. You can include any of these foods with complex carbohydrates in your diet to lose weight fast.
Controlling the number of carbohydrates you eat on regular basis is a simple way to lose weight. Both men and women can reach their target weight, by reducing their intake of carbohydrates, fats and calories and increasing their physical activity level.