Posts Tagged ‘Diet’

How many carbs should you eat daily on a low carb diet?

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

The answer varies according to levels of activity. The usual low carbohydrate range is 20 to 50 grams daily. Determine how strict you need to be; the best way is to experiment and discover what amount works well for you as an individual. Sometimes it can be as high as 70 grams. However, 70 grams is very generous and usually only for those who are engaging in regular weight training in addition to cardio exercise.

From your 20 to 50 grams daily, get your carbohydrates from natural sources such as (preferably organic) non-starchy vegetables and low-carb fruits such as berries. Unlike protein and fat, there is no minimum daily requirement of carbohydrates in order to flourish physically, but they do have many beneficial phytochemicals and fiber, so eating some is fine (as long as they are unprocessed) and within your allowance. Apart from the occasional treat, avoid refined (processed) carbohydrates. Refined processed carbohydrates are a major cause of weight gain, obesity, insulin resistance, and many diet related diseases. For a list of these foods, see the page link, further down this page, listed under Sources and Related Links.

There are a variety of low-carb diets including Protein Power, South Beach, the Zone, Atkins, and Suzanne Summers. Each has its own guidelines regarding amounts and what type of carbs. Atkins has the fewest carbs, at less than 20 grams per day, and the Zone has the most, at 30% of calories. Many people who have not had success on low-calorie diets have found that low-carbohydrate diets work best for them. Many doctors prefer The Protein Power diet, or the South Beach diet, which both allow fruits and vegetables and are low in saturated fat. The Protein Power Diet, the Protein Power Lifeplan (both books are by the same authors) and the South Beach Diet were developed by medical practitioners.

Know your own body type. In general a low carb diet is a diet in which carbs are less than the amount of protein consumed. An ectomorph (thin person) needs more carbs than an endomorph (fat) who needs very few carbs. An mesomorph (ideal human genetics) needs an amount in between the two. In addition, time your carbs: You may consume more carbs during breakfast before workouts and even after workouts. But it should be less during the night. Why? As we know carbohydrates are a source of energy. If we consume carbs and then sleep, the energy consumed cannot be adequately used up by the body. In turn, the body will try to convert it into fats. Therefore, consume your carbs before high physical activity hours and keep intake very low during low activity hours day or night.