Although the amount of calories you eat determines how much weight, if any, you’ll lose, the amount of carbs in your diet can affect your total daily caloric intake. And knowing the number of carbs per day for weight loss is crucial and one of the best ways to lose the weight. Protein may make you feel fuller longer than carbs or fat, but certain types of carbs tend to cause fullness, promote satiety and reduce appetite more than others. This means that you can lose weight “automatically”.
Carbs Per Day For Weight Loss
The optimal carb range varies between individuals, and depends on age, activity level, body composition, current metabolic health, gender, and personal preference. The Institute of Medicine suggests that approximately 45-65% of your daily calorie needs should come from carbs. This means that the fewer the calories you consume for effective weight loss, the lower your daily carb goal should be.
For many adults, the daily calorie amount is 1,200 to 1,600 calories. So, if you consume 1,200 calories daily, the grams of carbs per day for weight loss should be about 135 to 195 grams — and if your weight-loss caloric requirements are 1,600 calories per day, then the carbs per day for weight loss should be between 180 and 260 grams.
Simply eliminating the unhealthy carbs from your diet, such as added sugars and refined carbs, will go a long way to improving your health. However, to benefit from the full metabolic benefits of a lower carb diet, you also need to limit your total carb intake. To achieve this, you need to calculate your individualized weight-loss carb needs.
Carbs provide 4 calories in each gram, so if your weight-loss energy goal is 1,500 calories per day, multiply 1,500 by 45% and by 65% — which equals 675 to 975 calories — to determine what your total number of calories should be from carbs. Then, divide each of these numbers by 4 calories — 169 to 244 grams — to get the carbs per day for weight loss.
Healthy Carb Sources
Fiber-rich carbs boost satiety more than refined carbohydrates found in refined grains, sweets, added sugars and sugary drinks. For this reason, healthy, unrefined fiber-rich carbs such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes promote weight loss and decrease your risk of obesity by helping you stay within your weight-loss calorie range.
For more details on specific foods to eat, check out this sample menu.
Take Home Message
Your daily carb intake can affect your total daily caloric intake, and in turn, how much weight you will lose. The only way to know for sure how many carbs per day for weight loss is to experiment and find what works best for you. Tracking your food intake with apps such as CRON-O-meter and MyFitnessPal is a great way to gauge the amount of carbs you are eating.
Note: Fiber doesn’t count as a carb, so you can ignore it when calculating the total number of carbohydrates. Instead, count net carbs (net carbs = total carbs – fiber).