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Thursday, 2 January 2014

I want to lose weight - how many carbohydrates should I eat?

If you have the nutrition goal of losing weight then you may be wondering how many carbohydrate you should be eating and what type. So here is a bit of a guideline to give you some ideas.

Key point to take away here is: Carbohydrate = Sugar. They are interchangeable terms. And we all know too much sugar is bad for us!

From experience I have found that Mark Sissons - Primal Blueprint carbohydrate curve is spot on...

If you want lose weight, using the guide above you would want to eat between 50-100 grams a day. This is really a good basic guide and suitable for most people wanting to lose weight. It may however require some adjustment depending on your individual circumstances eg, if you were physically training for a sport event. 

What are carbohydrates? Put simply, anything that is not protein or fat. That includes, but not limited to, breads, pastas, cakes, cereals, juices, rice, fruit and vegetables. Dairy products have carbs in them too, as well as protein and fat. Remember carbs = sugars.

How do I choose good carbohydrates to eat? Always do your best to stick to natural carbs eg. vegetables and fruit. You will get the best bang for your buck, good quality carbs, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

So... What does 50-100 grams of carbohydrate look like? Not much when you think of slices of bread, that's for sure at approximately 20 grams per slice! But pretty good when thinking of vegetables eg. 1 cup of broccoli is only about 4-5 grams and 1 cup raw pumpkin is about 7! And fruit, stick to fruits such as berries, stone fruit and apple which are low in carbohydrate. 

Therefore when you want to lose weight, eat loads of vegetables, a little fruit and no or minimal processed carbs like bread and cereals.

There are fruit and vegetables that are high in carbs and these should be eaten as treats, such as potato, sweet potato, bananas and grapes. Eating too many of these, too often, may hinder weight loss efforts.

And really that's about it, when it comes weight loss - reducing foods containing high amounts of unnecessary carbohyrdates is the key to success! It also has many other health benefits but that's for another blog ;-)

Oh one last note, reducing your carbohydrate intake can be tricky because sugar is highly addictive! Design yourself a plan so your brain and body isn't so shocked with the change. 

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