If you have been reading this website before, you already know that the quickest way to lose weight naturally is to reduce your carbohydrate intake. But how do you know how many carbs per day to lose weight or because carbs are essentially sugar, how much sugar per day to lose weight? That’s not a simple question to answer because people are so different. Some people can eat pretty much all the carbohydrates they want without gaining a pound, whereas some people need strict limits just to avoid putting on weight and even more so if they are hoping to lose some.
What works for one person might not be the best solution for the next so you may have to do some testing to find the right diet for you. Different diet plans also have different recommendations. Here some examples: The No sugar no flour diet and the South Beach diet are based on “good” and “bad” carbs (in other words quick and slow carbohydrates, which is defined by the foods’ glycemic index level) and less concerned about the total amount of carbs per day. Diets like the Zone and Suzanne Sommers diet concentrate on food combinations to enhance the body’s fat burning abilities, Mr. Allan & Mr. Lutz, the authors of the book called Life Without Bread only mention 72 grams per day and then there’s the Atkins diet, which recommends only 20 grams of carbohydrates per day to help you with losing weight fast in the phase 1 and then gradually adding carbs to your diet to define your individual carbohydrate tolerance level. More about that below.
On top of the ready-made diet plans there are the people who just cut down the amount of carbohydrates per day by not eating sugar/bread/pasta/rice without counting the carbohydrate levels, and get good results. All these diets have been found effective, so it partly a matter of your individual preferences and possibly a matter of your metabolism as well if you are one of those people who are having a hard time losing weight. If that’s the case, don’t lose your faith if the first attempt fails. Just try another approach to low-carb dieting! Learning more about high and low carb foods and following your carb intake very carefully may be the best thing to do in this case. Here is one way to define how many carbohydrates per day you can consume to lose weight:
- Get yourself a calorie calculator like Fitday. It is important to find one which shows you your macronutrient intake.
- Get started by choosing the amount of carbohydrates per day. The Atkins diet recommends 20 grams per day, but you can start from any level which is low enough for you to lose weight. 2 weeks should be long enough to define whether the chosen carb level is low enough for you. Some people have reported weight loss up to 20 pounds during this 2 week period.
- Once you have found a level that works for you, add 5 grams of carbs to your daily food intake and see where you are after one week. The Atkins diet plan will suggest certain foods for Phase 2, but you can choose other foods as well if you please.
- If you are still losing weight, add another 5 carbohydrate grams. Keep doing that until you reach a plateau where your weight doesn’t go up nor down.
- If you are still hoping to lose more weight, reduce the carbs per day by 5 grams again. That should be the amount of carbs you can consume and still lose weight on a weekly basis.
- If you have reached your weight loss goal by now, you can either continue with your current diet plan or keep adding 5 grams until your weight start to go up again (or you experience some other unwanted effects like stomach problems). That way you should be able to define the amount of carbs you can consume and keep your weight under control.
- People’s carbohydrate tolerance changes when they get older. If you start gaining weight again, just reduce your carb intake to either keep your weight intact or go back to step 1 if you want to lose weight fast again.
These steps may sound complicated in the beginning but it is not that hard once you learn the basics. Also keep in mind that if you are used to sugar and sweet foods, it will take a while to get used to the low-carb lifestyle, but the sugar cravings will disappear within a month.