Recent research released by the Dietary Guidelines of America, advised that at least half of calories you consume each day should come from carbohydrates. So, an individual whose ideal consumption of calories per day is 2200 should eat 275 grams of carbohydrates per day. (Remember a gram a carbohydrate contains 4 calories).
It is important not to get too hung up on how many carbohydrates per day to lose weight. Your real emphasis should be on how many calories per day to lose weight. Too many carbs don’t put on weight, too many calories do. For example. if your ideal caloric intake per day is 2200 and you consume 2700 calories every day for a week you will gain 1lb of fat. Eating an additional 3500 calories per week (500 per day) is what it takes to put on 1lb of fat.
Therefore, in order to get rid of 1lb of fat, you will be required to cut down on your daily caloric intake by 500 calories. To maintain a healthy diet, your caloric intake still needs to be made up of 50% carbohydrates. With your revised daily calorie target being 1700 (2200-500), your new carbohydrate target will be 850 calories or roughly 213 grams.
Once you have established how many calories per day to lose weight and, of those calories, how many need to be carbohydrates, it is very important that you choose the right kind of carbohydrates. It is important to note at this stage that there are two distinct types of carbohydrates:-
Simple carbohydrates(sugars) which consist of one ot two sugar units and include glucose, sucrose, fructose and lactose. These simple carbohydartes are found in sugar, candy/sweets, jam, honey, sodas, cakes, cookies, milk and fruit. With the exception of milk and fruit these foods should be decreased or avoided because they have no or very little dietary value.
Complex carbohydrates (starches) which are made up of hundreds of sugar units and include foods such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, cereals, nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables and pulses. These foods contain a wide variety of nutrients and should form a main part of most meals and snacks. It is also preferable that bread, pasta, rice and cereal are of the wholemeal variety as they contain more fiber which will help your digestive system and also release energy slower.
The advantage of complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates is that they relaease their energy more slowly.This has the result of staving off hunger pangs which makes you less likely to snack between ,meals. They also help to promote long-term good health, appetite control and sustained energy levels.
To summarise, while asking the question “how many carbohydrates per day to lose weight” is important in terms of overall health and your ability to sustain a healthy diet the focus should be on the amount of calories you eat each and every day. In order to lose weight there has to be a calorie deficit, i.e. use up more calories than you take in.
Knowing how many carbohydrates per day to lose weight is not the most important question you need to ask .
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by Iain Anthony