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Old 04-28-2010, 04:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Location: Riverside, CA
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Default Question about how many carbs

Originally Posted by amylee32 View Post
How many carbs a day are you guys eating? I am SO confused! I thought I had it all figured out, but now I am reading articles that say conflicting amounts. Some articles say absolutely no more than 20-60 a day, some say no more than 100 a day, some say eat as many as you want as long as it is "good carbs". Typically, I eat about 120. I do not eat white bread or rice, don't eat pastries, chocolate, cake, etc. My carbs come mainly from fruit, veggies, and yogurt. (I read an article saying that if you eat 3 yogurts a day, it helps with belly fat. I also eat it for the calcium, which I lack). many carbs a day do you guys eat? How many calories?

Hi Amy,
Your experience is pretty common and way too annoying. All these articles that claim to have the magic keys to success. First, any diet or food combination that claims to melt fat with no effort on your part is to be viewed with skepticism. Secondly any diet that claims that a single food item (either eaten or not eaten) will be the key to success is also bogus.

As to carbohydrates - they are essential for your body along with protein and fats. As we all know the bottom line is burn more calories than you consume and you will lose weight.

Some people have success with very low carbohydrate diets that run for a few weeks. These would prescribe 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates. Starving your body of carbs does make your body use fats and protein for energy. However, many folks end up losing more muscle (protein) than fat. Plus eating no breads, crackers, pasta, (regardless of whole grain content), cereals, peas, corn, potatoes, pineapple, among others, is too difficult to maintain for very long for many people.

The next approach is to keep a balance of carb-protein-fat percent. Somewhere around 40 to 50% of your calories consumed as carbohydrates is a pretty normal presciption. This would mean if you are on a 1200 calorie diet you would eat somewhere around 120 grams of carbohydrates. Since "carbohydrates" include both simple sugars (the sweet tastes) and complex carbohydrates (as in grains and flours) you want to lean toward getting carbs from fruits, veggies, and whole grains rather than cake, candy and cookies.

So really it comes down to the quality of carbohydrates. 100 to 150 grams of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits is a great choice. 100 grams of cookies, candy, and Little Debbie snack cakes isn't such a good choice.

Then, make sure that you eat the same high quality foods in the protein and fats catagories. Lean meats and dairy, and oils high in unsaturated fats.

And never stop looking for diet information and reading the latest information - just beware that not everything you read is true - a little critical thinking can go a long way.

5'4" 55yr

2.5 years, 45 pounds later... 128ish pounds

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-02-2012 at 03:39 PM. Reason: added quote
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