Carbs: How Much Is Too Much?

Carbs: How Much Is Too Much?

IMG_9903When it comes to carbs, there’s a range,depending on several factors. First and most importantly, how much time you’re putting in on a treadmill or at the gym. An elite athlete needs more carbs to fuel her lifestyle than someone who spends most of her day sitting at a computer. Here’s a ballpark range of what’s appropriate, safe and effective, depending on your level of activity:

  • 0-50 g. Carbs Per Day – Restrictive Zone:
    If you’re trying to lose a lot of water weight in a couple of days, cut your carbs below 50/day. This isn’t easy to do, and very restrictive, but any professional model or bodybuilder knows it’s the  fastest way to lean out in a short amount of time. This is when your body goes into ketosis, a metabolic state where you’re burning your own fat as a main source of energy. But ketosis doesn’t come without its risks – so talk to your doctor before making any major changes in your diet.
  • 50-100 g. Carbs Per Day – The Sweet Spot:
    If you’re staying in this range, chances are good that you’ll achieve healthy weight loss.
  • 150-300 g. Carbs Per Day – Gradual Weight Gain:
    Even though this is represents the low end of a typical American’s daily carb intake, the truth is that this number can (depending on the types of carbs you’re eating, and your activity level) lead to gradual weight gain.
  • Over 300 g. Carbs Per Day – The Danger Zone:
    If you’re eating in this range, your’e almost guaranteed to experience continuous weight gain.
    For more information, visit Mark Sisson’s Daily Apple.

Carb Cutting Made Easy

Eat More Of This…
  • Apricot:
    3.9 g. carbs / 0.7 g. fiber
  • 1/2 cup of Oatmeal:
    12 g carbs / 2 g. fiber
  • 1/2 cup of Steamed Kale:
    3.6 g carbs / 1.3 g. fiber
  • 1 medium Apple:
    19 g carbs / 1.7 g. fiber
  • 8 Asparagus Spears:
    5.2 g / 2.4 g. fiber
  • 1/2 cup of Romaine Lettuce:
     0.7 g carbs /  0.5 g. fiber
  • Sweet Potato 1 Cup:
    27 g. carbs / 4 g. fiber

Because of their fiber content, when you eat these foods, you won’t experience the blood sugar spike of other carbohydrates.

Eat LESS Of This:
  • 1 Can of Soda:
    35.6 g. carbs
  • 1 Slice of Chocolate Cake:
    35 g carbs
  • Gatorade:
    15.2 g carbs per serving
  • Mocha Frappucino:
    44 g carbs
  • Cinnamon Raisin Bagel:
    65.1 g carbs
  • 8 oz. Lowfat Blueberry Yogurt:
    48 g carbs
  • Spaghetti 1 Cup:
    43 g. carbs
  • Brown Rice 1 Cup:
    45 g. carbs

4 Ways to Cut Back The Carbs

Since carb-stuffing is nearly endemic to our nature, here are some suggestions for cutting back:
  • Read labels, and find fiber. 
    The carbohydrate count of the food you eat is usually right there in plain black lettering. If it contains over 30 grams in a small serving, with little to no fiber content, you might want to try a healthier option. And remember, the higher that fiber count is within those carbs, the better. (I could go on about the benefits of fiber, but that’s for another newsletter. For now, just know: Carbs with a high fiber content are generally considered the “good carbs.”)
  • Most fresh fruits and vegetables fall into the “good carb” category.
    Fruits such as: berries, cherries, grapefruit, prunes, dried apricots, apples, oranges, pears, peaches and grapes are excellent choices.For veggies, include dark leafy greens as well as cruciferous choices like: cauliflower, bok choy, brussels sprouts and kale. And don’t forget your legumes: garbanzo beans, pinto beans, and peas are all weight-loss-friendly foods.
  • Get your rest. 
    No matter how well you eat and how much you exercise, your body will shut down without sufficient amounts of sleep. Take up yoga or meditation to enhance relaxation, reduce stress, regain composure, and help build up your energy for the next point below…
  • Exercise.
    Since carbs are a source of instant energy, it is important to use that energy up on a daily basis. Otherwise the unused energy will eventually convert to fat. Cardio workouts help keep the body’s circulatory system keep in tip-top shape, and also enhance your body’s natural fat-burning capabilities.

Here’s to your health!
Kathy Smith