How Many Carbs Do You Need To Lose Weight

How Many Carbs Do You Need To Lose Weight – How many carbs should you eat? This is one of the eternal questions about which there is endless debate. On the one hand, nutritionists continue to recommend very high carbohydrate intake. On the other are the “fringe” groups who are convinced that carbohydrates are the cause of all disease in the world.

And while I’ve discussed this controversy before, focusing on health issues, I want to revisit the issue in a more athletic context.

How Many Carbs Do You Need To Lose Weight

How Many Carbs Do You Need To Lose Weight

It’s safe to say that most carb recommendations you’ll see are in percentages, you should eat 45% of your calories as carbs or 65% or whatever number is used.

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Now, I don’t like using percentages to define diets as they can be very misleading. A low percentage of very high calorie intake may contain more total carbohydrates than a high percentage of low calorie intake.

And the body doesn’t care about percentages. Placing nutrient recommendations in grams per kilogram or per pound is generally more valid (with one exception I’ll discuss below). Percentages are meaningless without knowing how many grams of carbs are provided.

In this context, a typical low-carb ketogenic diet might contain 0.5 g/lb (~1 gram/kg) of carbohydrates. A moderate carb diet (such as The Zone or Duchaine’s Isocaloric Diet) may contain 1 g/lb (~2 g/kg) of carbohydrates or slightly more.

A typical carb diet would, of course, have more than that (perhaps 2-3 g/lb or more). Typical recommendations for endurance athletes are in the 3-4 g/lb (6-8 g/kg) range, and carb loading may require 5-8 g/lb (10-16 g/kg) of carbohydrates.

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However, if you look at carbohydrate recommendations based on g/lb (g/kg) percentages, there are still big differences between different experts. Some recommend high carbs, others moderate amounts, some recommend almost none.

Who is right? Well, I am. Because instead of giving a single carb recommendation (which can’t account for all possible situations), I look at the person and their needs to determine how many carbs they might need each day. Any perfect method cannot be correct.

Which I will cover in detail in this article. The point, of course, is that I would conclude that how many carbohydrates a person needs (or should use) each day depends on the same factors that influence other dietary recommendations: goals, preferences, type and amount of activity, and old friend. , genetic differences. At the end of the discussion, I will have established minimum and maximum intake levels based on the different situations that may arise. Let’s start with the minimum.

How Many Carbs Do You Need To Lose Weight

Despite frequent claims to the contrary, there is no real physiological need for dietary carbohydrates. Even the RDA booklet acknowledges this, just before suggesting that a sensible diet should be high in carbohydrates.

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To understand why carbohydrates are not important, I need to briefly discuss the concept of an essential nutrient. And, briefly, the essential nutrients are defined as:

The second factor is because dietary carbohydrates are not an essential nutrient: the body can produce as much sugar as the brain and a few other tissues need each day from other sources. I should mention that the body cannot produce enough carbohydrates to facilitate high intensity exercise such as sprinting or weight training and carbohydrates may be considered necessary for people who want to do this type of exercise. I will return to the practice later in this article.

But from a survival point of view, the minimum amount of carbohydrates needed in the diet is zero grams per day. The body can make what little it needs from other sources. What are the other sources, you ask? Continue reading.

When carbohydrates are completely restricted, the body still has a small demand for glucose (although this decreases over time) and the body has to find something to produce glucose. This substance is lactate and pyruvate (produced from glucose metabolism), glycerol (from fat metabolism) and some amino acids. It is the use of amino acids that can be problematic as they have to come from somewhere.

How Many Carbs Should I Eat Per Day?

Now, if no food is consumed (eg complete starvation), that somewhere is generally muscle tissue (the body will also break down liver proteins). the body will easily break down body protein to remove the amino acids it needs to make glucose.

By doing this, the muscles released alanine and glutamine (produced in the muscles due to the breakdown of leucine and branched chain amino acids, so you know) which can be converted to glucose in the liver. This process is called weak gluconeogenesis which simply means the production of new glucose.

Protein loss during complete starvation is very high initially, slowly decreasing as the brain switches to using ketones for fuel (this reduces the body’s demand for glucose meaning less protein needs to be broken down to make glucose).

How Many Carbs Do You Need To Lose Weight

However, during complete starvation there is always some loss of body protein. In the long run, this goes from harmful (because performance is affected by muscle loss) to downright bad. Especially as people become very lean and the body’s protein breakdown increases.

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In this context, an underappreciated fact of liver and protein metabolism (but discussed in detail in The Protein Handbook) is that more than half of all ingested amino acids are broken down in the liver. Much of this can be used to make glucose, and this is especially true when carbohydrates are restricted.

Changing from hunger to nutrition, this is basically a big part of why protein needs increase when people eat, most of the protein taken in is used in the liver to make sugar, which means more protein needs to be consumed to be ensured. there are enough to support things like protein synthesis in skeletal muscle.

I don’t want to discuss it in detail here (since this article is about carbohydrates) but the topic has been covered to some extent in almost all of my books. My original keto diet took an in-depth look at protein storage in the diet, and of course The Protein Book details how protein needs change over the course of a diet.

I’d also like to note that as long as the protein intake is high enough (eg the diet covers much of the protein breakdown in the liver and elsewhere), the amount of carbs needed is still nil.

Carb Cycling: What It Is, How It Works, And How To Do It [free Pdf Guide]

This is the basis of my Fast Fat Loss method: eliminate all unnecessary nutrients (including carbohydrates) and provide only those necessary (in this case a large amount of high-quality protein and essential fatty acids) to provide the greatest deficiency . and greater fat loss per day.

But, let’s say you don’t just want to eat a lot of protein, how many carbs do you need to reduce (or prevent) protein loss in the diet?

Early research on starvation and low-carb diets found that 15 grams of carbs per day can reduce nitrogen loss in the body. And increasing your carb intake to 50 grams per day greatly reduces the body’s need to use amino acids for gluconeogenesis (which is why I recommended keeping daily carbs for low-carb days of The Ultimate Diet 2.0 at 50 grams).

How Many Carbs Do You Need To Lose Weight

Basically, in a nutritional context, nutritionists can increase dietary protein to compensate for dietary carbohydrate needs, or simply eat more carbohydrates to provide them directly.

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Both have the same end result. 15-50 grams per day reduces the body’s need to break down protein and will allow protein requirements to be kept lower than a zero carb per day diet.

Since I’m going to use the term ketosis for a second, I need to clarify what it means. When the burning of fatty acids increases to high levels (as carbohydrates are restricted), the body begins to produce ketone bodies in the liver.

As mentioned above, many tissues in the body can use ketones as fuel, essentially an alternative energy source for glucose when it is not available.

When ketones build up in the bloodstream beyond a certain point, a condition called ketosis is said to develop. Unlike diabetic ketoacidosis (which occurs in untreated type I diabetics), nutritional ketosis is not dangerous and is the body’s response to complete starvation.

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Many diets, such as the Atkins diet and other very low carb diets, rely on inducing ketosis for various reasons that are beyond the scope of this article. I only mention this since most keto diets set a carb intake limit of about 30 grams per day (allowing some vegetables but few) although I’ve never found support for that particular value.

I mention this in the context of this article as many people start such a diet with the specific goal of promoting ketosis (again, for different reasons). Since most books give a value of 30g per day for the ketogenic diet, people are a little worried about

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