How Many Carbs Should You Really Be Eating Anyways?

Carbs have gotten a bad rap – especially over the last few years. But lets get something straight – not all carbs are bad. ALL fruits and vegetables are carbs – and they are not the devil. Anyone who tries to eliminate ALL carbs from their diets are often doing themselves a disservice. We need the nutrients and fiber from fruits and veggies to have an optimal diet. But with that being said – there are plenty of processed carbs out there – full of sugar and chemicals that will ruin anyone’s diet! So – how does one know how many carbs they should be eating per day? Well, some trial and error is definitely needed as we are not all the same. The amount of carbs you eat largely depends on your body type, your activity level and you personality. Some body types simply handle carbs better than others. I know, it is frustrating! If you are naturally lean you will have a much easier time with the amount of carbs you eat. You can’t assume that high carb diets are bad. Just as you can’t assume that high protein or high fat diets are bad either. That’s because different types of diets work for different types of people. Part of it is how your body responds, and another aspect is less physiological and more psychological. The physiological nature is often times controlled by insulin, which at the most basic level is a storage hormone. In general, the less body fat you carry, the better your insulin sensitivity. (Your body doesn’t react as aggressively to larger amounts of carbohydrates). While insulin is important for weight loss and overall health, it’s not a black and white situation. If you are more insulin resistant it doesn’t mean you can’t lose weight - BUT it does have a big impact on the type of diet you should follow. If you’re more insulin sensitive (typically lower body fat), your body will respond better to a higher carbohydrate diet. If you’re less sensitive (more resistant), then it can often times feel like higher carbs will go straight to your belly or your butt. Unfortunately, determining insulin levels isn’t an easy process and requires blood work. But you can see how your body reacts to higher carb meals. The simplest test (although far from perfect) is consuming carbs in a post workout period. Do you feel great or do you feel miserable and more bloated? If it’s the latter, either insulin sensitivity isn’t great, or you just ate too much. If you think your insulin sensitivity is good, then you can start with about 50 percent of your diet form carbohydrates. If you’re not confident and worried you’re resistant–or you know you have a lot of weight to lose–begin with about 20 to 30 percent of your calories from carbs. Not all carbs are bad – and if you are trying to put on some muscle, eliminating carbs will make your job even harder. It is easier to put on muscle with adequate calories and carbs can help you get there faster. Need more evidence that not all carbs are bad? The Top-10 countries in the world with the lowest obesity rates all consume a carb-dominant diet. So where does that leave you? Are you supposed to assume that a high carb diet only makes Americans fat? No, but we can use that to better understand and guide our eating habits. We also can’t discount that low carb diets have been found to be a very healthy way of eating. There’s plenty of research that indicates lower carb diets can do everything from helping with weight loss to building bodies designed to fight off disease. In fact, unless trying to build muscle, many professionals recommend following a lower carb approach. But notice I said, “lower carb” instead of “no carbs.” Because lower can mean 100 to 200 grams per day. Finding the right nutritional plan for you can take some work, but it’s important to remember that it can include carbs. And a healthy diet can include some of the carbs that you might not consider healthy — whether that’s breads, grains, and rice, or even some sugary dessert every now and then. This is largely due to your personality as well – which is a HUGE factor. Put a bread lover on a Paleo diet and watch someone suffer and fail miserably! The main point is to make the majority of your diet, say 80 to 90 percent, come from the good stuff, and keep the minority to the bad. (Or avoid it altogether if that’s your preference or you know that a small taste might open the gateways to a binging episode.) Some people will thrive on more carbs, while others will suffer. Your best bet is to play around with food options that are both healthy and work for you.   Reposted from:   Feel free to follow me on my Facebook page or check out more from me on my blog at

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