How Many Carbs Should You Eat Per Day?

Posted In Carbohydrate

Because of all the calorie calculators available people naturally think there is a carb calculator. Using this logic many want to know the EXACT number of carbs they need to eat.

Here’s the skinny on carb calculations.

Dr Atkins recommended no more the 20 grams of carbs per day for two weeks. After, you slowly increase the carb intake to 30 grams over four weeks, and then by 10 gram increments slowly after that until you have stopped losing. If you need to lose more, cut back, if not just maintain.

How many cabs should you eat per day?Most weight loss programs start with a 20 carb a day limit, to help clean out your system and break you carb cravings. After that you can start adding in 5 more carbs very day for a week. You keep doing this till you find your own carb limit.

Everyone is different, and handles different amounts. Not a one size fits all eating style.

Remember, carbs are key as a fuel source. They are the foundation of a healthy diet – providing glucose, which fuels the brain and entire central nervous system. They contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals and are generally low in fat and calories (especially veggies and fruit).

Many carbohydrate foods provide fiber to keep your gastrointestinal tract healthy. They play a role in preventing heart disease and cancer. Most people are not getting enough fiber. Eating carbs means everything else in balance – so you are not getting too much of the other food groups like, fat and protein. Carbs should make up half your calories each day.

On average, people should have 250 grams of carbs per day, assuming they are on a 2000 calorie diet. Woman may consume a little less than that; and men may consume a little more than that. But generally most people need about 2000 calories per day.

There are two types of carbs: simple and complex.

The complex carbohydrates are the veggies, whole grains like whole wheat pasta, rice, and oatmeal. This group also includes sweet potatoes and white potatoes. Typically, they are high in fiber and take longer to digest.

The simple carbohydrates can be good if they are orange juice and fruit. This category also includes candy, cookies, sugar, honey, syrup. Typically, they break down quicker. Sugar only provides calories and carbs. It is not as nutritious.

The simple carbohydrates are the things we usually eat too much of.

This is what 250 grams of carbohydrates over a day could look like.

Breakfast
1/2 cup orange juice (15 grams)
1/4 cup low fat granola (15 grams)
8 ounces plain vanilla yogurt (12 grams)
1 cup (8 oz) low fat milk (12 grams)
17 green grapes (15 grams)

Lunch
2 slices whole wheat bread at lunch (30 grams carbs)
Turkey breast or fresh turkey for lunch (3 slices) – with tomato slice and mustard

1 cup shredded carrots (5 grams)
1 cup raw spinach leaves (5 grams)
1 cup romaine lettuce (5 grams)
1 cup cucumber slices (5 grams)
Salad dressing (2 tbsp) (oil and vinegar)

Snack
1/3 cup hummus (15 grams)
5 whole wheat/whole grain crackers (15 grams)
1 medium red apple (15 grams)

Dinner
1 cups of whole wheat pasta, cooked (30 grams carbs)
1/2 cup tomato sauce (not marinara, though they look the same) (15 grams carbs)
1 cup broccoli (5 grams)
1 piece of grilled chicken (3-4 ounces or 1/2 breast)

1/8 of an 8-inch pumpkin pie (30 grams)

In general, people over eat carbs. Many have given up eating things like pasta but when they do eat it they eat more than one cup of carbs. And most people are not eating enough of the right carbs.

If you are changing from a low-carb or no-carb diet, do it slowly to prevent gastrointestinal upset, make most choices from veggies, fruit and whole grains, and limit sugar and refined carbs, and make sure to drink plenty of water as you add fiber to diet. The water helps the fiber past through the body.


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer

my dad just found out he was a diabet and he had to lose weight, cause it was what he’s doctor wanted. now that he has lost his wieght that he sould lose he keeps trying to lose, he is about 175 pounds he was about 250. he will only eat 20 carbs aday, sometimes he don’t eat. and he sees his self as being fat and hes not! he gets dizzy and has to set down and sometimes cant see to drive or anything, should we be worry? plz someone help

Jennifer

my dad will ony eat 20 carbs a day, and he was about 250 pounds and now he is down to 175 pounds aday and he still sees his self as being fat. but he is skin and bones now, sometime he dont eat but fruit all day. is that bad? sometimes he gets so dizzy he can stand or even see to drive or anything…. what should we do?

dawn mccumber

Awesome information, would love to see more for woman who are actively working out and more info on healthy meals to eat.

thank you and god bless

tina berry

Hi Jennifer,
Get your Dad to go back to the Doctor, something is not right. Is he on medication? His blood sugar or blood pressure could be too low? But that is for a medical person to check out… He will have bigger problems if he does not get, and act on, medical advice asap.

Sorry I cannot be of more help. He owes it to you as well as himself and the rest of his family to get this sorted. You know he could develop anorexia – it is NOT just young people who do!
Tina.

jason

what if you work out constantly can you eat more than 20 carbs and it still works, like say 50 carbs a day

Barb

You need 130 carbs every single day for proper brain function. Going as low as Dr. Atkins recommends (starting at 20 carbs per day) can be deadly for some people. Others may experience fatigue, depression, and just plain not functioning normally in many ways. Healthy people may be able to survive his diet, but as a diabetic I have been well trained in the need to carefully manage carbs, and we were taught that Atkins can lead to dangerously low blood sugar levels, including hypoglycemia and even death. Anyone can eat a very healthy diet with 130-150 carbs per day, preferably spread out over 3 or 4 meals. Of course you want to eat \"good\" carbs, meaning complex carbs that don\’t break down quickly into sugar. Simple carbs are sugar, white rice, white flour (and anything made with it such as white bread). These will cause a sudden jump in blood glucose that can be just as dangerous as too few carbs. You can do what you want of course, and some people are happy with the Atkins approach, but it has significant dangers and I just want people to be aware of them.

Kate

Great article…

@Jennifer- Im no doctor but it sounds like your dad has low blood sugar (which is commin in diabetics). You should check with your Doctor because he may need insulin.

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