My Truths #146 (daily carb intake)
When following a low carb diet for weight loss it’s important to track your daily carb intake. I’m not a big fan of tracking what you eat i.e. counting calories or grams of fibre etc… I feel that if you eat a varied & healthy diet of “real food” in reasonable quantities that over time you are likely to get the macro and micro nutrient that you need.
That being said… if you just starting to eat low carb or you’ve had limited success it may be a valuable exercise to track you daily carb intake. In many cases your total daily carb intake will mean the difference between success or failure in reaching your weight loss goals. According to Mark Sisson (Mark’s Daily Apple), between 50-100 grams per day is the optimal daily target for weight loss. Here are the various targets (I have paraphrased…click on this link for the whole story)
- 0-50 grams/day: Rapid fat loss zone. Usually achieve through intermittent fasting. Can only be achieved by avoiding fruit and veggies. Not recommended for prolonged periods.
- 50-100 grams/day: “Sweet spot” for weight loss. Minimizes insulin production. Enables 1-2 pounds per week of fat loss while allowing a more varied menu.
- 100-150 grams/day: Maintenance zone. Maintain your ideal body composition while enjoying abundant vegetables, fruits and other Primal foods.
- 150-300 grams/day: Weight gain zone. High carb diet due to frequent intake of sugar and grain products.
- 300+ grams/day: Danger Zone. Will cause the average person to produce excessive insulin and store excessive fat over the years. (exception would be extreme exercisers and elite athletes.)