How Many Carbs Should You Be Eating Every Day? Here’s Your Answer
Posted by Healthy Truth on Jul 4th 2019
We know we should be feeding our body with the main macronutrients every day — protein, carbs, and fat. But there seems to be a lot of attention on carbs lately. With the rise of diets like keto and Paleo, we’re almost programmed to think that carbs make us gain weight, and that we should all but swear off carbs if we’re trying to lose a few pounds. That’s not necessarily the case, though. Our body needs carbs to survive. The question is, though, how many carbs a day should we be eating?
We’re going to break down this question and give you some information that will help you make an educated decision. Because what may be right for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it will be right for you. Here’s everything you should know the daily intake of carbs.
How Many Carbs Should You Be Eating Each Day?
We all need carbs, no matter how many times you’ve heard that you can live without them. Carbs are our main source of energy; your brain, kidneys, heart, muscles, and central nervous system need carbs to function properly. That doesn’t mean you should overload on carbs or only eat carbs, but it does mean you should prioritize carbs as part of your daily diet.
The standard guideline is that carbs should make up 45-65 percent of your daily intake of calories. For example, that means you should eat between 225-325 grams of carbs if you eat 2,000 calories a day. Depending on your level of activity, you can eat more or less that percentage of your daily calories. If you’re very active and you’re doing a lot of training, you’ll probably need slightly more carbs in order to recover and regain your energy.
Should You Eat Less Carbs If You’re Trying to Lose Weight?
If you’re trying to lose weight, there are a few different schools of thought when it comes to carb intake. Some say you shouldn’t worry too much about carbs and instead focus on being in a calorie deficit. Others insist that eating a smaller amount of carbs contributes to weight loss. Some studies have shown that low-carb diets reduce your appetite, lower blood pressure, and regulate blood sugar. This all can contribute to weight loss.
It’s recommended you eat between 50-150 grams of carbs if you’re trying to lose weight. This is generally doable for most people, but if you find that you feel extremely weak or tired, perhaps low-carb dieting isn’t for you.
What Happens If You Don’t Eat Enough Carbs?
When you don’t get enough carbs, you could deal with headaches, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, nausea, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. You won’t be able to go about your day-to-day life normally and it’s very likely you’ll get very irritable and even have bad breath. The body will start to pull energy from other sources if there aren’t enough carbs around. That means you won’t recover well from workouts and you might even lose healthy muscle mass.
What Kind of Carbs Should You Be Eating?
Stay away from anything processed, packaged, or refined. For example, you know that a Twix bar may have a certain number of carbs that you might need to meet your daily requirements, but all the fake stuff and refined sugar will only make you feel like crap. Plus, you’ll get hungry pretty shortly after because those empty, nutrient-lacking calories won’t satiate you.
Stick to complex carbohydrates that are totally natural, like sweet potato, quinoa, brown rice, legumes, etc. These are packed with all kinds of nutrients your body needs. Plus, they’ll keep you fuller for longer so you don’t get hungry just an hour after your meal. This will prevent you from eating an excess of calories.
What Happens When You Eat Too Many Carbs?
Overindulging certainly has negative consequences. When you consume too much carbs, you could deal with nasty mood swings, fatigue, intense sugar cravings, high cholesterol, and insatiable hunger. If any of these sound familiar and you know you tend to eat a lot of carbs, it might be time to speak to your medical professional and cut back on the bread, pasta, and pizza.