Many of us count calories. I don’t keep exact totals but definitely have a pretty good idea as to how many I have consumed per day. While calories in and calories out still is still important for anyone wanting to drop body fat, it might be even more important to count carb calories instead. I would be willing to bet that many people are eating 500+ grams of carbs day, and they don’t even realize how those calories are affecting their bodies.
Lets talk a little bit about carbs and outline exactly what your body does with them. When you consume high amounts of carbs, your pancreas sends out a massive amount of insulin to soak up the all the excess glucose that’s suddenly heading into your bloodstream. Now some of these carbs will be used as energy by your muscles, but any idea what happens to the rest of it? Well, the rest of it goes into your fat cells and is stored as fat. The process is actually a lot more complicated, but you get the idea!
Now, if you are able to drastically reduce your carb intake, a couple of things will happen. One, the minimal amount of carbs you eat will be used pretty quickly by your body and will never be stored as fat. Two, your body will need to find another source for energy to fuel your body…. and that fuel source will be FAT!
Below you will see a chart that outlines low vs. high calorie intakes. Keep in mind, these are just rough and will vary depending on your weight.
250+ grams/day - Danger. Danger!!
High risk of excess fat storage, inflammation, increased disease markers including Metabolic Syndrome or Diabetes.
175-250 grams/day – Steady Weight Gain Range
Continued higher insulin-stimulating effect prevents efficient fat burning and contributes to widespread chronic disease conditions.
100-175 grams/day – Maintenance Range
This range based on body weight and activity level. When combined with Boot Camp exercises, allows for genetically optimal fat burning and muscle development.
50-100 grams/day – Effortless Weight Loss Range
Helps reduce insulin production and helps speed up fat metabolism. By meeting daily protein requirements (.7 – 1 gram per pound of lean bodyweight ), eating vegetables and fruits, and staying satisfied with high fat foods (meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds), you can lose one to two pounds of body fat per week.
0-50 grams/day – Rapid Fat Burning
Acceptable for a day or two of Fasting towards aggressive weight loss efforts (provided adequate protein, fat and supplements are consumed). One recommended way to fast is to stop eating about 5-6 hours before bedtime, and then try to refrain from eating for another 3-6 hours after you wake up.
Simple tips during the carb reduction process
1. Read the nutrition label, and keep track of the grams of carbs you eat each day
2. Sugar = carbs
3. When you need energy, get your fuel from fruits
4. Be prepared for energy level drops, they will come back once your body gets used to its new fuel source
5. Give it time; this process might take 2 or more weeks to become part of a routine
6. Plan your meals in advance–bad choices usually happen when you’re looking for a quick bite
7. Only drink water, most everything else is high in sugar