How Many Carbs Should I Eat While Cutting (2023)

How Many Carbs Should I Eat While Cutting? Carbohydrates have been demonized in recent years. Popular diets like keto and Atkins encourage cutting out carbs altogether. But if you’re a health-conscious individual that’s not looking to lose weight but instead maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI), then it might be wise to keep your carbs around 50% of your daily caloric intake.

How Many Carbs Should I Eat While Cutting (1)

Marc Perry, C.S.C.S., ACE-CPT, and founder of Built Lean, answers questions about everything and anything related to carbohydrates, their function and how to use them appropriately.


1. How many grams of carbs should be consumed in a day? Is there a ratio or math equation to determine how much is needed?

“The amount of carbs to eat in a day depends on several variables including your (1) body size, (2) activity level, (3) fitness goals, and (4) genetics. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest around 55% of your calories each day shouldcome from carbohydrates. Most bodybuilders consume around 50% of total calories from carbs whereas low carb advocates can consume as low as 10-15%.

Technically, carbs are not an essential nutrient so we don’t need to eat them to survive. With that said, going very low carb is simply unnecessary to reach your health and fitness goals.

The best way to arrive at your desired carb intake is to first establish how many grams of protein and fat you want to eat first, then the balance will be your carb intake. For example, if you are looking to cut some fat for the summer without losing muscle, you can intake 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, 0.5 grams of fat per pound, and the balance will be carbs. For a 180lb man, that means 180 grams of protein and 90 grams of fat. Assuming a 2,000 calorie diet, that leaves 200 grams of carbs left over (1 gram of protein/carbs has 4 calories, and 1 gram of fat has 9 calories). The percentage breakdown in this example is roughly 35% protein, 45% carbs, and 20% fat.

As a general guideline, somewhere around 40-50% carbs, 25-30% protein, and 20-30% fat is a solid benchmark during a cutting program. You can play around with increasing, or decreasing the carb/fat level to see what works best for you. ”


2. When should I consume the most about of carbs, and when should I cut them?

(Video) When to eat your carbs for fat loss - Timing strategies

“After your workout is a great time to eat relatively more carbohydrates and even faster digesting carbohydrates. Carbs are anabolic because they raise your blood sugar level, which in turn stimulates the storage hormone insulin. Insulin gets a bad reputation because it can increase fat storage, but it can also be your friend by helping your muscles suck in more protein. After a workout, eating carbs with protein in a roughly 2:1 ratio can help your body utilize the protein most effectively. Eating more carbs when you have a endurance race, or competition can also be helpful. “Carb loading”, or consuming large amounts of carbs to saturate your sugar storage tanks (muscles and liver) leading up to an athletic event can help you perform better.

You don’t necessarily have to cut carbohydrates, but eating excessive carbs is not advisable. So if you are a 180lb guy who works out a few days per week and has a sedentary job, somewhere around 200 grams will help fuel your bodily functions and your workouts without any excess being wasted and converted to fat. For every extra full hour you spend exercising, you can add on 50-100 grams of carbs. For frame of reference, endurance athletes intake as much as 300-400+ grams of carbs per day. “


3. What is carb cycling—and how does it work?

“There are many carb cycling frameworks and each varies depending on whether you are trying to build muscle, or lose fat. One of the most popular is 3 days low, one day high. There are a lot of factors to consider (body size etc) to come up with your carb breakdown, but one method during a cutting program is to eat one gram of carbs per pound of Lean Body Mass [bodyweight x (1- body fat percentage)] and double that number on your higher carb day. The challenge with the 3 low, 1 high framework is that it doesn’t fit neatly within a week. I personally prefer choosing 2 high carb days each week, one of which is on your most intense lifting day (such as legs), and the rest are low carb.

Keep in mind that carbs are only part of the nutrition equation, because you still have to get the calories right, which is more important. In fact, the reason why carb cycling works is arguably not because you are varying carb intake, but because by decreasing carb intake you decrease calorie intake. A quick carb cycling tip is to follow a “carbohydrate tapering” approach where you eat more carbs in the morning and taper them throughout the day on your low carb days. There is no scientific proof this strategy helps you burn more fat, but it makes implementation much easier. “


4. How important is the timing of carbs in relation to your workout routine? Is it one hour before and after that’s safest for breakfast?

“Whether you are looking to build muscle, or lose fat, your prime objective is to have plenty of energy for your workouts. If you find that your energy levels are high without eating carbs before your morning workout, then you don’t need the carbs. If, however, you are looking to build some muscle and find your energy levels waning during your workout, then a protein shake and an apple before your workout can work well because they are easy to digest while fueling your body with ample protein and carbs. After your morning workout you can have a normal breakfast.”

We spoke with an expert regarding carbs, and how to cut them out of your diet in a healthy way.

(Video) Ask Jay Cutler - What Carbs To Eat While Trying To Get Cut? - Cutler Nutrition

How Many Carbs Should I Eat While Cutting (2)

If you’re trying to lose weight, odds are you’ve considered alow-carb diet, which is a great idea in theory. Cutting back on the carbohydrates your body needs to fuel itself can lead to pulling from fat stores instead. Eating low-carb has even been linked to higher weight loss and maintenance than eating low-fat orMediterranean-style, according to a study in theNew England Journal of Medicine.

But there’s a catch. Isn’t there always?You have to cut carbs the right way.Otherwise, you’ll be doing yourself more harm than good while depriving yourself of pasta and bagels, which sounds like a lose-lose situation to us. We know it’s confusing to be vaguely warned against eating too much or too little in the carb department.

Nine good reasons for eating two eggs a day

Wondering how manycarbsyou should eat to lose weight? We talked to Jim White, RD, ASCM, and owner of Jim White Fitness Nutrition Studios for you. And he gave us concrete numbers.

If his numbers are lower than you were expecting, don’t sweat it. Try any of thesebest low-carb, packaged snacks for weight lossto whittle your carb levels down to exactly where they need to be.

How many carbs should I eat to lose weight?

For someone weighing 150 pounds, White recommends 150-200 grams of carbs a day and 200-250 for men.The rest of us will have to do a little math to gauge our perfect carb levels. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,carbs should make up 45-65 percent of your daily calorie intake, which is why a low-carb diet is classified as one where less than 45 percent of your calories are from carbs. So if you’re consuming 2,000 calories a day, that’s less than 225 grams of carbs.

This is a good place to start, but White defines a low-carb diet as less than 125 grams a day—as long as you’re mindful of thecarbs you’re cutting. Instead of just paying attention to how increases or decreases in your carb levels are making you look, consider how they’re making you feel as well. You want to hit a sweet spot of fuel that leaves you energetic instead of sluggish.

“A lot of people drop their carbs but also drop other macronutrients such as protein and fat,” White says. “This can cause many deficiencies, slow down metabolism, and decrease energy levels impacting overall health.”

(Video) How To Get Lean | Should You Cut Fat or Carbs?

Where to cut carbs

Being mindful also means being selective about which carbs you’re choosing to cut.Simple carbs like soda and white bread can spike blood sugar and fast forward hunger pangs, so you should cut those before cutting complex carbs.Complex carbsare found in whole grains and vegetables and are referred to as “dietary starches” that steadily release energy. Even these healthier choices can add up, though, so keep an eye out for low-carb options: half a cup of sweet potatoes has 21 grams of carbs and a slice of typical sprouted bread has around 15 grams.

So if it isn’t clear already, we’ll give it to you straight:There is no universal amount of carb consumption for best weight loss results.It’s different for every person, and it’s strategic.

It is considered an absolute truth that to get shredded you must cut or cycle carbohydrate intake. Learn why carbs might just be helpful during periods of fat loss.

One thing that seems to pervade the health and fitness industry is the supposition thatcarbohydrates must always be highly restrictedwhen it dieting for fat loss. I have an inkling that this attitude arises from the ol’ “can’t have your cake and eat it too” idiom but the reality is that, you can in fact shred off that unwanted fat while keeping a good amount of carbohydrates in your diet, it just takes a little experimentation and tweaking.

Of course, this isn’t to say that you don’t need to be conscious of your carbohydrate intake, but more so that carbohydrates aren’t necessarily the enemy when it comes to fat loss (and are actually quite the opposite in reality). So in this article we will take a look at the benefits of cutting diets thatmaintains a balanced proportion of all macronutrients(proteins, carbohydrates and fats) and provide advice on how to tweak it if your fat loss efforts stall.

Carbohydrates reconsidered

One thing that low-carb supporters seem to fall back on when defending their stance of restricting, if not practically eliminating, intake of carbohydrates is that carbs are not technically an essential nutrient for humans; that is, to say, that we can theoretically (and biochemically) subsist without them. While that may be true, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s optimal.

I think one of the more common misconstrued messages that seems to float around is that carbohydrates cause insulin to be released and insulin is a storage molecule so it will prevent fat loss. This is a rather close-minded way of looking that the physiology of the human body and doesn’t take into account many other factors or the bigger picture. This article will touch on the necessity of insulin in the next section.

Another thing people will say (generally thePaleo dieting advocates) is that the human species isn’t evolved to run on carbohydrates, specifically grains and refined carbs. I don’t intend on making this article yet another longwinded debate over the theory of how humans have evolved to subsist nutritionally in comparison to our Paleolithic counterparts, but I will say that the idea that carbohydrates are somehow detrimental to our health and wellbeing just doesn’t hold up from a physiological standpoint when you consider how many bodybuilders actually eat a substantial amount of grains and refined carbs yet achieve peak conditioning.

(Video) How to Lose Fat (EAT CARBS!)

And yes, many of those same bodybuilders have tried a radically low-carb approach and gotten on stage in worse condition and with less muscle mass. I generally like to tell people that just because something was a certain way, doesn’t mean that’s the way it should be.

While carbohydrates are not technically an essential nutrient in the human diet, research and anecdotes suggest that they have their place in optimizing your physique and performance. So let’s take a look at how carbohydrates can help while trying to lose fat.

How Many Carbs Should I Eat While Cutting (3)

Why metabolic rate drops while cutting

When a physique competitor (or anybody for that matter) is looking to shred off unwanted fat one of the most crucial things to be wary of is depressing metabolic rate. When you restrict energy intake aggressively your body compensates by lowering its energy output (i.e. metabolic rate slows). This is your body’s basic survival mechanism for periods of energy deprivation, since obviously it would be counterproductive to health and longevity to be expending a lot of energy while not replenishing yourself with proper nourishment.

The most notable underlying physiological mechanisms that cause metabolic rate to drop during periods of energy deprivation are lowering of thyroid hormones and the adipokine leptin. Reason being is that a thyroid hormones act on nearly every cell in the body to increase metabolic rate, therefore a decrease in thyroid hormone levels is indicative of a slower metabolic rate. Leptin also acts as regulator of metabolic expenditure but also has implications on caloric intake so lower leptin is another red flag of a slower metabolic rate.

Why carbs are helpful during a cutting phase

So this is where those trusty sugar molecules that we call carbohydrates come into play since carbohydrates specifically have significant stimulatory effect on thyroid function, leptin production and thus overall metabolic rate.

This is actually the primary reasoning that many health and fitness enthusiasts who go on long cutting diets incorporate interspersed phases of carbohydrate “re-feeding” to help revive their slower metabolism and hormone production.

Another major factor to consider when on a cutting diet ismaintaining muscle tissue. When someone is cutting, they’re trying to improve body composition by lowering body-fat and maintaining as much muscle as possible (since you will inevitably lose some muscle mass). However, hear is yet another reason to maintain an intake of carbohydrates in your diet while cutting since carbohydrates are highly protein sparing nutrients.

The protein-sparing effect of carbohydrates is crucial to conserving muscle tissue during periods of energy deprivation since glucose acts an energy source and lessens the amount of amino acids that are metabolized for energy. Moreover, insulin is a highly anabolic hormone and carbohydrates (except for fructose) are inherently insulinogenic. Numerous studies have verified that the muscle protein synthesis response to a nominal dose of amino acids can be enhanced by the presence of an increased insulin response.

(Video) The Best Science-Based Diet for Fat Loss (ALL MEALS SHOWN!)

For these aforementioned reasons, the most prudent solution for someone looking to lose their “spare tire” while maintaining their hard-earned muscle tissue is to keep carbohydrates in the diet, if not continuously then at least intermittently through re-feeds or carb cycling


How many carbs should I be eating on a cut? ›

Eat less added sugar and more fiber

Aim for a carb intake that's 40% of your daily calories to maximize fat loss. Still, consume no less than 1.4–1.8 grams of carbs per pound (3–4 grams per kg) each day (2, 11 ).

Is 170g of carbs too much? ›

The US Dietary Guidelines recommend that we get between 45 and 65 percent of our calories from carbohydrates (10). And with the recommended calorie intake anywhere from 1800-3000 calories a day, based on gender, age, and activity level, this translates into at least 200 grams or more of carbs per day (11).

Should I eat carbs when cutting? ›

Carbohydrate Timing

The timing of your carbohydrate intake is essential for success during a cutting diet. Since carbohydrates are the bodies main source of fuel, you will want to take them at times when you are going to be most active and most likely to use up the energy they provide.

Is 400g carbs too much? ›

3–400 carbs is a lot if you want to lose weight, but if you're very active it can work. But you should cut fat and carbs and see what works better for you.

Is 225 carbs a day too much? ›

How many carbohydrates do you need? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that carbohydrates make up 45% to 65% of total daily calories. So if you get 2,000 calories a day, between 900 and 1,300 calories should be from carbohydrates. That translates to between 225 and 325 grams of carbs a day.

Is 250g of carbs too much? ›

250 grams: The typical American diet is more than 250 grams of carb per day. This amount is too high for most people with diabetes. A higher carb intake makes controlling glucose and losing weight more of a challenge. 130 grams: The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for carbs is 130 grams per day.

Is 200g of carbs too much? ›

For most active adults, who typically weigh between 100-200 lbs, a good amount of daily carbs is: 100-200 grams per day. A big difference between carbs and protein is that carb intake is, to a large extent, based on energy expenditure (i.e., how much you work out).

Can you get ripped while eating carbs? ›

This is a question we get on a daily basis: “Do I need to stop eating carbs to get shredded?” The short answer is no. Carbohydrates are the body's preferred source of energy, particularly during high-intensity bouts of training when energy needs to be supplied quickly to the muscle cells.

Should I cut calories or carbs? ›

Eating processed carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, potato products, and sugar can drive up insulin levels in the body and lead to weight gain.

Is 200g of protein too much? ›

“Yes, there is such a thing as too much protein,” Nicholas says. “The general consensus is that two grams per kilogram of body weight is the upper limit for most adult males.” So, if you weigh 185 pounds, you shouldn't be eating more than 168 grams of protein per day.

What does 15g of carbs look like? ›

A food that contains 15 grams of carbohydrate is called “one carb serving”. For example, one slice of bread, a small piece of fruit, or a ear of corn each have around 15 grams of carb.

What should I eat while cutting? ›

Foods to include as part of a cutting diet include:
  • lean meat and poultry, oily fish, and eggs.
  • milk, yogurt, and low fat cheese.
  • protein powders such as whey, hemp, rice, and peas.
  • beans and pulses.
  • nuts and seeds.
  • avocados, olive oil, and olives.
13 Dec 2020

How do I cut without losing muscle? ›

Follow a few of these tips to help you exercise smarter to hit your goals.
  1. Do cardio. To lose fat and gain or maintain muscle mass, do moderate- to high-intensity cardio for at least 150 minutes per week. ...
  2. Increase intensity. ...
  3. Continue to strength train. ...
  4. Take a rest.
12 Jun 2020

Should I eat more carbs or fat when cutting? ›

Research suggests that low carb diets are more effective for short-term weight loss than low fat diets, as well as that they may lead to greater reductions in body fat and hunger.

How much protein do you need while cutting? ›

While in a growth phase, we typically recommend consuming about 2.2g of protein per kg of bodyweight (1g per pound). However, during a cut, you should actually up your intake slightly, somewhere in the range of 2.3g/kg-3.1g/kg (1.1g/lb-1.5g/lb) (Helms et al. 2014; Ribeiro et al. 2019).

What's a good macro split for cutting? ›

An ideal macro split would be 35% protein, 25% carbs, and 40% fat.

Is 300 grams of carbs a day too much? ›

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that carbs provide 45–65% of your daily calorie intake for all age groups and sexes ( 1 ). According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Daily Value (DV) for carbs is 300 grams per day when eating a 2,000-calorie diet (2).

Is 500 carbs a day too much? ›

In general, how many grams of carbs per day you should consume is probably going to be in between 500 and 800 calories from carbohydrates, and that's typically about 150 to 200 grams of carbohydrates per day — 200 is an upper amount and goes as low as 120, which may be ideal for many trying to trim down.

How does 50 grams of carbs look like? ›

Here's 50 grams of refined or higher carb foods: three slices of bread, three potatoes, a cup of rice and a cup of pasta.

Can I build muscle without carbs? ›

And your muscles don't actually need carbs to grow. Lifting weights triggers an increase in muscle protein synthesis, which is the key driving force behind muscle growth. But you don't need carbs for it to happen.

Do carbs build muscle? ›

Carbs are important for muscle building because they're protein sparing, which means the body looks to glycogen for energy instead of breaking down muscle tissue for energy. Consuming carbs post-workout can prevent muscle loss and help repair muscles.

How many carbs do I need to build muscle and lose fat? ›

Macros for Muscle Gain

“A general range would be to get 3 to 5 grams of carbs per kilogram of bodyweight when bulking, to make sure you have enough carbs to fuel training and get your energy in,” says Trexler.

What 150 grams of carbs looks like? ›

◦ 1 slice bread, ¾ cup cereal, ½ cup pasta, 1 cup rice, 1 tortilla, 6 saltine crackers, 1 small pancake, 1 waffle, 1 small potato, 1 small serving french fries, 1 serving pretzels/potato chips, 1 small muffin, ½ large bagel, 1 roll, 3 cups popcorn, or ½ cup cooked cereal.

How many protein should I eat a day to lose weight? ›

If you want to lose weight, aim for a daily protein intake between 1.6 and 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (. 73 and 1 grams per pound). Athletes and heavy exercisers should consume 2.2-3.4 grams of protein per kilogram (1-1.5 grams per pound) if aiming for weight loss.

How many carbs can I eat and stay in ketosis? ›

The ketogenic diet typically reduces total carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams a day—less than the amount found in a medium plain bagel—and can be as low as 20 grams a day. Generally, popular ketogenic resources suggest an average of 70-80% fat from total daily calories, 5-10% carbohydrate, and 10-20% protein.

Will cutting carbs flatten stomach? ›

One of the first things you notice when you replace simple carbs with high-fiber foods is that your belly may flatten out. The reason: Most Americans only take in 15 of the recommended 25 to 38 grams per day, according to the Institute of Medicine.

Is 60 carbs a day too much? ›

Phinney, co-author of "The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living." Low-carb diets require between 20 grams to 100 grams of carbs per day, but 60 grams is a good target for many people. Consult a dietitian specialized in low-carb eating to determine the appropriate carb target for you.

Is it easier to burn fat or carbs? ›

Because fat metabolism requires more chemical reactions in cells than metabolizing carbs does, it takes longer to produce the same amount of energy, meaning people who switch to burning fat can only exercise at a lower intensity compared to those who are burning carbs.

What are the healthiest carbs for weight loss? ›

The 10 best carbs to eat for weight loss
  • of 10. Barley. ...
  • of 10. Maple water. ...
  • of 10. Popcorn. ...
  • of 10. Quinoa. ...
  • of 10. Roasted chickpeas. ...
  • of 10. Whole-grain rye crispbread. ...
  • of 10. Sweet potatoes. ...
  • of 10. Whole-grain breakfast cereal.
1 Jun 2016

Is cutting carbs the only way to lose weight? ›

You Don't Need To Go Low-Carb To Burn Body Fat, Study Says : The Salt Popular advice suggests a low-carb diet is necessary to trigger the body to shed fat. But a small, rigorous study finds low-fat diets also spark body-fat loss. The key: Choose a diet you'll stick to.

Can you build muscle without protein? ›

Protein is important, to be sure. After all, your muscles are made of protein, and your body requires adequate protein in the diet in order to have the building blocks it needs to build up muscle mass.

What happens if you eat too much protein? ›

Excess protein consumed is usually stored as fat, while the surplus of amino acids is excreted. This can lead to weight gain over time, especially if you consume too many calories while trying to increase your protein intake.

How do you count carbs correctly? ›

How do you count carbs? Carb counting at its most basic level involves counting the number of grams of carbohydrate in a meal and matching that to your dose of insulin. If you take mealtime insulin, that means first accounting for each carbohydrate gram you eat and dosing mealtime insulin based on that count.

Is 55 carbs too much? ›

Carbohydrates are your body's main source of energy, especially during exercise. Although many low-carb diets consist of 50 to 150 grams of carbohydrates per day, the Institute of Medicine recommends adults eat at least 130 grams of carbs every day.

Is 30 g of carbs alot? ›

Limiting yourself to 30 grams of carbohydrates per day can be a challenge, because that's a very small amount. One banana, for example, contains 27 grams. Fortunately, there are a whole lot of delicious and healthy foods you can eat that are low in carbohydrates.

Is cheat day good for cutting? ›

Yes. In fact, having a regularly scheduled cheat day each week can actually be good for weight loss by preventing binges, reducing cravings, providing a mental break from dieting, and boosting metabolism—if it's done in a healthy way.

What foods to avoid while cutting? ›

11 Foods to Avoid When Trying to Lose Weight
  • The foods you eat can have a major effect on your weight. ...
  • French Fries and Potato Chips. ...
  • Sugary Drinks. ...
  • White Bread. ...
  • Candy Bars. ...
  • Most Fruit Juices. ...
  • Pastries, Cookies and Cakes. ...
  • Some Types of Alcohol (Especially Beer)
3 Jun 2017

How long should I be cutting? ›

Most bodybuilders do not exceed cuts of 4 months but usually do at least 2 months. This is because you will need enough time to provide decent results but not overextend yourself with a long-term restrictive diet.

Should you lift heavy while cutting? ›

Despite what many novices (and even some strength coaches believe), lifting heavy is still an essential part to cutting. Lifting heavy, relatively speaking, is ideal for preserving strength and muscle mass during the cutting phase.

Can muscle still be built on a cut? ›

Yes, you can gain muscle while cutting. However, it may be more complicated than if you were maintaining your weight, trying to lose fat, or trying to gain muscle individually. Regardless, focus on eating a healthy diet and getting enough protein. You will be able to support your fat loss and muscle-building goals.

Should protein be higher than carbs when cutting? ›

It's okay to cut back on carbs and eat more protein, but make sure you're also getting some carbs in your daily diet. “If you take any healthy diet, 40% to 60% of calories should come from unprocessed carbs,” says Dr. Hauser.

Should I drink a protein shake if I'm cutting? ›

Supplementing with protein shakes is a convenient way of boosting total daily protein intake. Yes, one can use protein shakes during cutting. Since we need to create a calorie deficit, it is better to have protein powder with water instead of milk or calorie-dense liquids.

How much carbs do I need for cutting? ›

Aim for a carb intake that's 40% of your daily calories to maximize fat loss. Still, consume no less than 1.4–1.8 grams of carbs per pound (3–4 grams per kg) each day (2, 11 ). Cutting out added sugars is the healthiest way to reduce your total carb intake.

What happens if you cut without enough protein? ›

A low protein diet can also hinder your weight-loss goals, because more muscle means a higher metabolism, which means it takes more calories to maintain the same weight. If you are not getting enough protein in your diet, you will have less lean tissue, so it won't take as many calories to maintain your weight.

What's the best macro for fat loss? ›

The Verdict

Your perfect macros can depend on your individual goals, activity level, age, health, genetics, and much more. For weight loss purposes, a moderate-fat (20% to 30% of calories), moderate carb (30% to 40% of calories), and a high protein diet (25% to 35% of calories) tend to work for most people.

What is the most important macro to hit? ›

Protein. Proteins are the building blocks of your body. Pretty much all lean (non-fat) tissue in your body is comprised of protein, therefore it is the most important macronutrient.

What macros do you burn first? ›

Because their structures differ from one another, however, some types break down more slowly than others. Between carbs and protein, carbs get burned first and supply your body with short- and long-term energy.

What is the best macro ratio for fat loss and muscle gain? ›

Did you know…? A typical macro breakdown for fat loss and muscle gain is 40 percent protein, 30 percent fat, and 30 percent carbs.

Is it better to hit your macros or calories? ›

Each macronutrient plays a vital role in your body's function. Which is why hitting your macros is far more important than staying within your caloric budget – quantity versus quality. Not all calories are created equal. You have to fuel your body accordingly, depending on your goals.

How many net carbs should I eat a day to lose weight? ›

Your Personal Carb Tolerance in Greater Detail
If your range* is:Your Metabolic Resistance is:What it means:
60 – 90 grams of Net Carbs per dayAverageYour body is slightly resistant to losing weight
90 – 120 grams of Net Carbs per dayLowYour body is efficient at losing weight
2 more rows

Is 200g carbs too much? ›

For most active adults, who typically weigh between 100-200 lbs, a good amount of daily carbs is: 100-200 grams per day. A big difference between carbs and protein is that carb intake is, to a large extent, based on energy expenditure (i.e., how much you work out).

What if I eat more carbs than protein? ›

You Can't Bulk Up

In short, calories from carbs will displace calories from protein. If your body doesn't get the important amino acids that it needs, your muscle mass may suffer.

Will 50 carbs a day put you in ketosis? ›

Most people will need to go under 50 grams per day to reach ketosis. Keep in mind that this doesn't leave you with many carb options — except vegetables and small amounts of berries. To calculate your net carbs, subtract fiber, sugar alcohols, and other nondigestible carbs from the total amount.

Can I get into ketosis with 30 net carbs? ›

Carbohydrate tolerance varies among individuals. Some people may need to limit themselves to no more than 30 grams of total carbohydrates per day to remain in nutritional ketosis and maintain its benefits; while others may be able to consume more.

Can I be in ketosis at 50g carbs? ›

Carb targets to stay in ketosis

According to a 2018 review of the different types of ketogenic diet, a person should consume up to 50 grams (g) of carbohydrates per day to stay in ketosis.

Will I lose muscle mass if I don't eat carbs? ›

If you don't eat carbs, your body will break down muscle

If body recomposition is your goal (losing fat while holding on to — or even building — muscle), you definitely don't want to be cutting carbs, because if you don't eat them, your body will make glucose by breaking down your muscle.

Do carbs make muscles look bigger? ›

Carb It Up

One of the most effective and easiest ways to look bigger is to eat lots of carbohydrates. The glycogen in carbs pulls lots of water into your muscles and can offer an inflated look.

Is protein better than carbs? ›

In fact, protein has a much higher thermic effect than fat or carbs — 20–35% compared to 5–15% ( 21 ). High protein intake has been shown to significantly boost metabolism and increase the number of calories you burn. This can amount to 80–100 more calories burned each day ( 22 , 23 , 24 ).

Which is better for weight loss protein or carbs? ›

Firstly, protein burns comparatively more calories than fat or carbs. Focusing meals around protein-rich foods improves your sense of fullness and satisfaction, helping to regulate your appetite and limit unnecessary trips to the biscuit bin.

When should I eat carbs to get ripped? ›

The Best Time to Eat Carbs

Consume the bulk of your carbohydrates in the few hours before or after your strength training workouts. For example, if you eat 200 grams of carbs per day, consume 25% of those carbs as a pre-workout meal (50 grams) and another 25% as a post-workout meal (another 50 grams).

Is 100 carbs a day low carb? ›

While there is no strict definition of a low carb diet, anything under 100–150 grams per day is generally considered low carb. This is definitely a lot less than the amount of carbs in the standard Western diet. You may achieve great results within this carb range, as long as you eat unprocessed whole foods.

How many carbs do bodybuilders eat when cutting? ›

Here's a quick summary of your macronutrient breakdown on the ultimate cutting diet: Carbohydrates: 1 gram per 1 lb of bodyweight. Protein: 1-1.25 grams per 1 lb of bodyweight. Fat: 0.25 grams per 1 lb of bodyweight.

Is 50 carbs a day OK? ›

For people who are physically active or want to maintain their weight, a range of 100–150 grams of carbs per day may have benefits. For those aiming to lose weight quickly, going under 50 grams per day under the guidance of a healthcare provider may help.

Can you stay in ketosis on 50 carbs a day? ›

Carb targets to stay in ketosis

According to a 2018 review of the different types of ketogenic diet, a person should consume up to 50 grams (g) of carbohydrates per day to stay in ketosis. A female on a keto diet should consume 40–50 g of protein per day, while a male should consume 50–60 g of protein daily.

Is 50 carbs a day considered low? ›

Nutrient recommendations, including for carbohydrates, will be different for everyone. But about 50 to 100 grams of carbohydrates per day are generally recommended on a low-carb diet, which can support weight loss, as long as you're still maintaining a calorie deficit.

Whats a good diet for a cut? ›

Foods to include as part of a cutting diet include:
  • lean meat and poultry, oily fish, and eggs.
  • milk, yogurt, and low fat cheese.
  • protein powders such as whey, hemp, rice, and peas.
  • beans and pulses.
  • nuts and seeds.
  • avocados, olive oil, and olives.
13 Dec 2020

Is 500g of carbs too much? ›

“The recommended carbohydrate intake for the general active exerciser will generally range between 3 to 7 grams per kilogram of bodyweight”, says Ewoldt. “This means that a 160-pound individual would fall between 220 grams and 500 grams of carbohydrates per day.


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