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Should I Cut Calories Or Carbs

Carbs Or Calories: What Should You Count For Losing Weight

You’ve Cut Carbs…Now What Do You Eat? | Low Carb Diet

Nutritionists like Rujuta Diwekar and Nmami Agarwal believe that neither count calories nor count carbs are an effective way to lose weight. According to them, you must focus on practicing portion control and eating in moderation at all times.

Also read: Keto Diet For Weight Loss: 5 Side Effects That Signal You Need To Quit This Diet Instantly

For weight loss, Diwekar advocates eating local, seasonal and cultural, in time-tested proportions. Your diet should include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season, pulses, lentils and legumes, nuts and seeds. Also what is important is to eat good fats like ghee, coconut oil, groundnut oil, mustard oil, etc, to provide your body with essential fatty acids. All of this, when combined with regular exercise can help you lose weight effectively and sustainably.

We speak to nutritionist Nmami Agarwal, about which of the two approaches are better for weight loss, calorie counting or carb counting. She says, “While counting calories does help in managing your weight because you take care of the whole algorithm of calories in versus calories out. But the shortcoming with only counting calories is that you are just focusing on the number of calories, and not on the nutrients.”

Also read: Weight Loss: Nutritionist Explains Why A Good Night’s Sleep Is Important For Shedding Calories

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You Should Know That Sometimes It’s Best Not To Give Up All Carbs

Though giving up carbs entirely may seem like the ideal solution, they are your body’s preferred source of energy. In other words, you need a certain amount of them to survive and thrive. Giving up carbs cold turkey means you’ll also be missing out on other important nutrients such as belly-blasting fiber, and it also means you’ll have less energy to engage in healthy activities such as exercise. If you’ve been following a low-carb diet, see if you’re exhibiting any of these signs you’re not eating enough carbs.

Even though low-carb diets can be associated with weight loss, no-carb diets can lead to weight gain. How exactly does that work, you ask? If there’s an absence of carbs in your diet you’ll likely fill the void by eating too much fat and protein. Both macronutrients, though beneficial to your overall health, still have calories. Fat, in particular, has 9 calories per gram, explains White, which is nearly double the 4 calories per gram of carbs and protein.

Last but certainly not least, a complete lack of carbs has an adverse and destabilizing effect on your blood sugar, which has been shown to lead to weight gain. When you eat food, your body breaks the digestible carbs down for energy, which causes your blood sugar levels to rise and your pancreas to produce insulin. However, when your blood sugar is low, the body begins to crave high-sugar junk foods in order to replenish its energy stores.

Should You Count Calories Or Carbs To Lose Weight

Should you count calories or carbs to lose weight? Yes- you should count calories at the start of your diet.

Why should you count calories?

Because the over- riding factor for whether you gain, lose or maintain weight is your calorie balance, or calories in vs. calories out.

Plain and simple, if you eat more calories than you burn in a day/ week/ month/ year, youre going to gain weight no matter what combination of macronutrients you eat.

Counting carbs is only necessary when youre on a strict low-carb diet, or on the Keto diet.

Covered In This Article

  • Do carbohydrates make you look fat?
  • Don’t Miss: Calories In Cake Pops Starbucks

    Best Complex Carb Foods To Add To Your Diet

    Calorie Cutting Pros and Cons

    Pros: Easy to keep track of calories, many different options for lower calorie foods

    Cons: Can lead to little energy, cutting to many calories can slow down your metabolism

    Calorie Cutting

    The Trick to Cutting Calories

    If you spend more money than you make, you will be broke over time.

    If you spend less money than you make, you will be richer over time.

    The same is true with calories. If you are eating more calories than your body demands, you will be calorie rich and fatter.

    If you are burning more calories than you are consuming, you will be calorie poor and skinnier.

    How many calories a day should I eat, Dr. Bram?

    Good question!

    The consensus is 2200-2400, but has shown that this number cannot be applied to everyone.

    For instance, you think the old lady who is retired needs as many calories as the 27 yr old football player?

    Well no Do you think you need to be drinking Gatorade like Aaron Rodgers if you are just playing armchair quarterback?

    I believe everyone can start at 2000 but add more calories if: 1) you are man 2) moderately active by working out 3-5 times a week for at least 30 minutes 3) have more muscle than the average person 4) if you have a larger frame than average 5) have a job that requires more than just sitting at a desk.

    For instance, I am a 60 220 pounds but I have a muscular frame . So I have discovered after tinkering with my diet that I need about 3,000 calories to maintain my weight.

    You May Not Get Enough Fiber

    How Many Calories Should You Eat When Cutting

    Fiber is one nutrient you may not consume enough of if you don’t eat carbs. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables, especially starchy ones, are some of the greatest sources of fiber. But they also happen to be high in carbohydrates.

    Fiber plays key roles in digestion, heart health and gut health, Koff says. Research backs this up: Studies show that people who eat more fiber have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and tend to have more beneficial bacteria in the microbiome.

    Fiber is found in starchy vegetables like carrots, as well as other vegetables, beans and whole grains.

    Recommended Reading: Low Carb Low Sugar Food

    What Did The Researchers Do

    The trial specifically studied obese people in Louisiana. The researchers noticed that previous low-carb trials often included low proportions of black people, so they made this trial more representative, with over half the subjects being black.

    However, the researchers enrolled no Asians and very few Latin-Americans, and the study was composed of almost 90 percent women.

    With those demographic details aside, here’s how the two groups lined up:

    Low-Carb Group

    • Told to eat fewer than 40 g of carbs per day for one year.
    • Instructed not to change activity levels.
    • Given meal replacement and dietary counseling.

    Low-Fat Group

    • Told to cut dietary fat intake to lower than 30% of daily calories for one year.
    • Instructed not to change activity levels.
    • Given meal replacement and dietary counseling.

    The researchers aimed for a low number of carbsâ40 g per day, or about two slices of breadâto avoid a common problem with previous studies that claimed to be studying low-carb levels. Most recommended around 100 g of carbs per day, which, while technically “low-carb,” is still more than the amount consumed by many low-carb diehards.

    When you take an obese subject who has eaten a standard American diet over the course of 40-60 years and tell them to drastically change their habits, the results can be unpredictable.

    To help combat this, each group was also subject to two co-interventions along with their recommended macronutrient intake:

    So we must take all the stats with a grain of salt.

    The Whole Dieting World Seems To Revolve Around Counting Leaving Many To Wonder Should I Count Calories Or Carbs But Before All This Counting There Lived Billions Of People Who Didnt Care How Many Calories Or Carbs They Ate Just As Long As What They Ate Was Healthy

    But now in the 21st century, what we believe is healthy has changed drastically, and is the fundamental reason why the masses are now addicted to drugs and chronically ill.

    You can drive through any town and see exactly what the masses think is important, like fast food, drug stores and of course lots of shopping. I get it, we live in an age ofconsumerism, but that should not mean your health must suffer for it, but it does.

    Everywhere you go, people are counting calories and counting carbs in most everything they eat and drink, because they were told thats what it takes to get healthy, but if that were true, we would all be healthy, right?

    Unfortunately this is not the case, yet they keep counting calories and carbs in everything they eat and drink, hoping and praying they finally lose weight or finally stop the pain.

    Now, I have tried to teach thousands of people over the last few decades about food, and some have listened and actually unlearned the lies diet propaganda taught them, but most have not wanted to unlearn or relearn anything, which is their choice of course.

    But never before right now in history has the world seen so much chronic illness and so many preventable deaths even the common cold kills at least a million men, women and children each year.

    We shouldnt expect anything but chronic illness and millions of preventable deaths every year now.

    Have you ever wondered why dieting propaganda started pushing the carb and calorie counting in the first place?

    Recommended Reading: How Many Carbs In Eggplant Parmesan

    You Should Prioritize Cutting Out ‘bad’ Carbs

    Refined carbs are a weight loss foe. Simple carbs, as they are called, can spike blood sugar and accelerate hunger pangs, meaning they are more associated with weight gain as opposed to weight loss.

    To use carbs to your advantage monitor your daily carb intake carefully, and favor complex carbs over the simple ones.

    Choosing Fat Over Carbs To Lose Weight

    Cutting Calories but Not Losing Weight â Dr. Berg on Weight Loss

    When youre trying to lose weight, eating fat in place of carbs can actually help your efforts. Its a myth that eating fat makes you fat.

    Its eating too many calories from fat that can make you fat.

    Fat does not raise insulin levels as much as carbs do.

    So when you cut out carbs and eat fat instead, your insulin levels go down and youre able to burn more fat for energy.

    Whats more, certain dietary fats can help you feel full and satisfied, so its easier to stick with a reduced-calorie meal plan key for anyone who is trying to lose weight.

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    It Can Tax Your Heart

    Very low-carb diets also are high-fat. Your saturated fat intake should be no more than 5% to 6% of your total. Focus on healthy fats like those in avocados, olives, and nuts. On the keto diet , your triglycerides and HDL cholesterol levels will likely get better. But you may see a rise in LDL, or âbadâ cholesterol, which can also lead to heart disease.

    Portion Control In Both Approaches

    When counting calories, it isnt so easy to determine calorie intake by simply eyeing or memorizing food intake. While you can certainly practice portion control by reading serving sizes on a food label, the amount of calories isnt as easily known.

    Portion control is a very big part of carbohydrate counting because you may not always have a nutrition label available. Dieters who count carbohydrates will often memorize certain portions to make their food choices easier. For example, the following foods typically have about 15 grams of carbohydrates:

    • one slice of bread
    • one small piece of fruit, such as an apple or orange
    • 1/2 cup canned or fresh fruit
    • 1/2 cup starchy vegetables, such as cooked corn, peas, lima beans, or mashed potatoes
    • 3/4 cup dry cereal

    Some foods, such as nonstarchy vegetables are so low in carbohydrates that some people may not count them.

    Recommended Reading: How Many Carbs Are In Tomato

    First What Exactly Are Carbs And What Do They Do

    Carbohydrates are nutrients, and they’re the most important source of energy for your body, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Your digestive system converts carbs into glucose , which your body then uses for energy for your cells, tissues, and organs.

    Carbs are also split into two different categories: simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbs include dairy, fruits, and vegetables while complex carbs include whole grains, starchy vegetables, and legumes.

    Your body tends to digest simple carbs more quickly, while complex carbs provide a longer-lasting source of energy. But you do need both types of carbs for a balanced diet, BTW.

    Oh No The Article Is Going To Say Neither Is Good

    WHAT IS 1500 CALORIES LOOKS LIKE ...

    Well, not quite.

    Ultimately no approach with weight loss is going to suit everyone, but either approach can work well with professional advice that shows you how to make them balanced and healthy and how to maintain it.

    But, if after reading this, neither of these options tickle your fancy, there are other ways!

    In my opinion, the biggest gap with both diets is that they dont include equal parts WHAT to eat as well as HOW TO STICK TO IT.

    To fill those gaps, two other options may appeal to you.

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    How Many Calories Should I Eat To Lose Weight

    This is a question many people attempt to answer when they set off to shed some of the extra weight to improve their current and future health outcomes, well-being and potentially self-esteem and happiness. While this is a good question to ask, you should also be open to the opportunity of supplementing a caloric intake reduction with an increase in physical activity like fitness exercises, running, etc. since reducing food intake and/or increasing our physical activity level are the two ways to reduce body weight according to the energy balance principle. According to the conservation of energy law in order to reduce your body weight, which is effectively stored energy, you need to induce a caloric deficit by either increasing your energy expenditure or by decreasing the number of calories you consume daily.

    In our weight loss calculator above we have incorporated a dynamic model which estimates how many calories you would need to reduce your daily intake by in order to achieve a given weight loss goal. It allows you to also specify if you intend to change your level of physical activity and adjusts the estimate accordingly. You can see more details on the mathematics and statistics behind this calorie calculator for weight loss as well as the daily energy expenditure and body fat estimates used in it in the “How it works” section.

    Calories Count But They Are Not The Whole Story

    Generally speaking, if you take in more calories than your body needs, the extra calories will be stored as fat. Similarly, if you take in fewer calories than needed, your body will release its fat stores, and you will lose weight.

    Because of this, some contend that calories are all that matter.5 All you have to do to lose weight is reduce calories.

    It sounds simple, but humans are more complicated than that.

    Theres far more to weight regulation than just monitoring calories in vs. calories out.6 Indeed, most members of the human race appear to have regulated their weight effectively for millennia, before anyone even knew what a calorie was.7

    The modern obesity epidemic seems to be an unprecedented phenomenon, and it coincides with an ever-increasing focus on counting calories.8 At best, counting calories seems to be an imperfect strategy for weight control.

    So whats really going on? As it turns out, hormonal regulation is a key factor and can affect our hunger and cravings.

    Hormones play a large role in influencing appetite, fullness, and fat storage. Research suggests that low-carb and keto meals may trigger satiety hormones and suppress hunger hormones, leading to a natural reduction in calorie intake, especially in those who are overweight or have insulin resistance.9

    The two sources of calories equal in number consumed at breakfast had differential effects on the number of calories consumed at lunch.

    Recommended Reading: How Many Carbs Do Tomatoes Have

    Truth #: Not All Carbs Are Created Equal

    The best carbohydrates to consume are those high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, potatoes, squash, beans, and whole intact grains. These carbs, better known as smart carbs, provide your body with value a high level of nutrients and fiber which is pretty damn important if you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Smart carbs are the kinds of carbs you should be eating, in the right portion sizes, with your meals. These are the carbs that will have a positive impact on the way you feel, your performance when exercising and your level of daily energy.

    Lets get one thing out of the way real quick. Carbs are sugars. Sugars are carbs. But isnt sugar literally the devil incarnate?

    No, sugar is simply a building block of food. It is what we call all the different forms of carbs, much like we do with Amino Acids and Protein. The sugar thats found in fruits, once in your body, is broken down into the exact same sugar found in, say, a Reeses Cup. It is what happens during the eating and breakdown process that makes them so different.

    Ultra-processed foods like cookies, cereal, and ice cream are full of sugar without any of the benefits that Smart Carbs have fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and most importantly, I have never seen someone binge on oranges like I have binged on ice cream.

    Carbs To Crave: Fruit , Veggies, White and Sweet Potatoes, Quinoa, Black Beans, Chick Peas, Butternut Squash, Steel Cut Oats, Sprouted Grains, etc.

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